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Mr. Dad: 52 ways to show her you care

Hailed by Time Magazine as "the superdad's superdad," Armin Brott has written or co-written six critically acclaimed, groundbreaking books on fatherhood. His articles have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, American Baby,...

Every dad needs support, encouragement, information, confidence and tools to help him be as involved as he possibly can with his new family. Our fatherhood expert, Armin Brott, author of The Expectant Father: Facts, Tips, and Advice for Dads-to-Be and The New Father: A Dad's Guide to the First Year, has advice for your growing family!

Show her you care
Here are some ideas that will make you popular around the house and make your wife the envy of all of her friends; pregnant and otherwise:

  1. Offer to give her back rubs and foot massages.
  2. Suggest activities that might be harder to do when the baby comes, like going to movies or concerts.
  3. Bring home roses for no reason at all.
  4. Vacuum the house, even under the bed, without being asked.
  5. Give your wife lots of hugs; research shows that the more she is hugged, the more she'll hug the baby after he comes.
  6. Buy her a moisturizing bubble bath.
  7. If you're traveling on business, arrange to have a friend take her to dinner.
  8. Offer to pick up a pizza on your way home from work, and surprise her with a pint of her favorite frozen yogurt, too.
  9. Offer to run errands. Better yet, do those before you are asked.
  10. Do the laundry before it piles up.
  11. Tell her you think she's going to be a great mother.
  12. If she arrives home after you, have a candlelight dinner on the table, complete with sparkling cider.
  13. Write her a love letter and send it to her in the mail.
  14. Go away for a romantic weekend (together, of course).
  15. Buy a toy or outfit for the baby, have it gift-wrapped, and let her unwrap it.
  16. Buy her a pretty maternity dress.
  17. Go on a long walk with her.
  18. Learn baby CPR
  19. Offer to give her a back rub -- again.
  20. If you smoke, stop.
  21. Tell her she's beautiful. Then tell her again a few hours later.
  22. Pay extra attention to making sure she has enough to eat--pack some snacks for her before the two of you go out for an evening or for a hike.
  23. Organize a surprise baby shower for her.
  24. Keep a list of your favorite names or buy her an interesting name book.
  25. Paint a picture for or write a letter to your unborn baby.
  26. Set up some interviews with potential child-care people.
  27. Tell her she looks good even if she's put on weight.
  28. Buy her a Mother's Day gift -- even if it's November.
  29. Go to her prenatal appointments.
  30. Keep a journal, either written, tape-recorded, or videotaped of what you're thinking and feeling during the pregnancy.
  31. Do something with her that she knows you absolutely hate to do
  32. Take her to visit the nursery at your local hospital.
  33. Help her address envelopes for the birth announcements.
  34. Learn a few easy recipes.
  35. Smile and nod agreeably when she says, "You have no idea what it's like to be pregnant."
  36. If you already have children, take them to the park and let your partner have time alone to relax or run an errand she's had to put off.
  37. Surprise her with breakfast in bed on a lazy Sunday. Or, on a workday, get up five minutes earlier and surprise her with a power shake.
  38. Take the day off from work and hang around the house with her.
  39. Give other expectant mothers seats on trains and buses.
  40. Make a donation to a local children's hospital or school.
  41. Discuss your fears with your partner. Listen to hers too, but don't make fun of them, no matter how insignificant they may seem to you.
  42. Paint or wallpaper the baby's room.
  43. Listen to her complain and don't tell her she's complaining.
  44. Help put together the changing table and crib.
  45. Install smoke detectors in your house.
  46. Make a new will that includes your baby.
  47. Join a health club together.
  48. Clean out closets to make room for baby things.
  49. Call her on the phone during the day -- just to tell her you love her.
  50. Offer to carry her bags.
  51. Buy a few tapes of her favorite music to listen to in the labor room.
  52. Say "No" if she asks if she's acting crazy.
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