Saturday, Jul 31st 2021

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Not attending the birth is she fine with that?

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I read with interest that Drew Petrie is poised to play footy instead of attend the birth of his second child. We know it’s about personal choice but any sports person thinking of playing on instead of attending the birth, I think you’re making a big mistake. 

Of course we can only guess what the main motivations for this decision from a footballer may be, perhaps:

  • ·You don’t want to miss out on a game of AFL. You have after all trained hard all preseason, have people relying on you and are part of a developing team
  • ·You have seen it all before. Yeah we get the concept of seen one seen ‘em all
  • ·You don’t want to sustain a serious injury that may keep you out of footy. I know I received a badly sprained wrist during the labour of Kid X when Wife A decided, quite rightly, tosqueezethe blood out of my hand with each contraction.

These 3 things are really strong reasons not to attend the birth. However I would suggest anyone thinking this is a good proposition take a quick time out and think about how special the birth of a child is. Oh that and the fact that your wife, despite your view that “she is fine with that” probably won’t be.

I did a snap poll of women and the answer was unanimous- they wouldn’t be fine with that. One woman even went as far to say that the dad attending the birth was more about sharing in the experience, and specifically the pain, than the actual birth moment itself. This is so true, it’s a time to really admire the strength and determination of your partner. I guess childbirth is the equivalent to a grand final for females.

His decision is interesting. Would you give up being at the birth of any child to pursue what is essentially a job? I would say this is unlikely but I suppose it depends on your job. Although for me it’s a no brainer. Definitely not, I had the fun time at the start, so sacrificing something I enjoy for 12-24 hours to provide support (inadequate) and undivided attention is probably a fair trade. 

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