I’ve read a lot of pregnancy books, and a lot of them are all quite similar.
Therefore, when I come across something that takes a little different approach, I welcome it with open arms.
And well, Dude, You’re Gonna Be a Dad!: How to Get (Both of You) Through the Next 9 Months fits the bill – it’s different. Within a few chapters, you start to realize why this book is seen as so controversial.
But should you read it (or gift it to someone who’s about to become a father?) Let’s look at the details so you can decide for yourself.
Dude, You’re Gonna Be A Dad’s Approach
Most pregnancy books are pretty cut and dry.
I get it. To be honest, this is probably a good thing. Pregnancy is an enormous topic and a lot of couples use pregnancy books as reference rather than something they read cover to cover (at least not more than once.)
Dude, You’re Gonna Be A Dad however does seem like one to read cover to cover, as sort of a primer on what to expect throughout the pregnancy and birth of your child.
For better or for worse, the book is designed to keep fathers engaged throughout the whole thing and overall is a pleasant and easy read.
The controversy arises due to some people believing that the book takes it too far. Whether that’s true or not depends on how easily you are offended, and whether or not you can separate jokes from reality. While many of them are not so bad, others make me question what the author was thinking including them. Here’s the most notable example that other reviewers have pointed out:
“Make it clear to your BMP that you still expect a hot meal and a foot rub upon your arrival home from work.”
The book was originally written in 2011 and some of the jokes have not aged well, to the point where I’d agree that many of them are distasteful.
It also relies quite heavily on stereotypes. It calls out to the type of man you’d imagine to be obsessed with sports, drinking beer with his buddies in the evenings – while their wives (or ‘baby making partners’, as they’re called throughout the book) are seen as emotional and unable to make rational decisions for themselves.
Does the author actually think that? Probably not. And in fairness, the author does give a lot of advice on how to best support your partner throughout the pregnancy, even if he does allude to the fact that doing so may feel like a chore.
The problem is, most men who are taking the pregnancy seriously aren’t going to appreciate it, and wading through jokes to try and get to the useful information fluffs up what is already a relatively short book.
As other readers have pointed out, Dude, You’re Gonna Be a Dad feels like it was written for a specific type of person – and serious fathers-to-be aren’t it.
Personally, this is something I’d imagine be gifted to a father that doesn’t really care all that much, but knows he’s ‘supposed’ to read a pregnancy book or is being forced to do so unwillingly. And approaching this book with that kind of mindset may only reinforce some negative ideas towards the pregnancy, and make everything worse.
When you strip away the jokes and the bits that are offensive, you aren’t left with a book that’s bad per say. There is a lot of useful information contained inside the book, and it highlights a lot of important things that couples should be prepared for.
However, the book is already quite short, coming in at only 226 pages. A lot of that is fluff and not actually practical information (for example, the entire chapter on baby names can be skipped.)
It is designed to be a quick, easy read and is written more like a letter from a friend than a bland college textbook. I will admit that I did laugh a few times while reading it.
However, it is not lengthy or dense enough to really prepare you for pregnancy on its own.
It may make good supplemental reading material to reinforce key points and help internalize what to expect throughout the pregnancy, but it’s best paired with a more serious pregnancy book alongside it.
Though to be fair, dads could completely skip this one and not miss much.
Is Dude, You’re Gonna Be a Dad!: How to Get (Both of You) Through the Next 9 Months worth your time?
If you can get past all of the stereotypes and poor jokes without taking them seriously, it is a quick and engaging read that will be quite a bit more fun than most pregnancy books. It can help reinforce points that you already have read in other pregnancy books. However, it should definitely not be the only pregnancy book that you read, as it is far too short to fully teach you everything that you need to know.
Have you read this book? What are your thoughts about it?
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