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Health & Pregnancy

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What Dads Expect When They're Expecting

What Dads Expect When Mom is Expecting

Myth No. 1: Pregnancy Is Just a Chick Thing continued...

The truth is, men experience many of the same sorts of anticipation and worries as women, says Armin Brott, author of "The Expectant Father," "Throwaway Dads" and "The Single Father." Not only do studies show that some men experience physical symptoms, like nausea and mood swings, but they, too, worry about the kind of parents they'll be, how their personal and professional lives will change and whether they're up to the challenges.

Other worries, like how the household income will be affected by a new baby, are often more intense for men than women. Such was the case for Brott, who was adamant about reducing his work schedule when his first child, Tirzah, now 9, was born so that he could spend more time at home.

"My wife was working part-time already, and it became a real source of stress imagining how we were going to survive on two part-time incomes," Brott says. "But I didn't want to be the typical father who spends more time at work than at home. I just wasn't going to do that." When his employer balked at his request to continue his work as a labor relations negotiator three days a week, Brott quit and began a free-lance writing career.

What's even harder is that men often lack a support system (sometimes even keeping their wives in the dark) or role models in whom to confide about these concerns. Their isolation can be all the more strained when men are creating very different lives than the ones they grew up in or are part of as adults.

"It's embarrassing for guys to talk about how much they love their kids or the struggle they're having at work when they don't want to be there as much as they used to," Brott explains. "It's like asking for directions. It's saying 'I need help here,' or 'I have something I'm not able to handle 100% on my own.' "

Venus and Mars Can Share the Same Air

Mosio looks back on the months before his daughter, Lillian, now 5, was born as an intimate time that brought him and his wife closer. "We snuggled a lot and talked to the baby and caressed each other. It was a really close, romantic time for us. I enjoyed the changes her body went through, watching her belly grow and feeling the baby kick."

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