I was excited as I read the introduction to Dude, You’re Gonna Be a Dad. “Read, reflect, evolve,” it encouraged. Become an “engaged, motivated father.” This sounded promising!
Chapter one started out pretty good, offering some real expression of the complex feelings that may come along with conception or the struggle for it. This chapter encouraged men to bond with their partner and discuss what these life changes meant to them. It made a good effort at explaining emotions that are common for expectant fathers.
Chapter two of Dude, You’re Gonna Be a Dad, entitled “Taking Care of Her”, went a bit downhill, but still had some good tips and a couple of humorous and oh-so-true warnings of the difficult aspects of pregnancy. Then, the downhill got steeper. Chapters three and beyond sink into a dark place where expectant fathers are basically reduced to simple-minded slaves to their wife’s misery. The only shining star before them is to try not to offend her while enduring birth classes, endless shopping, and even the birth itself.
If I were a man, overall Dude, You’re Gonna Be a Dad would either offend or depress me. It doesn’t give men much credit or speak to their potential. Its take on women, childbirth, and newborns isn’t much brighter. I can sum up most of his advice with four words: “grin and bear it.”
Dude, You’re Gonna Be a Dad does have a bit of redemption. It covers some universal themes that create a feeling of being understood. You will enjoy specific sentences here and there and relate to the sentiments Pfeiffer expresses. His heart-felt love for his family comes through, which provides a good role model, and there are take-away tips that could come in handy in most chapters. But overall, Dude, You’re Gonna Be a Dad misses the boat and fails to educate dads on anything truly informative about pregnancy, birth, providing excellent labor support, baby skills, or the important impact of fathering.
Dude, You’re Gonna Be a Dad!’s Author, John Pfeiffer
John Pfeiffer is a father of three.