If there is one thing I can’t stand, it’s those beer commercials featuring one or more manchildren doing stupid shit while camping or tailgating or doing some other MANLY thing. And I get that it’s a commercial and those are actors, but I always end up wondering if these types of dudes actually exist out in the wild somewhere.
Well, they must exist somewhere.
Because these halfwits are surely the intended audience of John Pfeiffer’s Dude, You’re Gonna Be a Dad!, featuring tips and tricks to “get (both of you) through the next 9 months.”
Like any dad-to-be, I knew that I had a lot to learn. I picked this book, along with The Expectant Father, up from my local bookstore not long after I found out we were going to have a child. I made it through the first trimester section, but never picked it back up until now so I can write an honest review.
What it does well: I think this book could be a good starting off point if you don’t mind constant, over the top, corny bro-humor or getting on google to do further research.
What it doesn’t do well: The truth is, most new dads-to-be are two things: absolutely terrified and clueless about what’s going to happen over the next nine months. And that’s too be expected. What this book is intending to do – balance serious discussion to help the clueless dude with comedy to make him less terrified – is laudable. It just doesn’t do either thing very well. The parts of the book that could provide real, useful information are too shallow to be helpful. And the jokes are just too cheesy or cliché or bro-tastic to be funny.
There was literally a part where Pfeiffer talks about how a pregnant woman’s breast size will increase. He talks about how she may need a bigger bra. He then immediately follows with “let those puppies breathe!”
C’mon, dude. I was cracking jokes like that in middle school.
Most of the advice this book gives seemed pretty obvious to me at the time I initially began reading it. Things like, “hey, don’t comment on your partner’s weight gain,” or, “she may have mood swings or be tired all the time.” There’s just not a lot here that made me say, “gee, I never thought of that!”
Buy this if: You’re a mom-to-be looking for a fun way to surprise your partner with the good news. Buy the book, put it somewhere where he’ll find it or cover it in wrapping paper to surprise him with it. Or however you want to do it. Just don’t expect your partner to get much useful information from it.
Don’t buy this if: You’re looking for serious discussion about what it means to be a new father or how you can prepare yourself and your family. Or, you’re looking for a lighthearted or funny perspective on the next nine months of your partner’s pregnancy.
Verdict: Maybe save your money.