Pregnancy is draining. Each trimester is a new set of lessons in morning sickness, round ligament pain, sleep deprivation, and making multiple trips to the bathroom. Fortunately, pregnancy has an end date, and, hopefully, you're not going through it alone. Unfortunately, our non-pregnant partners can unknowingly contribute to the stress of growing another human being inside your body. In fact, there are some low-key ways your partner is making your pregnancy more difficult than it needs to be... whether they intend to or not.
I have two children, so over the years I've learned a lot about myself as a parent, a woman, and a partner. I've also learned a lot about my relationship — the good, the bad, and the ugly. And, in so many ways, those lessons started when I found out I was pregnant. We were clueless soon-to-be parents, to be sure, so I'm positive my partner probably didn't mean to make my life harder. In fact, I know he always meant well. But (and this is a big one), his intentions really didn't matter in the moment.
Look, our non-pregnant partners are learning right alongside us, so I'm all for being understanding and cutting everyone involved in the pregnancy process (who isn't a medical professional) some slack. But the least a partner can do is save the last brownie for their pregnant better half, people! This isn't rocket science! So with that in mind, here's how our partners can low-key make our pregnancies more difficult than they need to be:
I can't speak for all pregnant women, but I struggled to sleep for an adequate amount of time during both of my pregnancies. Between the rib-kicking and middle-of-the-night pee stops, I rarely managed to reach REM state. This was lost on my partner, however, because while I was awake he was blissfully snoring away, lost in dreamland so he could wake well-rested and ready to conquer the world. Me? Not so much.
They Eat Foul-Smelling Foods Right In Front Of You
I couldn't stand the smell of eggs when I was pregnant, so, of course, my partner ate a lot of them in my vicinity. I don't think he did it on purpose, but the fact that it didn't even cross his mind would send me into a pure rage state.
They Ask For A Favor
If I am pregnant and you ask me to rub the sore spot on your lower back I may or may not be responsible for whatever the hell happens next.
In all seriousness, for the most part I don't really mind giving my partner a back rub, but if I've complained about my lower back muscles without so much as my partner asking how he can help? Rage.
They Don't Fill The Car Up
During my first pregnancy my partner and I shared a car. Before I had to stop work due to bed rest, it was tricky to get each of us to our prospective places of work. It was never super fun for me to discover, usually when I was running behind, that my partner had used the car and didn't take the the time to fill it up with gas. Even worse, it was usually between pay periods and I likely had little or no money on me. Fun times.
They Eat The Last Of Something
If there are brownies (or cake, or ice cream, or any damn thing I've claimed as my own), and my partner eats the last of it before checking first, my day is ruined. DO. NOT. TOUCH. THE. BROWNIES.
They Don't Pick Up After Themselves
I've always had a to-do list a couple miles long. Always. Pregnancy didn't negate this "joy" from my life, either. My partner would regularly add a "small" task to that list, too, and usually as the result of his inability to simply clean up after himself.
I am growing a baby, sir. I am not going to take care of a man-baby, too.
They Make Plans Without Asking
One time, during my second pregnancy, my partner made last-minute plans for the two of us to meet old friends of his in town for the weekend. I felt disgusting and wanted to put my pajamas on and stay at home, though. I was upset he'd put me in the situation where I'd come out looking like the demon for bailing, or go out and feel completely miserable the entire time.
They Initiate Sex At The Wrong Time
I get that, at times, it was difficult for my partner to know when I was "in the mood," But when I obviously was not, and he tried to initiate sex at his own discretion, I was particularly upset.
They Wonder Why You're [Insert Feeling Here]
Partners, I understand that watching your loved one go through pregnancy isn't easy. You don't always know the right thing to do or say, and you probably have no idea what your partner is going through.
When I was pregnant I was often angry, sad, fatigued, happy, annoyed, excited, and overwhelmed... all at once. I needed my partner to understand that I was going to feel whatever I was going to feel, that it was a result of relentless hormones, and that questioning my emotions wasn't going to do a damn bit of good.