Dear Son,

There will come a time when you and your wife may be heading into the throes of creating a child. It is my great desire to share with you all the wisdom of the most miraculous and maddening journey you and your wife will ever endure, experience, and embrace.

Please read these tips very carefully, and very slowly. Then memorize them. Then stick them in your wallet as a reference when you find yourself in an urgent situation. I may not cover all of the issues that your wife experiences, because every woman is different. I will, however, highlight those issues that I believe are of great significance to your lovely wife. You will need such advice, as you embark on this new adventure of existence in becoming a parent.

You have lost your wife, and you will never find the woman you married again. Pregnancy changes women. PERIOD. You must find it deep in your heart to accept this and support her. You must also find a way to change with her. She will transform on a daily basis, and within hours or even minutes you will not know the woman you married. These tweaks of marriage are the grooming for a fundamental shift in your wedded bliss. Two very powerful things will control her actions, thoughts and feelings: 1. Her hormonal fluctuations and 2. Her desperate need for survival. You will NEVER understand this, so please don’t tell her you understand. Don’t you dare.

She will lose sight of everything that is rational.

She will need odd food choices and will demand them immediately.

She will be angry and sad and happy at the same time.

She will often find herself in a state of future planning terror.

She will be selfish and believe there is nothing more important than her and her growing baby within.

She will cry, a lot.

She will get irritated at the smallest of things.

She will hate you and love you and freak out quite often.

She will put you second to her baby for the rest of your life.

I’m sorry to share that her body will be changing as well. Her weight will go up, as you would expect; however, the weight will not be just where the baby is. DO NOT acknowledge this! Only compliment her, even if she bites back.

She will have the following physical issues (but not limited to): Headaches, backaches, breast tenderness, severe nausea, cramping and growing pains, constipation, utter fatigue, leg cramps, skin issues, varicose veins, swelling (anywhere), tender gums, constant hunger, and complete insomnia.

Hemorrhoids. They will stay with her.

Her oh-so-tender, voluptuous breasts are off limits unless she says so. (Maybe for a good few years, if she nurses.)

As the pregnancy continues, she might get worse.

It is up to YOU to withstand the test of time and not grow weary in caring for her quirks. I never really experienced that “comfort mid-trimester zone” so don’t count on it. She will need the highest of maintenance throughout the entire pregnancy. Please, see to it that she is your priority! You have to step up and be the rational, healthy, stable one. It’s all up to you. During this nine month gestational time period, in no way, shape or form are you allowed to complain of anything.

Here are the greatest examples of when your dad shined:

When he talked me down from my emotional ledge, as I was convinced he was having an affair with a lady at work who could wear heels. He continued to patiently confirm that this was in fact not true, while I sobbed.

When he held my hair back while I violently vomited.

When he stayed up with me all through the night, only to have the pain go away by morning. (Just in time for work)

When he jumped, every time I said FOOD.

When he didn’t tell me how horrible “down there” looked, and loved me just the same. (Please see: Things I wish your dad did.)

When he exemplified great patience, endurance, and tolerance every step of the way…when he was there. (Let’s face it, you get breaks, she doesn’t. Remember that.)

When he came home one fitful day, with donuts and daisies.

Things I wish your dad had done:

Carried the pregnancy.

Told me when my shaved bikini line was off. You see, your wife won’t be able to see herself “down there” by her later months. That is when guesswork happens in the shower. After I delivered your sister, much to my surprise, I found a forest and a desert all in one spot. (I know this is embarrassing to you, and for that I am sorry.)

Gone to work for the both of us, because packing 5 grocery bags a day full of food to go to work was quite laborious. Not to mention, some mornings I couldn’t get off the kitchen floor.

Held my hair back EVERY time I puked. Not really fair to him, but damn I wanted him to “go there” with me every time.

Come home with more donuts…and daisies.

Son, if you remember anything out of this letter, know her favorite food and her favorite flowers. (Both can change in an instant.) And bring them home regularly.

Best of luck. Love,

Mom.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

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Christine Carter

Christine Carter writes at TheMomCafe.com, where she hopes to encourage mothers everywhere through her humor, inspiration, and faith. Her work is published on several various online publications and she is the author of "Help and Hope While You're Healing: A woman's guide toward wellness while recovering from injury, surgery, or illness." and “Follow Jesus: A Christian Teen’s Guide to Navigating the Online World.” Both books sold on Amazon.

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