Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Father-to-be knows best

The following article was written in February for one of those free newspapers you often find on subway seats. The editor asked me to send a writing sample in a "list" form, so I jotted down a little bit of advice for other fathers-to-be. I know I come off as a jerk in this article, but it's all in good fun. The editor, though, took me too seriously, and I never heard from him again.

Anyway, since this was never published, I might as well share it here.

I’m going to have a baby boy in June. So right now I’m about five months pregnant, though you wouldn’t know it by looking at me, outside of my fatherly glow. I must say, it’s been difficult dealing with the sympathy pains and cravings, but my wife, Jennifer, says I’m handling it well. Oh... and I’m proud of her, too.

Now, I understand that a lot of you will probably be having kids in the future, and you may be wondering how someone like me deals with all the stress associated with preparing for a baby. Well, it isn’t easy folks, but here’s a little advice:

- Don’t brave it alone

Involve your wife in this experience. After all, she is actually carrying the child. I have found it so rewarding to share my pains and concerns with her. Each night, after she comes home from a busy day at law school and takes off her 400-pound book bag and 300-pound laptop, I get up from the couch and tell her about my daily struggles. I tell her that I’ve been stressing about being a role model for our child. What if I do a bad job? What if our child develops my horrible singing voice or my lackluster throwing abilities? What happens then?

My wife then grabs my hand and assures me that I’m going to be a great father, and I feel a whole lot better. She normally goes on from there, about her back pain or stretch marks or whatever. By that point, I’m usually zoning out or watching TV.

- Do the research

There are hundreds of books out there to guide you through the pregnancy, and I plan to read at least part of one before Jennifer gives birth. Until then, I just ask Jennifer questions, about 5 or 6 times a night. She’s been a wealth of information.

- Have fun

Jennifer and I won’t let the pregnancy stop us from having a good time. We’ll let the baby take care of that. Until then, we’re enjoying each night as if it’s our last. Once the weather gets better, we’ll probably go parachuting, bungee jumping, or speed skating. But I won’t take Jennifer out drinking - that wouldn’t be safe for the little one.

I usually have to enjoy that beer alone... but I always keep in mind that I’m now drinking for two.

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