"I gave up my life for all of you! I give you everything. You're all selfish..." It was the normally placid mother tearing into her usually well-behaved children. Then I remembered, she was pregnant. She was unloading on her four kids in what sounded to be a rather hormonal rant, completely out of character for her. The youngest daughter, about 2 years of age, began to bawl. I could hear the 10 year old trying to comfort her to no avail.
Making things worse, the father is not in the picture, leaving them all without the support figure they each need. A dad's role should be to help a pregnant mother through her difficult times and similarly help kids through what is a period of upheaval for them as well.
Many grown men think that dealing with pregnant women is difficult, but consider the situation from the eyes of a child. It's confusing for adults but must be of an entirely different scale for children.
By the time I found my keys I felt pretty sad for them. Until then I had never considered the pregnancy experience from a kid's viewpoint. It just wasn't my experience growing up nor my experience with our children. However it made me realize how important it is for dads to play a support role to the entire family during pregnancy.
This blog is not about demonizing pregnant women, it never has been. It's about shedding some light on the father's experience which is not always easy. What I hope it points out is that the father does play an important role in supporting everyone involved, mother, upcoming baby and the kids who are already around.
If you're an expectant dad with children, keep an eye out for how your kids are responding to the situation. Help out as much as you can, throw yourself on as many grenades as possible, just make sure they're happy. If you know a single mom without a dad in the picture, help her out as well. She'll need it more than anyone.