I’ve got the best china out for today’s Mums on Dads guest poster. She’s a writer, blogger and mother of two. In her free time she writes a humorous and honest blog about the challenges of modern motherhood. Rumour has it she also drinks an alarming amount of tea. Yes, the Illiterate Infant is going a bit posh today (she even swears posh) with Catherine from Cup of tea and a blog with her (quite topical) view on Dads in Labour. If you haven’t already, get along and check out her blog. She’s also on Facebook and doesn’t mind the odd tweet.
Dads in labour
Let’s face it, ‘giving birth’; the physical act of moving a baby from the uterus into the world (regardless of the path it takes) is more about the mother than the father. I don’t want to diminish the role of the dad here; it can’t be easy to see your partner enduring the agony of labour, and then there’s all that angst over the ‘business end’…. But if we’re being honest, it’s the woman that’s doing the hard bit…
So what can you men folk do to help? How can you support your partner? How can you make yourself useful in the delivery room? The answer is… there is no answer. Sorry about that. Women are all different and what works for some (“please rub my back”) doesn’t work for others (“Get your fucking hands off me!”).
But, whilst there are no standard ‘what to do’s’ there are some ‘absolutely-sure fire-100%-tested things not to do’. And here they are:
- Don’t go for a lie down because “you’re so tired”.
- Don’t go for a snack because “you’re so hungry”.
- Don’t act like its teamwork. She’s in labour, you are not. Comments like “Come on, we’re nearly there” will not be appreciated.
- Do not flirt with the midwife. Even if you think it’s funny, it’s not.
- Don’t whinge when she squeezes your hand. However painful it is, it is not labour. Suck it up.
- Don’t answer your phone. Even if it’s important. Even if it’s Matthew Clarke and he wants you to bat for Australia. Voice mail was invented for a reason.
- Now is not the time for social media. Facebook updates and tweets should not include the words “10cm dilated and ready to push”… unless they are coming from the mother of course (in which case… wow).
- However bored you may be, do not whip out the ol’ play-station (not a euphemism). Now is not the time.
Most importantly, remember that it’s not about you. I know it sounds harsh, I appreciate that your role is not an easy one, but however tired/hungry/bored you are, just remember that it’s only temporary. And soon… there will be a brand new little person in the world, and after that, it will never be about you again. But you know what? You won’t mind one tiny bit.
Have you experienced anything on Catherine’s list? Anything you’d like to add? A Dad labour fail or success? Let me and Catherine know.
Think you can throw light on another pre-conception or mis-conception drop me a line – I’d love you have you over.