As difficult as it must be to play in and lose a sports championship, the agony of defeat is stronger for the fan.
Some of us have experienced that competitive loss as an amateur participant, but most of us have no way of knowing what it’s like to lose, say, the Super Bowl. Yet as painful as that numbing loss must feel, it’s harder to stomach for fans.
As much as fans can scream and support their teams, they really have no control over the situation on the field. It’s a feeling of powerlessness, of not being able to have a direct effect on the outcome. As invested as they are in their team, as strong as they love and support their squad, as much as they ooze lifelong civic pride – the best they can do is watch. And maybe pray.
All of this is a little bit what it’s like to for pregnancy and men. The dad-to-be can do plenty to cheer, motivate and support his baby-carrying-wife, but ultimately it’s on her to deliver the trophy – er, baby. He can maintain a healthy diet and stay fit as much as he wants, but it will matter little to the baby’s immediate development. He can get rest and seek plenty of help from family to prepare for the arrival, but the baby will still come as planned. He can study birthing and practice all the breathing exercises until he’s blue in the face, but the apple will eventually fall from the tree.
Granted, there’s actually a lot a man can do by way of touch, action, preparation, studying, coaching, and so on. A man can tell her how beautiful she is, take the far majority of the load when it comes to domestic duties, give massages, and romanticize her – and on and on.
But that dad probably would like to do more, and he probably wouldn’t mind being a little more in the game, as opposed to sitting on the sidelines. Go ahead and laugh, but you’d be surprised how many men wouldn’t mind giving pregnancy a try, if called upon. Those comments are always made out of mutual respect and in communion with wives. That’s true empathy.
So, let’s not forget that dads have plenty to think about during pregnancy, too. It’s an emotional time that requires a lot of patience and understanding. Dads deserve some of that, as well.
Marketers and media must remember that parents can reach the championship moment together. It shouldn’t be portrayed as a one-sided moment. Talk to dads in ad copy and your profit sheet will thank you.