Pregnancy, for some it’s a time of glowing and eager anticipation, for others it’s a time of great discomfort and fear, but for almost everyone it’s a time of struggle.

And I’m just talking about the dads here… ba-dum-tss.

The struggle is real

It can be hard to watch the woman that you love the most going through something that you feel like you can’t help with.  I mean, I can only assume, it looks like my husband is having a hard time here.

Between the weight of having to carry a bit more of the load lately and what I can only imagine is fatigue from listening to me constantly whine about how, for the love of god, am I still pregnant, he’s got his hands full (although if he reminds me one more time that I’m not at my due date yet I might snap him in half).

But what if I told you that you could help, dads?  What if I gave you a simple list of 2,586 six surefire ways to help the pregnant person in your life through this process?
  1. Give her whatever she asks for. This is so vitally important that it should be items one through 2,586  If she asks you to do something, do that thing.  That is the thing that will help most.  If she wants a foot rub or for you to empty the recycling bin, just do it.
  2. Always assume she wants the last of whatever food there is. If there are leftovers in the fridge, assume that she was going to eat them.  You can ask her and if she says they are all yours, then you may go ahead and eat them.  Never just eat something because you think that if she wanted it, it would already be gone.  Maybe she was saving it.  Maybe the idea of that food is the one thing that is getting her through her day.  Don’t think that because it’s still there, it’s unwanted.  Err on the side of caution.  That goes double for cookies!  Step away from the cookies!
  3. Pregnancy is an endless cycle of there never being enough. There’s never enough sleep, enough food, enough room in our clothes.  We’re constantly pulling our shirts down and pulling our maternity pants up.  Dreaming of just one more bite of sandwich or maybe another one (to eight) hours of sleep.  It’s just never enough.  If you see a pregnant woman doing something and she looks the slightest bit content it is your moral obligation to make sure that she does not have to stop doing whatever she is doing until she wants
  4. Don’t complain about stupid stuff, that’s her job. Pregnancy hormones amplify everything.  Something funny?  It can quickly become tears streaming down your face (and maybe your legs) funny.  Something frustrating, same deal.  Actually, almost anything can end in tears when you are pregnant.  I think one of the most common things I said to my husband this pregnancy was, “I’m pregnant, I literally cannot control my emotions.”  And no, that is not the beginning of the opening statements for my trial.  Yes, we are still responsible for our actions (as we always are, no matter how many people are living inside of our uterus at any given time), I’m just saying if I start crying because the trailer for Logan totally made me question everything about my life, don’t expect me to be able to stop just because it’s not real.  I don’t live in the real world right now.  I live in a hormone fueled haze in which I have placed myself in direct competition with a goddamned giraffe.
  5. “Pick up your (insert item here).” Socks, shoes, pretty much anything on the floor.  And whether you left it there or not.  With a husband and toddler at home, walking through my house is basically the equivalent of a drunk person trying to cross an icy street, I could fall at any moment.
  6. Understand that every pregnant woman is different, as is every pregnancy. I saw a woman that was still doing cross fit at 33 weeks the other day.  Some pregnant women run marathons, anchor news programs, and show up every day at work to wait tables until their babies are born, and then immediately return to what they were doing after the baby is born.  Me, I ate a Whitman’s chocolate sampler in the kitchen yesterday and then sat on the couch for two hours… and that shit was exhausting.

Most of all, remember that pregnant women are people too.  They are all individuals with their own wishes and desires.  Pregnancy is not a one size fits all condition.  For some it’s the most wonderful time of their lives, for others it is a time of uncertainty and fear.

Always, above all else, respect a pregnant woman’s wishes and desires.  Life is hard, pregnancy is even harder.