If you’ve made it through the conception process, you know that the next several months are going to be full of joy and wonder. You can probably already guess there’s going to be plenty of controversy and emotional ups-and-downs as well. We’re not just talking about her; you’ve got your own emotions to work through as you get ready to be a father.
Here are 7 New Year’s resolutions that will get you through the next several months with your relationship and your sanity intact:
- Get fit. While it’s not the most original New Year’s resolution, it’s an important one right now. You need regular exercise not only to prepare you for the physical tasks involved in fatherhood, but to combat any potential anxiety or depression that arises during pregnancy. Now’s the time to join a gym, as many offer post-holiday specials.
- Identify when she’s really upset and when she’s just down. Your approach to the situation is probably going to be the same: learn to listen to your partner, try to understand her feelings and offer comfort. Don’t jump in and try to fix everything. Sure, that’s in your nature, but sometimes she just needs to vent. Still, you need to watch for signs of depression, because it’s not healthy for her, the baby or for your relationship.
- Put some money aside. If you’re not already saving for retirement, start. You might even think about starting a college fund for Junior. In addition, you should be putting away some money for the short-term baby needs. Bassinets, cribs, diapers, bottles and formula all cost money. While you’ll get some of these things from relatives and friends as gifts, prepare as if you’re going to have to fit the bill yourself.
- Get out of the house. You need to be there for your partner during pregnancy, but you don’t need to be there all the time. Get out and spend some time with friends, take in a movie or even just go to the gym. Trust us, she probably needs a break from you.
- Empathize with your partner’s pregnancy. We’re not suggesting that you go out and buy one of those contraptions that you wear that helps to simulate pregnancy. However, your partner is on a restricted diet now; she can’t smoke, drink, party or eat certain types of food. The fact is that abstaining from some of these things will help you with resolution #1 and it will demonstrate your emotional support to your partner.
- Laugh. Pregnancy can be a funny time. Your partner’s body is doing all sorts of strange yet miraculous things. Don’t laugh at her, of course, but when she’s laughing, laugh along. Learn to enjoy those little moments and inside jokes shared between just the two of you.
- Open up. It’s hard for some men to talk about their feelings. During pregnancy, however, it’s important that you work through all of those buried emotions. It’ll also help your relationship; opening up to your partner to talk about your expectations and fears will only make you closer in the long run.
Take advantage of the time you have. Before you know it, baby will be here and it will be a whole new ballgame. Connect on every level with your partner and take care of yourself too. If you do, you’ll find out you’re going to do a pretty good job at this dad gig.