Monday, April 07, 2008

Goals for next 4 months

I'm not always a big fan of setting goals. It's not that I lack of ambition. More often it's connected with the fact that my goals have been to do with character. It may also be connected with the fear of failure.

Today, however, I have little choice but to set myelf targets in an attempt to prepare myself and my family for the arrival of our first born.

I need to double if not triple my income.

There is no other way to do this other than to get a new job (and/or a second job).
As a secondary target I am aiming to apply for a job a day- or 5 a week.

Improve my overall fitness.

I haven't decided whether or not I should attempt the full marathon this year as yet. The half-marathon will be a definite if not. I'm also doing a few more weights for all that baby lifting. :o)

I do have a programme and semi-diet I am following from today. If I begin to look buff I'll post a photo. lol

Find more space
... for the people I love.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Four mistakes guys make when dealing with their pregnant partners mood swings

Scenario A
My wife runs in crying from a half-day of work. Pushing past me, throwing her bag across the room she buries her head in a pillow in the bedroom. By the time I realise something may not be quite right I curse the day we decided to buy white bed linen as black mascara inks our pillow-cases.

Scenario B
I hear shouting from the kitchen. I jump out of the bath and find myself dripping water through the house expecting to confront a stranger. Instead I find a kitchen that is “far too small”, stinks of rotting vegetables and all ‘this’ is my fault- and didn’t I realise I’d make a mess getting out of the bath with only a hand towel wrapped around me.

These are two of many scenarios I have been faced with during the pregnancy of our first child. I hope you can learn from and laugh at my shoddy craftsmanship in the art of being a husband to a pregnant wife.

Mistake no.1: Making an attempt to understand
You may think attempting to understand the issues behind any given outburst is a gallant affair. You may wish to fix the situation that is in front of you. You may have a number of questions running through your mind such as “who has upset you? Has somebody said something? Has somebody hurt you?” The worst of these can be “have we lost the baby?”

Do not fear.

To ask any of these things means you have fallen into the trap of expecting a rational explanation for any amount of tears/mood swings that come your way.

Mistake no.2: Trying to answer rational explanations given
When reasons are given for tears or rages it is not our job to fix the situation/ provide reasoning/ be sympathetic with the ‘other side’. To do so could mean you shout at the young boy in the street or punch your wife’s boss. It could also leave you trying to explain seemingly innocuous actions and conversations from the past. Do not try to explain any wrong doing you are accused of. Such action may leave you tongue-tied and in a worse position than when the conversation began. Simply say sorry. In ten minutes time you may or may not get an apology.

Mistake no.3: Thinking saying sorry is enough
Simply put… saying sorry is not enough and must be backed up with action. This could range from making sure the dishes are clean to putting a nosy neighbour in his/her place. Other actions may involve cuddling; changing your scent/aftershave; not saying ‘that’ word again… you will learn this list is inexhaustible.

Mistake no.4: Doing too much
There are many occasions when action is no substitute for presence. You may wish to combine the first three of our mistakes by asking questions and responding to any answer given, but sometimes it is enough to just sit close to your partner. They need to know you are there and capable of empathising with them.
You can fill this silent time with whatever you will as long as you remain silent. You may relive moments of past glory; solve a problem with the project at work; rehearse asking your boss for a rise. You could work on math problems, budgeting or planning dinner. At all times remain silent with a hand gently resting on a non-sexual part of your partner’s body (…unless asked to remove).

A final thought
As there will be many tears and many rages that lead to tears it is wise to plan ahead. You must realise attempting to be the perfect partner is as noble as it is futile during the 9 months between conception and birth..

Instead I can merely suggest you ensure any eye make-up is waterproof and all pans/kitchen utensils are good and sturdy.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Library of Love

Library of love

Books, books, books…

I’m a reader. I love to read and research on anything I’m involved in. With money being tight I pull out some change and head to the library. They must have books on becoming a father so I pick up some change and catch a bus into town.

I stride in to the Georgian building and head toward the book finding computer and type in “fatherhood”. To my dismay there are no results. Second attempt: “pregnancy”. The screen pours out a list of titles. I write the number on the back of my hand and move to the shelves.

Tapping each section as I pass I know I’m getting closer because of the index numbers, but the category titles throw me. In between electronics and weaponry are some books concerning breastfeeding. This wasn’t what I had in mind so I head back to the computers and type in “father”.

A new list and some new reference numbers I find myself in front of more appropriate literature. Once more I am confused by the selection of surrounding categories… Mental Health, Cancer and Politics. I find myself victim of the giggle- loop.

Book reviews to follow.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Telling the Parents (Part 2)

I mentioned in my previous post tears and cuddles seem to be a feature of my new life… here’s a fresh example

Telling my parents

My family is still in Florida, but we decide to call them to give them the news. I figure it evens the news-breaking score between our families.

The conversation is short and meanders through Floridian weather and touristy talk before I hit them with the big news.

I tell them how happy we are and put down the phone.

I turn to Holly who is in tears. Thinking they are tears of joy I try and give her a hug. These aren’t tears of joy. These are tears of disappointment. I didn’t sound happy enough.

What’s a guy to do?

Telling the Parents (Part 1)

Just a few days in to the idea of fatherhood and I’m beginning to notice a pattern of tears and cuddles. Today was no different…

Holly and I spent a few moments discussing when/how we should tell our parents. At this point in time our families are in the USA. Holly’s at home in Texas. Mine are holidaying in Florida. We concluded it would be best to wait until we had the confirmation from our GP after the weekend as (i) we would have more certainty that Holly was pregnant (ii) this would give my wife’s family a chance to buy a webcam so we could see their reaction. (n.b. my wife is a smiley person hence facial expressions, smiles in particular, are important to her.)

Distracted by sport on the TV Holly takes the opportunity to call the grown-ups so I jump on the second line knowing our discussion was meaningless and learning you cannot reason with a pregnant woman. After a few hours of dialogue Holly takes a potty break and instructs me to email her dad a photo of a one of our magic sticks. You may think this a simple task until Holly (my now photo editor) decides the blue line isn’t dark enough on my choice so a half-hour photo shoot begins. Once chosen and sent the phone-call is resumed.

The news is broken and Holly is smiling. She talks to her parents about baby things. She hears of her own birth, of 19 hours in labour and misplaced epidurals. They swap grandparent names like Mema and Granny. My attention is drawn back to the game while my auditeur actif skills are put into autopilot.

a big thankyou to for allowing me to link to their site

Day Zero

So my wife sits me down so I’m guessing she needs a hug. She smiles at me and holds my hand and I know my life is never going to be the same again. She’s been a little more emotional than usual over the last few days so I wasn’t too surprised by the tears. I still have to ask the question though as she hasn’t said anything yet:

“What’s up, honey?...
What’s wrong, baby?...
Are you okay?...
Do you need to talk to me?”

I need her to tell me, but all the time my belly is turning with butterflies and I don’t know if I’m scared or excited.

She pulls out about 300 pregnancy tests from under a cloth and I realise women ponder these moments more than any male could imagine. Clearblue , tears, smiles, sitting down… she’s not saying anything so I have to ask. How can I ask without using the “P” word?

“You’re not?… Are you…?”

Tears are in her eyes. A big, but nervous smile grows as I throw my arms around her.

We hug. We kiss.

I sit quietly screaming “crap, crap, crap” inside. I’m thrilled, but definitely scared. There’re so many things to think about. Finances, food, telling my friends and family, but mostly I have this overwhelming desire to take care of my wife, Holly like I have never done before.

I look at her and she appears more beautiful than I can ever remember.

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