Being pregnant this time of year is a double whammy for a mom-to-be. She has the natural worries and fears that go along with expanding her family, plus the busyness and stress of the holidays all rolled into one. It's a lot for a pregnant woman to handle, but luckily, every member of her family can help alleviate the burden. There are lots of things the best fathers-in-law do for their pregnant daughters-in-law during the holidays that can make them so much more enjoyable. And we all know that when a pregnant woman's happy, everyone's happy — so if you're pregnant, you might as well just print this list out and hang a copy on your father-in-law's fridge.
FILs don't necessarily have to pull out all the stops or make a lavish gesture to show that they care (although, who'd say no to that?). Simple things like tackling the household to-do list or making sure their pregnant daughter-in-law can enjoy the holiday festivities as much as everyone else can be even more meaningful. Looking out for her safety and comfort are really priority number one.
Here are 9 things amazing FILs can do to make it a stress-free holiday season for the future mother of their grandchild.
1. Tackle The Nursery
Having the nursery set up and all the other baby gear assembled and ready to go puts a pregnant mama's mind at ease. A great father-in-law will have his tool box handy to help put the final touches on everything, so holiday visitors can ooh and ahh over the baby's adorable room.
2. Stay On Snow Patrol
A white Christmas may look gorgeous, but trudging through the snow is super scary for a pregnant woman, and shoveling isn't safe for her, according to Fit Pregnancy. A father-in-law can help keep his unborn grandchild safe by making sure the snow is cleared and the sidewalks are salted.
3. Keep An Eye On The MIL
An expectant mama doesn't need any extra stress, especially during the holidays. If your mother-in-law is getting a little too overzealous with the baby name suggestions or asking what time she should show up to the delivery room, it's a great time for your FIL to run some interference to let you escape.
4. Give Some Guidance
Your father-in-law's baby-raising days may be long behind him, but he's probably got lots of knowledge to share. A holiday visit is a great time for your FIL to link up with your partner to share some parental wisdom.
5. Make A Not So Stiff Drink
When everyone else is getting in the holiday spirit with a big old glass of spirits, a pregnant woman can feel totally left out. A FIL who pops open a bottle of sparkling cider or mixes up a mocktail will win major brownie points.
6. Get Cooking
The first step to keeping a pregnant woman happy might just be to keep her fed. The best fathers-in-law will make sure there's something she can eat at the big holiday dinner, keeping in mind that she may have some pregnancy food aversions (as What To Expect warned).
7. Give Her The Comfy Spot
Seats can be scarce at a crowded holiday gathering, but no pregnant woman should ever have to stay her on feet while others lounge around. That may mean a selfless FIL has to give up his comfy recliner for the evening — even if it is practically molded to the shape of his body.
8. Tone Down The Aftershave
A spritz of cologne or dab of aftershave may be the final grooming touch for a father-in-law getting dressed up for the holiday celebration, but strong scents can wreak havoc on a pregnant woman's super sense of smell, according to What to Expect. A FIL who goes easy on scents or skips them altogether just might save her a nauseous run to the bathroom.
9. Help Make A Babymoon Happen
Life is about to get very hectic for the expectant couple, so a babymoon might be the perfect gift for a little relaxation. A father-in-law who can help foot the bill will spread lots of holiday joy, but babysitting the older kids so mom and dad don't have to stress about child care is also clutch.
This first-time mom wants to have a home birth, but is she ready? Watch how a doula supports a military mom who's determined to have a home birth in Episode One of Romper's Doula Diaries, Season Two, below. Visit Bustle Digital Group's YouTube page for the next three episodes, launching Mondays in December.