There have been times during our pregnancy that have been, well…testing. I’m quite a literal person and I have learnt some lessons when it comes to communication with the missus while she is pregnant – trust me these are things I’m not going to say in the first two trimesters next time…
“Your bump looks massive”
I have quickly realised that although I say this with the upmost affection, it’s not always the best thing to say to a pregnant woman. What I really mean is “oh wow the baby is growing”, what is interpreted is “oh wow you’ve got fat”. Instead of commenting on the bump size I’m now going for a less ambiguous approach. “Your bump looks beautiful” is much more effective and draws less attention to the inevitable bodily changes that come with pregnancy. I would never normally comment on my wife’s size when she wasn’t pregnant so I can see how it might be a bit offensive. If someone kept telling me I was getting a big stomach I would be pretty annoyed.
“You’re much calmer now”
It’s true, stuff can get hairy in the first trimester. In all honesty, there were some tough times with the hormones (on both our parts). It turns out jovially referring to said tough times and saying how much better things are now is a big no no. I think as a bloke, you just have to accept that anything that happens or is said in those first few pregnant weeks need to be forgotten and locked in the box of things that aren’t spoken about (closely next to the stag do and previous girlfriends sections). Reminding your partner about things they did that were out of character isn’t funny to them…that said, some of the things are hilarious!
“Are you finished?”
My wife’s appetite is something that has really affected meal times. She loves food and we love trying new places and cooking stuff at home. Now, she isn’t eating as much or as quickly. I always finish food if there is some left – I can’t help it! At dinner time, if you’re a hoover like me, I would suggest waiting for an invitation to clear up the remaining food. Asking “are you done” creates pressure; pressure leads to anger, anger leads to an argument. Wait it out, there is always some left!
“I’m so tired”
Being a dad-to-be is tiring. Loads of stuff is changing and adjusting to things takes energy, especially having to do more stuff. The thing is, being a pregnant woman is way more tiring! One thing that’s sure to get to your missus is telling her “I’m tired”. Saying that is a ticket to shit-ville. It’s annoying but as an expectant dad, you just need to suck it up a bit and keep quiet when it comes to being tired. I’m pretty sure until you’re a parent, you don’t really know what the word means anyway.
The main thing I have realised about communication during pregnancy is that you just need to be a bit more sincere and a bit more thoughtful about what you say and how you say it. Have a think before you speak and just accept as a dad, you’re going to be wrong whenever the missus decides!