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A Wife’s List: 10 Rules for Husbands in Labor & Delivery

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Having gone through Labor & Delivery three times now, I am obviously an expert on what the rules should be for husbands while they are in the presence of a laboring mom. My husband had to learn these rules the hard and painful way seeing as how all the tips that the “books” gave for the dads were generic and pretty dumb. I mean, really? Telling the dad to be supportive is not descriptive enough. These are men that we’re talking about, they need specific and detailed instructions on how not to anger their laboring wives. Something more like the rules I’m going to share today. I deeply regret that Matt did not have these rules written out for him prior to the birth of our first child. He regrets it too. Because fingernail scars are forever, people.

Today’s list is written in honor of my friend, Allie, who is due to give birth to her first child any day now. She has been instructed to give this list to her husband, Jim. Allie, you’re welcome. And on a side note- I think Delia is a beautiful name for a baby girl….just sayin’.

10 Rules for Husbands while their Wives are in Labor

1. Do not touch the thermostat. I do not care if you are shivering in the corner underneath 4 blankets with a winter coat, hats and mittens. Do not touch the thermostat. Labor is hard work and if she wants it cold then it shall be cold. Knock the snotcicles off your face and deal with it.

2. Do not ask to change the channel on the TV. There is a reason she controls the remote from the hospital bed. Allow her to be distracted by whatever stupid movie or 80’s rerun that she finds. If you ask to change the channel to watch “The Big Game” you might need your own hospital bed.

3. Do not eat in front of a laboring woman. Most hospitals will not let a mom in labor eat anything in case she needs an emergency C-Section. She will be starving. Starving women in labor tend to be testy. If you ask the nurse for a fudgcicle you are putting your life in danger.

4. Do not faint. If you are the squeamish sort then please stay North of the Mason-Dixon line. There is no need for you to take a quick peek and end up on the floor with a nurse holding smelling salts under your nose. You will never live it down.

5. Do not express an opinion about her choice of pain relief. Unless you have pushed an 8lb ham out of your butt (bonus points for getting that movie reference), you have no opinion. Do you hear me? No opinion.

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 6. Do not complain. About anything. But especially not about the uncomfortable couch/bed that you are resting on. If your legs are not splayed apart and propped up in stirrups then you have nothing to complain about.

 7. Do not ask her if “She’s got this” and then promptly fall asleep. I can’t express to you how bad of a decision this is because while you’re sleeping she is plotting all the different ways she could maim and/or murder you. There is no time in which you snoring on the couch while she is in pain is appropriate.

 8. Do not make any comments questioning how she is handling the pain. Ever. Please see #5 for further clarification.

9. Do not disagree with her. About anything. If she insists that she wants to name your new baby daughter Adolf- just agree with her that it’s a beautiful name. She will not even remember saying it later.

10. Do not make any comments regarding “the carnage down below” that is the result of childbirth. Believe me, she knows about it but she does not need the commentary from the peanut gallery. Keep your opinions and facial expressions to yourself. Or that might very well be the last time you see that part of her anatomy. Ever.

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 And here’s a bonus for you that even creeped me out because…well, you’ll see…

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 Told you. So….good luck with the whole childbirth thing. Hope you’re not too traumatized…

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