OK, maybe it's more of an emotional merry-go-round compared to the woman's emotional roller coaster, but still, sometimes that wooden horse can kick it into high gear. And the ride can seem even more out of control for first-time fathers.
Luckily, the thing just goes around in a circle, so anybody who's been on the ride before can give you an idea of what to expect.
Excitement1 of 10
"I'm gonna be a daddy! I'm gonna be a daddy! I'm gonna be a daddy!"
Realization2 of 10
"Wait. I'm going to be a father?"
Secrecy3 of 10
Nobody warns you that you're not allowed to talk about the pregnancy for the first three months. Good luck with that.
If you can make it through the first trimester without telling anybody who hasn't been pre-approved by your wife, you'll do better than I did.
Boasting4 of 10
But once you are allowed to tell people, you'll want to tell everybody—even people who don't know you and don't care.
"Next round of high-fives is on me!"
Fun Spending5 of 10
Have you seen kids' toys today? They're infinitely cooler than what we had growing up. You now finally have an excuse to walk into the toy store and make it rain.
Less Fun Spending6 of 10
Then your wife reminds you the child will also need practical things, like a car seat and diapers. Do you know how much diapers cost? It's outrageous.
"Sorry, honey. I'd like to send you to college, but you took too long to learn how to use the toilet, and we're still paying off our diaper debt."
Anger7 of 10
Be forewarned, so many things will make you angry during your wife's pregnancy. These things include, but are not limited to:
- The cost of diapers (as mentioned previously)
- The maternity leave policy (or lack thereof) at your wife's place of work
- The cost of childcare
- People who aren't doctors that tell your wife vaccines are bad
- People who make rude faces when you tell them the name of your unborn child
- The cost of healthcare
- People talking to your wife about the Zika virus
- People who make your wife cry
- You when you make your wife cry
- Commercials that make your wife cry
Helplessness8 of 10
Get ready to feel about as useful as a screen door on a submarine. Your wife's about to go through a lot, and there's very little you'll be able to do to lighten the load.
Sure, you can (and should) rub her feet, take care of all the housework you would normally split and offer all the reassurance in the world. But, at the end of the day, she's still growing a human for nine months before pushing it out of her body, and you can't help with that one.
Anticipation9 of 10
By the time you get to the last few weeks, it's going to feel like time is standing still. Whenever you get a call from your wife, you're going to think it's THE call. And every time anybody else gets a call from you, they're going to think it's THE call.
It's the most excruciating waiting game ever. But all you can do is make sure you've got the most efficient route to the hospital programmed into your phone, have the hospital bag and car seat standing by and hope those relaxing breathing techniques actually work. God speed.