Updated: Dec 12, 2020
It’s important to emphasize to the male readers that whatever stress and anxiety they are feeling due to the baby-out-of-wedlock, the mother is feeling about 10x that amount. Maybe 100x.
After all, it is the mother who has been experiencing morning sickness, sometimes making it impossible to get through the workday. It’s the mother whose body will soon be drastically changing shape and whose hormones are spiking and crashing like a rollercoaster. It’s the mother who must navigate judgmental friends, family, and employers, more so than the fathers.
It’s the mother who will be going on maternity leave, putting their careers on hold for at least three months, whether they like it or not. Paternity leave for fathers is becoming more common but will probably never be as commonplace as maternity leave.
Fathers-to-be are well-advised to frequently and genuinely ask the mother how they are doing. How are they feeling? What do they need? What can you do for them? You might be surprised how far just showing some genuine compassion will go.
I (Jim) did not do enough of this sort of thing for my daughter’s mother during her pregnancy. Sure, I asked her how she felt, and I bought her a few gifts here and there, but I could have and should have been more sympathetic to what she was going through. Looking back, I wonder if we could have avoided some of our differences if I had tried harder to show empathy during that first year.
At the same time, pregnant women should make sure they don’t fall into a victim like mentality. This sort of “poor me” thinking will just make you angry, spiteful, and with a feeling of helplessness. Furthermore, pregnancy hardship comes with positives that the men will never get to experience. Growing a person inside you is something that words just cannot explain, so count yourself lucky in that regard.
Women, try to be thankful for this experience life has handed to you. Don’t play the victim, but be ready for some hard times ahead. Both parents should spend some time on the pregnancy section of our “Useful Links” to learn more about the body's amazing process of creating life.
Guys, remember, the mothers are the ones who will have to squeeze a melon through a hole the size of a golf ball (or else get their belly cut open). They are the ones who live in constant fear of something going wrong with the baby growing inside of them. The constant fear of miscarriage. The constant fear of premature labor. They can’t even sleep in certain positions without fear of harming the fetus inside of them.
Of course, men are concerned about these things too, but guys should imagine how much more real it would be if the baby you were worried about was physically inside of you, twenty-four-seven. If you try to put yourself in the woman’s shoes before every conversation, we promise you will find your relationship benefits.
-Jessica & Jim
Jim and Jessica Braz are not lawyers. While they have real-life experience in the issues discussed here, they do not give legal advice on this website. Furthermore, child custody laws, child support calculations, and family law, in general, vary from state to state. Be sure to consult an attorney in the appropriate state for your custody litigation. Jim and Jessica Braz are not doctors. While they have real-life experience in the issues discussed here, they do not give medical advice on this website. Be sure to consult your doctor on your specific medical situation. Jim and Jessica Braz are not licensed therapists, mediators, or counselors. While they have real-life experience in the issues discussed here, you should consult licensed professionals as needed. The advice given on this website does not hold Jim and Jessica Braz legally liable for any adverse outcomes you may have from following their advice.
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