For example, one of the common themes in these books is the fact that men can feel abandoned and left out since Mom is investing more time in the pregnancy and eventual birth of the baby. Another is that they can't go out and play with their friends anymore, or watch their favorite T.V. programs or sporting events.
What the heck? Are you serious? What are we, 10?
Fathers need to be much more than provider and protector; we've come a long way, baby, since the days of Ward Cleaver. Fathers also need to be teachers and nurturers and listeners and lovers and friends.
And they need to be involved. The first book I picked up, The Pocket Idiot's Guide to Being an Expectant Father, states in the intro: "It's important to know that, despite those millennia of experience, it takes conscious effort (and sometimes even a bit of pushiness) for a man to stay involved in pregnancy, birth, and child-rearing nowadays."
And they need to have fun, but not at the expense of their families. Have fun, keep the child inside alive, stay positive – but be personally responsible.
I'm older and hopefully a little wiser, so a lot of what I'm reading about men and their responses to pregnancy in these books is amusing. Maybe I'm an anomaly, but based on personal experience I understand emotional and psychological wasteland that disconnected, disingenuous and destructive fathers can leave behind.
There's no start-over button on the child-X-box, champ. There's no DVR rewind for the big growing up game. Pay attention, be involved and invest in your future with love and compassion.
This will be Father's week since Father's Day is Sunday. Stay tuned.