Prompted by impending fatherhood, I picked up Scott Mactavish’s The New Dad’s Survival Guide from Amazon. At only around 130 pages, Survival Guide is a tiny book relative to the growing library of pregnancy and baby books that we are rapidly accumulating these days (What to Expect When You’re Expecting, anyone?). Survival Guide is a brief overview of what to expect out of pregnancy and early child-rearing, all laced with humor and presented in a readily digestible format for us idiot fathers-to-be. The self-deprecation is only slightly tongue-in-cheek, as I feel clueless on a daily basis.
The Guide is helpful in some regards as it is such a smattering of content, even though told in brief, that it will certainly teach you something you hadn’t already heard. This is a plus.
It’s also a fun book in that it’s light-hearted, and us new dad’s need that kind of joviality given the seriousness of pregnancy (Que the thunderclap).
One thing I didn’t care for so much about the book is that it’s so basic, with large print and plenty of clip-art pictures (Not kidding), that sometimes it just seems like “what am I reading here.” But I shouldn’t have expected too much: the subtext of the cover is “Man-to-man advice for the first-time fathers / Secrets Revealed / Codes Broken / Babies Tamed.” However, given that I bought this book online, I wasn’t able to see these bits beforehand nor did I take the time to virtually flip through the pages. Had I done either, I’m not sure I would have picked it up.
But if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have received such “Critical Survival Tips” as:
CRITICAL SURVIVAL TIP
Attend childbirth education classes with the FPP. Doing so will prevent a major freak-out when a human pops out of your FPP’s private parts, as well as preparing you for your role as a birthing coach.
CRITICAL SURVIVAL TIP
Get accustomed to the breast pump prior to the birth. Examine it, even take it apart, because when it’s hooked up to your FPP and milk is shooting out like a dairy, you may lapse into shock or laugh so hard that a little pee comes out.
So all in all, it was a fun read and somewhat informative; indeed, some of the specific advice could be quite useful (like preparing for the trip to the hospital).
Afterward: If anyone has any must-read books for men on new-fatherhood, please let me know!