Prejudice against expectant fathers : You are apparently an idiot ~ Almost a dad

Prejudice against expectant fathers : You are apparently an idiot

During your bid as an expectant father one of the most difficult things to do is to keep quiet and not say anything at all. "Why so difficult?" you may ask. Well, the reason is that as an expectant father you are constantly barraged with advice, criticism and fear-mongering from people who are clearly not the most well-suited parents.

The wost offenders are female and they will express their gender issues to the full extent while you're expected to just smile and nod. Anything that the father of her children, who is attempting to drink away the sound of her voice, has done wrong is transferred to you for the sake of conversation. The worst part of these "I'm a mother and you're not" rants is that their high-strung, neurotic children are within your peripheral vision as she continues to spout.

"Oh, you're not going to know what to do when..." someone will surely begin before my focus drifts to her child who begins to break anything within arms-reach for the sake of attention. Smile and nod, smile and nod.

While advice is often well intentioned, people have the worst way of imparting whatever knowledge they have to offer. I don't have a problem with advice, I rather welcome it. It's the delivery I can't stand. People need to be more gracious with their words, and I say this with the hopes that I will do the same when on the opposite side of this exchange.


Anonymous said...

I am an almost father who just found this blog today. Its great. Really nice to hear that others are experiencing some of the same sorts of crazy things on the way to fatherhood. This entry in particular cracked me up.

While I consider myself to be a patient and tolorant man, I have had a very hard time keeping my mouth shut during rants like these. Suddenly, every woman with children in the world believes themselves to be a parenting God. I haven't snapped yet. But several time the clinched jaw and flames burning in my eyes have backed well intending folks off.

My advice, master the silent ticking time bomb look. When used correctly, it can say more than words ever could.

Just make sure the almost mama isn't near enough to use her super powers of perception to feel your angry vibe. Cause, you know, she's going to take it personal.

Jack said...

Well I am an idiot when it comes to this stuff. For the first time in my life I'm exploring all the parts of Wal-Mart, and it's odd to be a tourist there.

The best advice they could give is directions. Seriously, show me where the things that will make you move on are in Wal-Mart, and I'll gladly go there.

But, then again, most of the folks at my walmart don't speak very good english, so there isn't much unsolicited advice being offered.

Anonymous said...

I am 31 years old and this is my first child and belive me it will be my last one i wont go through the pain and crap i have been through already she moved to her moms and that makes it even harder and she seems to think that she feels smotherd by me even though we are not in the same house hold at all i get to see her may 2 times a week and i dont call her i let her call me so that way i know i am not smothering her i would really say itis the hardest thing to be away from the one that you love and the one that is having your baby and not being able to watch her belly grow so if anyone has any advice please feel free to let me know

Anonymous said...

I think motherhood is sort of like being in a fraternity. The initiation is often painful and embarrassing, and there's a human instinct to pay the abuse forward when a newbie comes along.

Other new mothers are a popular target, but the supposedly "hapless father" can be one too. If you are hearing such things from mothers, it sort of makes me wonder what the situation with the man in their life (or not in their life, as the case may be).

Pregnant women, particularly first-timers, are also often the target of this kind of "hazing." If you Google "rude things said to pregnant women" you will get some DOOZIES.

I don't say this to suggest that you should stop complaining about the rude comments fathers receive. Quite the opposite! I just want to make the general point that an expectant father can use these experiences for good or evil. You can get resentful and make it a zero-sum game ("women get more respect than fathers, grrr"). Or you can make it a point of empathy with your pregnant partner (knowing how much rude comments hurt, you can appreciate on an emotional level why your wife/partner may not want to hear certain comments, and you might both better understand how important it is to be validated by each other in the face of external rudeness).