In a couple days, I’ll hit the 32-week mark in my third pregnancy. And maybe it’s just my whacked-out hormones, but this post—13 Things All Men Should Know About Pregnant Women—is complete crap.
Okay, maybe not complete. For instance, pregnancy brain is absolutely real, and later turns into mom brain. Pillows do become helpful, and for the most part we don’t want to be treated like we’re suddenly fragile and useless. But most of the points made are asinine and predictable, and those that are legit lose all credibility due to the overall tone of the piece.
Allow me to take a few minutes to address some of the major issues and set y’all straight with my top five things men should know about pregnant women.
5. We Are Just As Confused as You Are
No matter how much we wish we could help you understand what is happening, more often than not we wish we knew ourselves. Pregnancy runs us through the wringer—physically, mentally, and emotionally. We feel completely out of control, and you might realize for most women that’s possibly her worst nightmare.
So, no, we don’t know why one day nothing sounds appetizing, but the next we suddenly want food we have hated our whole lives. No, we don’t know why one night we don’t want you to touch us, but the next night we’re all over you. Or why one moment that back rub you offer is the perfect solution to our aching muscles, but the next night we simply cringe at the feel of your hands. And yes, we are just as confused as you when that “morning” sickness has absolutely little to do with the time of day—so please forgive us if we mutter under our breath how a man must have titled the condition.
For we veteran moms, it can be even more confusing, because we’ve done this before. We should know what to expect and why, so when we’re left feeling just as confused with our fourth pregnancy as we were with our first, cut us some slack for getting a bit peeved.
4. We Are Tired, Not Lazy
Pregnancy is hard work. Even though it looks like we’re doing nothing, our bodies are doing a crap-ton behind the scenes. We’re growing an entire person. We can’t explain it, and we don’t really understand it ourselves—remember #5. And honestly, we often hate it. We hate feeling tired and exhausted and suddenly needing to nap at two in the afternoon. And often with each pregnancy it becomes a little harder and a little more tiring for us. Add older kids to the mix and you might start to understand why we’re left feeling a little more run down, a little slower, and a little more ragged.
But we’re not lazy. If we don’t keep the house as clean as we used to, it’s because we’re tired. If we don’t keep up with some chores, it’s because we’re tired. If the kids go an extra day or two without a shower—or if we do—it’s because we’re tired.
3. We Still Want You And Sex
While yes, we might be tired, and yes, our hormones will fluctuate throughout the months, pregnancy does not necessarily turn us into prude ice queens who don’t want to be touched. In fact, for some, pregnancy hormones can actually turn up the heat and rev our sex drive more. For those in later pregnancies, we might even remember the 6-8 week dry spell that hits after baby is born, and we actually want to take advantage of the time we can get some while we can, because despite what some men seem to think, women actually like sex.
Also, we want to know you still want us, especially when we might feel repulsive, unattractive, and disgusting. We want to know that you still find us attractive, still find us desirable, and still want to be intimate with us even after we’ve gained 40-plus pounds and none of our clothes fit well.
So, no. Don’t write off intimacy during these 40 weeks. It’s not off the table and it can actually be pretty dang awesome during this time. And those bigger boobs aren’t necessarily off limits. Just sayin’.
2. Every Pregnancy Is Different
Regardless of what you’ve heard or experienced with pregnant women, every pregnancy is unique. Some women get odd food cravings. Some women don’t. Some women will bite off your hand if you try to grab a French fry. Some women will happily share their plate. Some women will be moody. Others will seem pretty normal. Some will want sex all the time. Others won’t want to be touched.
And your wife may be all of these women in the course of a single pregnancy—please remember #5.
So, no, we’re not all crazy food Nazis. We’re not all humorless b*tches. We’re not all glowing balls of sunshine either. And trust me, if we could help you know what to expect with our pregnancy, we’d gladly help you out, because we don’t like seeing you struggle with whether to tiptoe around us.
And this leads me to the number one thing you must remember about pregnant women…
1. We Need You To Go With The Flow
Roll with the punches, dude. While pregnancy helps prepare us for motherhood—those frequent nighttime bathroom breaks prep us for night feedings and that morning sickness we battle gets us well-acquainted with bodily fluids—it also prepares you for fatherhood. The best thing you can learn as a parent is to be flexible, because that blessed child of yours will be as moody and unpredictable as your pregnant wife. And learning to go with the flow may be the only thing that will keep you sane in your vocation as dad. So start now.
You don’t have to stop joking around—we don’t lose all sense of humor. You don’t have to stop being honest with us. We can handle hearing about your crap day or addressing a relationship concern you have. Just gauge our mood. Ask us what we need. Talk to us. Be with us. Support us and love us. Basically, don’t be like the jerk who wrote this piece. And don’t forget #2. Every woman and every pregnancy is different, so items 3, 4, and 5 may not apply to your woman. Roll with it.
And please for the love of everything holy don’t go to the HuffPo for marital advice—because it’s crap.