Thursday, February 19, 2009

Helping Your Pregnant Wife

Dr. Awesome,

I hear that Mrs. Awesome is pregnant with Dr. Awesome Jr. Congratulations! My wife is also pregnant with our second and she has not been her usually cheerful self of late, which is not surprising since she generally feels like death warmed over. Would you mind sharing some Awesome tips on being a supportive husband for your pregnant wife? I want to help her out and not lose my mind at the same time.



Congratulations to you too! You know that I believe one of the highest callings of a man is to cultivate the next generation in the ways of awesomeness. But obviously before you were a Dad you were a Husband, and caring for your wife is of paramount importance. It makes me happy that you are looking for ways to take care of her. Right now her body is being held hostage from the inside by a creature that looks remarkably like a lizard covered in mucus, a lizard that likes to do jumping jacks on your wife's bladder. So, as you are no doubt aware, now is not the time to be thinking about yourself. Let's put our naturally selfish hearts in park and go about the business of making life as easy as possible for the woman who is carrying your progeny. Here are some tips for loving your wife in a practical way while human life is blossoming in her bosom.

- Cleanliness. After a full day of hunting and gathering, a man can be pretty tired when returning home. But for the man with the pregnant wife, this is no time to rest. Take that extra half hour or so and do all of the nightly cleaning. Put some clothes in the washing machine, and get the clothes out and fold them. If your wife always takes off her clothes and leaves them inside-out so that it creates an extra step when you have to fold, despite the fact that you have told her literally hundreds of times not to do this and it drives you crazy, don't complain. Load/unload the dishwasher...and actually pay attention to her when she tells you that you are loading it too full (although she is wrong, it is scientifically impossible to overload a dishwasher). Get out your leaf blower, open the front door, and rid the house of all dust, dirt, debris, potted plants, pets, and other loose objects. Chase the dog with the vacuum, that is always fun, and sometimes the carpet gets cleaner. Your wife's gag reflex is probably as active as a tattoo parlor outside a Hell's Angels convention, so be sure to take care of the more disgusting tasks like cleaning the toilet, emptying the trash, cleaning whiskers out of the sink, and disposing of the animal carcass after you have saved all the good meat. I know it is hard for men to clean, because we have a genetic inability to even perceive uncleanliness. But still, make every effort to do as many of the chores inside the house as you can. She'll appreciate it.

- Pampering. As I've MANdated before, men don't get pampered. At no point in your life is it ever acceptable to sit with cucumbers on your eyes, period. But that doesn't mean we can't do a little pampering of our pregnant wives. A sensual massage, or a foot rub, or even something as simple as drawing her a bubble bath...those things will go a long way. Granted, a bubble bath is not going to really help with the little ninja inside her using her lungs as a speed bag, but maybe it will help take her mind off the pain for a few minutes. One note I can share from experience, go to the store and get some real woman bubble bath stuff with the salts and suds and all that. If you just pour some Old Spice Body Wash in there and turn on the whirlpool jets so it gets nice and foamy, she'll know that you didn't go the extra mile, and you'll look like an idiot. Plus, Old Spice is a man scent, and having your wife smell that way is just going to leave you thoroughly bewildered. Like I said, I learned all of these lessons the hard way. So get several girly bath products and dump them all in there, maybe light some candles and turn on some soft music, and let her have a time of relaxation. Note that if you do go to the store to buy all these girlified products, you need to at least buy something manly to balance it out. Even if it is nothing more than some beef jerky or a copy of Death Wish IV from the DVD bargain bin, you need to have something to offset the herbs and essences.

- Kind words. Let's be honest the months of pregnancy wear on, our wives transform from being the types of beautiful women we write poems and songs about to being the types of beautiful women we have to put warning sirens on for when they back up. Notice that I said they are still beautiful, just in a fuller, more dangerous to those behind them kind of way. I don't recommend saying any of these kinds of things. Instead, tell her you love her, tell her why you love her, what you love about her. Let her know you pray for her, and for your unborn children, often. Tell her you can't wait to raise children with her, and that all of it is going to be worth it when the baby comes out with her nose and your eyes and her legs and your massive biceps. Let her know you'd rather care for her than watch the UFC pay per view you just dropped $79.99 on. If you aren't sweet to her, your living room might turn into a caged octagon. And remember, with all of that bulk, she'd be hard to handle, and you might get tapped out. A physical match with a pregnant lady is a no-win situation that you never want to find yourself win, so what, you just beat a pregnant lady, you lose, holy crap, you just lost to a pregnant lady. So please go out of your way to be nice to her.

- Understanding. Admittedly, this is also impossible for men. How can we understand what is going on with their bodies right now? Women have private parts that are insanely complicated and prone to random discharges of bodily fluids. For guys, the worst thing we have to deal with is cold water and the occasional shot to the crotch when playing sports. So we can't possibly understand how they feel, what it is like for them to have to pee all the time, what the heck a "mucus plug" is, and so on. Even so, we must try to understand. Their emotions are running wild, like the Viet Cong in Rambo II. They are experiencing pains and discomforts and sensations that we can't and indeed never want to experience. So we must be reassuring and compassionate, a calming influence. We must be the eye of their hurricane. At this point I'm just making metaphors up, but I think you get the gist.

You know, as I'm writing these things, it has occurred to me that this is pretty much how we should treat our wives all of the time. Put them first, lead and love by serving. Really, when they are pregnant, the only thing that changes is that you should focus on doing all of the normal things with even more love and intensity. She is your queen, and even on a normal day, you should make her feel like it. When the queen is about to give birth to a prince or princess (or, I suppose these days as many as 8 princes and princesses), treat her like the royalty she is. I hope these practical, common-sense suggestions were helpful.

I hate to end this manswer on a sappy note, so I won't. Here is the real end of this manswer: Gillette shampoo for men. Sports. Guns. Meat. Testosterone!

Dr Awesome


Mrs. Awesome February 19, 2009 at 2:41 PM  

You definitely do lots of these things, and I am appreciative! I'd like to see a few more back rubs, though :)

Hayden Tompkins February 20, 2009 at 4:16 PM  

Dr. Awesome, my platonic blog crush, will you be posting regularly again so I can add you to my blog roll? All I can do now is stumble every single post and pray you get a larger audience so one day someone offers you a ton of money to do nothing more than rhapsodize about manliness.

Please, post!

Dr Awesome February 20, 2009 at 4:29 PM  

Hayden, I try to get a post up once a week or so. Until I get tons of money to do nothing but rhapsodize about manliness, I have to work for significantly less money doing an actual job. Sorry. But thanks for your support and blog crushitude!

Apikoros July 15, 2009 at 7:07 AM  

Dr. Awesome, keep up the Awesome work. This was a great post for us first time Dads to be!

Sarah March 5, 2010 at 1:41 AM  

SO awesome!

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