Overprotective Husbands During PregnancyKatlyn Joy |13, April 2014
Over are the days with expectant fathers waiting outside in the hospital hallways while Mom has a baby alone. Dads today are hands on, involved and concerned and that's a great improvement!
However, there is a subgroup of men who insist on taking it a bit farther. It sounds like a wonderful problem to have, unless you actually are living it. It can be annoying or even stressful. You feel like he is forever on your heels and lurking around every corner when you want to just sneak a bite of chocolate cake or some other off limits indulgence.
So how do you get your husband to go from being a combination of nursemaid and warden to an expectant father and husband?
1. Be honest.
That doesn't mean to be blunt or critical, thoughtfully honesty will do the trick. Start by letting him know how much you appreciate how much support and care he shows you, and then explain some things that are problematic. Give specific examples, but be brief and direct. In other words, pick your moment so you don't just start venting and lose your focus and thereby, your audience.
2. Let him know the things that he does that are truly helpful to you.
Show appreciation for the things you love that he does. When he gives you spa-level foot massages after work, let him know how much it helps ease your aches and pains. If he goes out of his way to buy you the spicy chicken sandwich from the shop across town because he knows you think they have the best sauce and buns in the business, thank him sincerely and enthusiastically.
3. If he is simply a smothering presence, with no real direction, give him practical tips.
"Honey, I am stumped about the car seat situation. Lisa says hers is great but my cousin swears they are a pain to use. I'd love for you to pick out what you think is best." Or "I am so brain dead by the time I get home from work; I'd love if you could help me out with the laundry instead of the dishes."
4. Include him in the pregnancy without him needing to insist or barge in.
Make doctor appointments with his input on dates and times so he is free to join you. Facilitate him asking the doctor questions, if he seems out of the loop or concerned about certain issues. Bring home some pregnancy books geared to Dads. Show him that you need him and want him involved.
5. Make sure you are making time together that has nothing to do with babies.
Don't let every conversation be about pregnancy or children. Remember you started out as two, and that's how you want it to end, so hold onto your coupleness. Have dates, and connect emotionally as well as physically. If sex is a no go due to medical issues, or because of comfort issues, then find other physical outlets to express your affection.
6. Let him know he is not being taken down off the totem pole now that a baby is in the picture.
Some men may become overly involved in their wives' pregnancies because they fear losing their place in their woman's life. Babies have a way of taking over, even before birth. Express to your husband that he is still your true love and your partner. You will not become one of those "mama first and mama only" women. You will have a balanced approach to family.
7. Don't "chick" up everything that has to do with baby.
For instance, if all baby preparation seems to be is picking out cute outfits, discussing cervixes and learning about breastfeeding, your man will feel cut out. Find manly ways for him to prepare for baby. Put him in charge of baby proofing the house, setting up the crib, and painting the nursery. Ask him to choose a list of names for boys and girls, and then you will do the same and you will trade lists and confer. You are partners. You don't have an upper hand in parenting because you are equipped with a uterus. Let him know he is irreplaceable and he is absolutely vital to your family!
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