My nephew and his wife are expecting their first son to be born in September. They are ridiculously excited and overjoyed to be welcoming a little one into the world soon, but with Father's Day around the corner, the question of whether or not my nephew should already be celebrating his fatherhood has reared its ugly little head. Without a doubt, men who are due to have a baby born within the next nine months should most definitely be celebrated on Father's Day, but there are definitely a few things you shouldn't say to a soon-to-be dad on Father's Day.
When you think of the men you know who fill fatherly roles, I'm sure you can think of hundreds of things that they do for the children and moms in their life. Soon-to-be dads are typically already helping expectant moms get everything ready for their baby's arrival. They're building cribs and adding items to registry lists, reading parenting books, giving foot rubs to that sweet pregnant mama, and doing the emotional labor of worrying about all of the expectations that are about to be placed squarely on their shoulders when their baby arrives so very soon.
All of that work deserves to be celebrated even if the soon-to-be dad has yet to experience one sleepless night or diaper change — because we all know that before too long, their life will be an endless loop of early mornings, late nights, and plenty of Peppa Pig. So let's do these expectant dads a favor and give them the credit they deserve and make sure to watch out for these 10 phrases on Father's Day.
1. "Are You Sure You're Ready To Be A Dad?"
Please, do expectant dads everywhere a favor and avoid asking if he's ready for parenthood. While he may or may not actually be ready, it isn't on you to question his ability to prepare for fatherhood. When the time comes, he'll have to step up ready or not, so asking the question is a moot point. And if you absolutely can't resist the urge to ask this question, please don't do it on a day when soon-to-be dads should be celebrated.
2. "Will You Be Babysitting For Your Wife When She Needs A Break?"
I hope that if anyone asks this question, the soon-to-be dad says a resounding "no" in response. I hope they say no because they recognize that they're not a babysitter, but a parent. An equal, if you will. Nobody ever asks moms if they babysit for dads, and that should work both ways.
3. "You're Not Really A Dad Yet."
Yes. They. Are. [Insert eye roll here.] These men have fathered babies that are currently growing inside of a woman's womb that will be out in the world in a matter of months, weeks, or even days depending on the timing of it all. They are spending their time and energy preparing for life with a newborn as well as their lifelong commitment to parenthood, and that deserves to be recognized on Father's Day, not questioned.
4. "I Hope You're Getting Plenty Of Sleep While You Can."
This one really should go without saying for any expectant parent. Dads-to-be have enough to worry about without thinking about all of the sleep they're going to be missing out on for the next 18+ years. Plus, they may have a mama-to-be with insomnia who already keeps them up all night on late night emergency ice cream craving runs, and their sleep habits are really none of your business.
5. "Should I Get You A Gift?"
Well, chances are if you're asking this question on Father's Day, it's too little too late. However, the fact still remains that dads-to-be should be celebrated just like any other dad on Father's Day, so a gift or card is definitely a nice sentiment.
6. "You're Going To Miss Watching Sports."
There are several issues with this statement. Number one: Not every dad (or man) watches sports. Number two: Men don't have to give up doing what they enjoy when their baby is born. If a guy who enjoys watching football on Sunday afternoon is expecting a baby, he's probably going to love snuggling up in his recliner with his bundle of joy to cheer on his team together.
7. "Was This Planned?"
This is absolutely none of anyone's business, and it's also just plain rude to ask — especially on Father's Day. Obviously, if the soon-to-be dad you're talking to is excitedly celebrating a holiday about parenting, he's looking forward to having a baby regardless of whether the pregnancy was planned or not.
8. "Are You Going To Change Diapers?"
Duuuhhh. This age-old trope needs to die a swift death. Plenty of dads change diapers and questioning whether or not a dad-to-be will be performing this basic parenting task on Father's Day is just in poor taste.
9. "Don't You Wish You Were Having A Son?"
If a dad-to-be is expecting a little girl, please don't question whether or not he would rather have a boy instead. My dad is my hero and I can tell you from personal experience that even if he had wanted a son, you would have never known it by how thrilled he is to be the dad of two girls. Most expectant dads are just happy to be welcoming a healthy baby into the world.
10. "Just Wait Until Next Year."
For what? To celebrate fatherhood? Dads-to-be deserve to be celebrated on Father's Day and while it might be super fun to celebrate with an actual baby in his arms, he should enjoy every moment of his journey to fatherhood — including Father's Day.