At this point in pregnancy you understand that your baby’s mother needs more physical help doing lots of physical things. A big belly definitely interrupts certain capabilities. As your baby’s mother gets closer to The Birth she slows down even more, often has a back ache or feels her joints are overly loose. There are cultures all around the world that treat this phase of pregnancy as a time to stop doing physical work … including carrying things because of the concern that this will stimulate an early labor. Other cultures encourage women to continue to do physical work because it will make them stronger to withstand the vigor of labor.
Remember ‘labor’ is called that because it’s hard work. During labor a woman doesn’t do the same physical work that she would do in non-modern cultures or if she has a physically demanding job. However, her body is working … really hard.
Here’s one other reality check … after the birth a huge amount of attention will go to the baby from his/her mother. Perhaps you have kids already and you know how another set of arms is an essential part of fatherhood.
If this is your first baby and you’re in a relationship with your wife/partner then you need to talk to other fathers and find out what another set of arms is worth to you! Most dads like most moms who are having a first child are overwhelmingly surprised at how much attention a baby requires. There is lots of little ‘doing’. Obviously the more hands there are to do things the lighter the work.
If you live in an extended family then there will be more sets of arms/hands. If there is only each other then adding a 3rd person who cannot care for themselves requires much more work. Work is done with many arms/hands. The more the merrier.
But I am working!
Here’s more reality …
There are heaps of men who go to work each day, come home and just rest. Many men share a belief that ‘I’m going out to work each day and when I come home I expect to rest’. There are basically two types of men:
- Those who work so they can come home to do things with their family. In other words, their work is what supports their family. They walk in the door and become engaged with everything that is happening in their home because home is the goal of work.
- Those who work and think their family is there to support their work and leave them alone when they come home with the exception of some of the ‘men’ jobs like taking care of the lawns.
Our New Zealand charitable Trust is committed to encouraging men to see their life as a ‘stand-alone’ experience … in other words if you are alone then you have to do everything yourself. If you become a single dad then you have to do everything for yourself and your kids.
Enjoy your life, enjoy your family.
If you already have a second set of arms, tell other expectant fathers about the importance of this fatherhood quality.