If you haven’t yet noticed…no one is noticing you.
You could show up at the next social function with a purple goatee, nose, nipple and tongue rings (and if you have these already you could show up without them, freshly shaven and in a three-piece suit) and no one would notice you. The content of any and all questions asked in your general vicinity will now be about her and the child.
You will notice that your wife’s friends and family are excited for her. They show a daunting amount of concern for her mental and physical well-being. They write her letters, they take her to lunch, and throw her parties.
Even your own family will speak to you with giddiness about her, yet without uttering a single syllable of concern for your physical and mental well-being. Your own friends (all three of them) who may have spent two hours in the last two years with your wife will bypass you in their questions and ask, “How is she doing? How is the baby?” Because you are a male, it is assumed that there will be no change within you, and therefore there is no reason to ask about your state of being. It is assumed that there is no extra stress in this for you. I found myself asking, “Why is it that we guys do not ask how our expectant father friends are doing, and lend an ear for a while? Why is it that we don’t celebrate this momentous occasion together? Why is it that we don’t take our expectant father friends fishing, or golfing, or to lunch? Why do we not throw each other baby tool and toy parties?” It would be a blast! Can you imagine finding real miniature golf clubs, and fishing rods? In the immortal words of Thomas Magnum, “I know what you are thinking,” this guy doesn’t have any friends, and up until now, I would have told you that I had some of the most awesome, stud-ly, uncles, family, and friends around.
Sadly, what I think has happened is that we men have allowed society to diminish a father’s role in a child’s life, and therefore we place little stock in one another’s roles as fathers. It’s too damned bad that we’ve allowed our parental position to be diminished to the point where a guy doesn’t celebrate the single most amazing thing in his life, FATHERHOOD, with his friends.
So, when you hear of a pal who is expecting, take some time out of your hectic life to lend an ear, a hammer, or a day fishing or golfing. If you’ve got the social skills, put together a small guy’s party and do something fun, anything to celebrate his expectant fatherhood. If you don’t want to have a party, take the guy out, rip the top off a cold one, and let the poor guy vent.
– Grant Eppler
Grant Eppler is author of Every Guy’s Guide as to What to Expect When She’s Expecting.
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