Welcome to this special post-holiday version of Ask Dad, where we celebrate our independence from not knowing what guys think about love, sex, marriage, family, and guacamole.
This week's question:
I'm pregnant with my first child. Although it wasn't planned, I'm thrilled. My husband is still in shock and says he doesn't want to go to the baby shower. It would mean a lot to me if he did. How do I convince him to go?
Does he think you got pregnant by yourself? It's his baby, too, and you shouldn't have to convince him. But that's not your question, so I'll save that rant for another day.
You could remind your husband of the activity that got you pregnant in the first place, then tell him if he ever wants to experience that activity again, he will be at the baby shower. But extortion probably isn't the best approach. Besides, you need to save the "No More Nookie" card for something more important, like visiting his in-laws.
Okay, so the guy doesn't want to go. I can relate. We had umpteen showers before my daughter was born, and I gotta say, those things wear a guy out. It's nice of people to throw them, but that's wayyy too much concentrated social interaction for your typical dude. We're not used to that kind of thing, you know. A group of guys can hang out all night and exchange maybe 40 to 50 words, tops. A baby shower is easily 10,000 words, about four months' worth of speech for most guys, crammed into a 3-hour event.
If he's never been to a shower, he has no idea what to expect. Maybe he thinks it's a bunch of women sitting around talking about swollen feet and gas. Guys don't know.
His reluctance could also signal a bit of a denial that he's going to be a dad, and you can't really blame him for that either, can you? Becoming a parent is scary stuff, especially the first time.
The night we brought my daughter home from the hospital, we fed her, changed her diaper, then lay her down on the bed with us. She was wide awake, just staring at us, and us just staring at her, and I remember gulping and thinking, "Okay, what now?" (I think the kid was scared, too, because she dropped a huge load in the new diaper we'd just put on her.)
But I'm with you: Your husband needs to go to the shower. It's important.
It might help to talk to him about the event -- what to expect, what will be fun about it, and what kind of liquor might be served. Remind him that it's a gesture of kindness from your friends to celebrate the impending addition to your family, and you both owe it to them to attend. If that doesn't work, tell him about all the baby gifts you'll get and how much money it will save you. Guys like free stuff.
If you think he's scared about becoming a parent, talk to him about that, too. Who isn't? Having a baby is a big deal. You can talk through it together, and assure each other that you'll be good parents. Or bad parents who will pay for a good therapist when the kid gets older.
If none of this does the trick, then you might have to play hardball and throw down the "No More Nookie" card. That always works. Guys will do anything for sex.
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