8 Things Not to Say to an Expectant Dad
It’s a whole new ballgame when you announce you have a baby on the way. You start to morph from everyday-young-adult to soon-to-be parent. Being an expectant dad doesn’t mean you’re officially old now or that you’ve become your parents, but things are different now. You’re entering a new phase in life.
Your eyes will open to new messages that had no meaning before. You’ll notice ads that you couldn’t care less about in the past. You’ll hear things that make you think differently. And, you’ll become more sensitive to things people say.
You may think that only women are sensitive to comments people make, because expectant moms hear their fair share of insults and inappropriate questions. However, dads-to-be are equally touchy about what they hear when they have a baby on the way.
Just don’t make any assumptions. Just don’t feel like you can say anything. Just don’t.
“Was it planned?”
That question may seem innocent enough, but the answer sure is personal. One of the safest and least confrontational responses is to simply say, “We’re very pleased.” But if that’s not your style, you could always jab back with, “Was your question planned?”
“How many kids are you planning to have?”
An equally intrusive, often follow-up question. You may think you want only one, or you may want ten, but that could change. The best response is that of non-committal: “We haven’t even had this one yet.”
“Stock up on your sleep now,” or “Say goodbye to sleep.”
You can’t really stockpile sleep like it’s some sort of commodity. Besides, why focus on the negative with someone? At a high school graduate’s party, you don’t tell him, “Life sure will be different without seeing all of your buddies now.” Yes, a baby will wake you at night, but every situation is different.
“No more sports for you.”
So just because a baby is born you have to give up playing in the adult softball league? Not at all. Life as you know it doesn’t end – it changes. Men know how to change with it, so don’t assume they have to give up hobbies or things they enjoy. As long as it’s not detracting from family life or relationships, both parents can continue to enjoy their interests.
“It must be nice, you have the easy job.”
Don’t get personal with dads due to things out of their control. Women were created to carry babies, men weren’t. Let’s celebrate differences rather than pointing the finger. There’s nothing easy about being a dad, just like there’s nothing easy about being a mom. Empathy is needed, not judgment.
“Are you planning to change diapers?”
First, let’s remember the year we all live in. This isn’t 1950. The far majority of men are devoted, dedicated dads deeply involved in the raising of their children. Just by asking this question it’s perpetuating an old-fashioned stereotype that simply doesn’t exist.
“You’re going to be a great ‘Mr. Mom.’”
Dads aren’t moms, nor are they replacements for moms. Insinuating that the household or any child-raising task is a woman’s job is incredibly insulting to both sexes.
“Will you babysit when your wife isn’t around?”
No, he won’t. It’s parenting, not babysitting.