I will be the first to tell you that I’m a control freak. I get an idea in my head and go into “DO” mode faster than the Duggar’s mom can change a diaper. Our wedding is a perfect example. Once we decided the date I had the venue, catering, menu, bridesmaid gowns, DJ, stylists, theme and dressmaker booked and sorted by the end of the 3 day weekend.
My husband probably deserves a medal for dealing with me, to be honest. But I suppose this is why we’re a good match for each other. We understand who likes to do what and how to let the other one take control when necessary.
Knowing I’m a control freak, I wanted to take extra steps to try and include Bob909 in the craziness that is being pregnant and planning for a baby. After all, he’s suffering by scooping 3 cats worth of litter every day for me. It’s the least I can do. He makes it easy to include him, too. He’s a guy who really wants to be involved in what is normally considered “girls” stuff. He put together many of the decorations for the venue – everything from assembling them to setting them up the day of the wedding. Here are a few of the things we’ve done to make it more us and less me.
The baby’s room. I’m a design centric person and he’s a professional retoucher with an incredible eye for color. He let me go crazy with ideas then we narrowed them down by talking through them. (I can tell you now the Discworld nursery is being put on hold to be a Discworld little girl’s room for various reasons – watch for a post about “don’t make rash decisions” in the future.) Once we decided on the theme, I picked the color I wanted to paint it. Then I got samples in a few shades I liked and he made the final call.
The baby furniture. I searched out styles of furniture then shared my favorites with him. We never really came to a final decision on aything I found through websites and at BRU, not for not agreeing but because aesthetics and function were very important to me and I couldn’t find anything that fit both sufficiently. One day we went to Ikea for a coffee table and decided to check out their baby furniture. Bob909 pointed out a nice set to me. It was perfect, not the color I originally planned but I could easily picture it in the design we had decided on.
The stroller. I already wrote about choosing our stroller. But Bob909 was heavily involved in that decision. While I did most of the initial foot work; he made the final model and color decisions. I certainly wouldn’t have said “this is the one” if he didn’t agree.
The baby bike transport. I left this completely up to him. It’s right up his alley and lets him enjoy all the techy geekery that he loves so much. Once he found a couple he preferred, we discussed it and made our final choice. It’s not something we’ll buy until after she’s born though, since she can’t ride in it until she can hold her own head up.
So now you’re thinking, great but that’s all material stuff isn’t it? How is that really involving your husband? Here’s where we really let dad-to-be connect with our impending doom… I mean daughter.
The Name. We have picked our daughter’s name. To be revealed later, maybe. Bob909 suggested it and as soon as I heard it, before we even knew what we were having, I heard tinkling bells and saw stars. We created a list after we knew we were having a girl anyway, so we didn’t make any rash hasty decisions, but no other name compared to it and in less than a day she was named.
Belly Rubs. My skin is super dry and all the books tell us moms-to-be that we need to lotion up. Rather than just making it another preggo task, we make it a chance for Bob909 to spend with his daughter. Usually before we go to bed, after I’ve had my bath he rubs the lotion on my belly and he talks to her too, I also tell her that’s her daddy.
Playlists. I let him choose songs and make playlists for her to listen to. I try to tell her when his choices or favorites come on. Somewhat embarrassing when walking around in public, but with my DIY mommy & baby speaker/iPod holder we both get to share the music and learn her dad’s favorite tunes.
Belly Kisses. First thing in the morning, when get home, and before we go to bed I have him kiss my belly and tell her hello. It’s the greatest thing in the world when he kisses me all over and then says her name into my belly. I love hearing him say her name and that translates into good energy that feeds into her so she knows how much she’s loved.
Laughing. Whenever he makes me laugh (and it’s a lot of the time) I’m sure to tell our girl her dad is funny. Laughter is an important part of our relationship, and I hope it will be for our daughter too.
Spooning. Once a day we spoon for a bit. Instead of him spooning behind me, I spoon behind him, putting the belly in between us, touching his back. This way, she gets some extra heat from a side other than me for her to move towards. If she’s being at all active then he can feel her move (sometimes). This is probably my other favorite time of the day. It’s just a nice quiet moment with the three of us that makes us both smile.
And that’s how we try to share being pregnant. I’d love to hear how you do it, maybe we can try your ideas too.