The Man's Role

It has never been any secret that I like to sleep, and it's something that my husband absolutely hates about me.  He has a hard time sleeping past 7 a.m., no matter what day of the week it is and no matter what time he went to bed.  I, on the other hand, sleep soundly until I get a solid 10 hours, unless something else wakes me up before that (i.e. an alarm clock.)

Obviously this whole "baby" thing is really going to rock my socks off.

But for right now, I'm just pregnant and there's no baby here that needs immediate attention.  It's also a fairly well known fact that pregnant women tire more easily and generally need more sleep than usual.  Let's add this to the list of things that my husband doesn't quite understand - when I say I am tired, it's not just because I'm lazy.  I know that I may have gotten 10 hours of sleep the night before and I know I had coffee in the morning in an attempt to try to get through the day without a nap.  But sometimes it's just not possible.  His body isn't focusing all of its energy on growing a small human, so I'm not sure that he will ever really understand.

Being the husband in a relationship must be particularly challenging during pregnancies.  Men have no idea what it feels like to suddenly get so tired you feel like you're going to faint, to want Domino's pizza more than you have ever wanted anything in your life, to have to wake up every single morning with painful breasts and horrible cramps.

My husband has it sooo good. I don't think he even realizes it.  I'm not throwing up (yet, at least - knock knock on wood), I'm not sending him out to get me crazy food items that I'm craving, and when he makes comments that I feel are rather insensitive (like when he rolls his eyes because I say I'm tired, or when he tells me I'm hurting the baby when I decide to eat a golden oreo) instead of flipping out and going all pregnant-lady-crazy, I usually just keep my mouth shut and walk away.  No need to get all angry - I know he just doesn't understand.

His role is to support me, right? To make me feel better and to remind me that this will all be worth it, particularly when I'm feeling sad or depressed.  That's the man's role in a pregnancy, isn't it?

But how can they possibly support when they don't understand?  Even the books don't explain everything well enough.  I tried to explain what "cramps" felt like to him, and I know I failed miserably.  He has no idea.  Or at least, he thinks he does, and he probably thinks it feels like gas or stomach pains.  Seriously, how do you describe cramps to a man? How can you convince a man who is oh-so-very practical that there is just no way you can stomach that healthy food right now and that you NEED buffalo chicken.  You just can't.  They think they understand cravings - like when a man really wants a beer or red meat or fried food or something else manly like that - but regular cravings versus hormonal cravings just can't be explained or understood by men who will never experience them.

It would be nice though to have a husband who tells me to lay down and relax whenever I start to feel tired.  Or one that understands that sometimes baby just NEEDS a Mad Mex burrito, right here, right now.  That would be sooo nice.  But I'm also thankful.  At least my husband isn't scared shitless or angry at the fact that I'm pregnant.  He's accepted it, and I think even excited about it. And although he's worried about things like money, and well, the simple fact that we'll have to care for a human soon, he's on board in a great way, and that's an awesome feeling.

When we're sitting at dinner, and he makes a sweet comment like, "You know, I think that having a child is going to be nice," I just melt and forget about all of my frustrations.


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