Stuff you need to do in the first month

06Jul08

  • Don’t tell anybody else about the pregnancy. Keep it between you and your wife. This includes dropping obvious hints. I have a few friends who told me right away, and then had problems, and it just resulted in unnecessary awkward conversations. You should be at the point in your life where you can keep a secret for a couple months, and it should be fun to have something private between you and your wife. If you absolutely need to talk to someone about it, don’t tell your dad, because he’s required by law to tell your mom about this kind of news, and then expectations start rising right away. If you must, choose a friend who has been through it all and you trust can keep it low. Again, if he has a wife, he is required by law to inform her, so make sure she’s the type to be quiet about it too.
  • Don’t buy anything yet. Remind yourself and your wife over and over again that it’s early – for your financial and emotional well-being. She’ll probably want to run out and buy some stuff because her nesting instinct is starting to kick in, and maybe you will too. But you don’t need to buy anything besides a couple of books and some prenatal vitamins. And if something goes wrong with this very early pregnancy (which is still 30% possible), you will hate seeing every item you buy.
  • Learn about the doctor’s appointments. Depending on how good your wife is at interacting with the doctor, you may or may not have to attend a bunch of these, so figure that out. You definitely want to be there for all the sonograms, because that’s super-cool and fun, but you also might want to be there for other appointments if you’re just better at decoding medical speak than your wife is. Either way, you better know when they are taking place or you’ll look like a jerk. By the way, when you attend these, don’t expect the nurses and doctors to voluntarily make you part of the discussions – they’re happy to have you sit quietly in an uncomfortable chair in the corner. Sometimes you wonder if you are actually visible or if in fact you are a character in that movie Sixth Sense. But if you speak up, they answer your questions.
  • Sign up for daycare lists. If you are in a situation where you don’t have to worry about this, congratulations. I hate you. For those with two working parents who live in cities, we need to get on those lists as soon as we know we’ll need daycare. Heck, do it if you’re pretty sure you won’t – it will just give you more options. Don’t try choosing now – you’ll get to when it’s time to actually sign a contract – just set yourself up with the most options possible because in most areas it’s tough to find openings. Set aside a budget for paying to be on some of these lists – yes paying, not leaving deposits – the bastages keep your money. We’ve paid as much as $100 each. Considering you’re going to be dishing out $1-2k per month, that’s really not as bad as it sounds. And you can’t leave the kid home alone once your leave is over so you best have options.
  • Accept your fate as Man Slave. She may have started with the morning sickness already, and you knew to hold her hair and be a good guy. But be prepared for her to want donut holes three hours later, and don’t ask any questions. Hopefully you chose someone who won’t abuse this power. If not, get ready to keep taking it on the chin and keep getting back up. Whether or not you are correct about something is no longer relevant. She is right because she is Mom. (note the capitalization) So much is out of her control during this period, so it is your job to be something that she can control. Believe me, I’m the opposite of “whipped,” and my wife is very laid back and tolerant. But I learned quickly that there’s a choke collar at the end of this leash and I stopped pulling early in the pregnancy when I realized hormones sometimes meant reason had no place in our discussions. Again, don’t abandon thinking because she may ask you to do some stupid things, but accept that the Queen outranks the King for the next year.
  • Chill out, man. There’s very little for you to do in the first month besides the above and keeping your wife as happy and as comfortable as possible. So plan a few weekends now. Reserve dates on the calendar now for a guys’ weekend and a “babymoon” (will tell you later) before the baby comes. You won’t have time to coordinate with your friends once you actually come to grips with the fact that you actually will want to do these things.
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One Response to “Stuff you need to do in the first month”

  1. Yes I have heard of buying newborn items in my country.
    Usually older people, such as grandmother will advice us don’t buy any items until the baby’s out.
    And My country is Thailand. 😀


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