Struggling with Empathy

This article is going to make me sound like the worst man ever but I have a feeling I’m not alone. Firstly I should make it clear that I’m am very excited about having a new life coming to join us and live with us for a while.

8 week baby scan, Sympathy Pains, parental blog

I’ve been a baby photographer for the past four years which has been a bit like being the world biggest movie fan who sells tickets at a cinema but isn’t allowed to watch any of the films.

From what I understand if you work at a cinema you get to watch all of the films over and over again till to be quite frank you’ve had enough of them. In fact you end up watching films you don’t even want to watch so perhaps my analogy falls down a little bit there. That would be like me taking lots of pictures of different babies and having to take them home with me every day.

That would be the last thing I would want to do as most of the parents I meet are really quite keen on keeping their babies and we just don’t have the room at our house.


My point is I’m enjoying the pregnancy very much. My wife in the other hand ……. Not so much, if you haven’t already read …..How long does the sickness last? To see what I mean.

She’s very happy to be pregnant it’s just being pregnant she’s not too thrilled with so far.


I’ve been trying to be sympathetic but when Emma complains about sicking in her mouth or having back pains my brain does some something like this (at a million miles an hour).


Ahhhh I’m sorry that you’ve been sick……but that’s because you have a baby inside you ……. Our baby …… I can’t wait to meet the baby …..


And then I smile.


Emma seems puzzled at why I would smile when she’s telling me about how she had to get off the train four stops from home to be sick in a bush.


I’ve tried to explain it to her and even hide my smile but now I just give a weird smirk and that winds her up even more. “Stop looking at me like that!” Is the usual response.


So what do I do? Trying to make myself as sick as Emma isn’t a lifestyle choice I’ve overly keen on adopting. I accidentally drank some milk which was more like cottage cheese last week.

That did help somewhat with the empathy bit it left a taste in my mouth which stayed with me for about a week. It also really put me off cottage cheese.


I’ve also tried practicing my sympathy face in the mirror but my stupid brain keeps on defaulting back to “she’s sick because baby is so excited to meet you that he (or she) is getting restless” and back comes my ridiculous smirk.

Any advice is welcome.


is a baby and family portrait photographer at Memory Gate Photography he is due to become a father for the first time on 10th July 2014

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