It’s only natural for soon-to-be dads to feel anxious about becoming a father. Whether it’s your first time or whether you’re expanding your tribe, when you take on the role of “father” some fears do come up, and that’s okay — let’s identify some.
1. Will I Be a Good Father?
This confronting thought will most likely stick with you even well after your child grows up, but it can serve as an important and constant reminder to take stock of your fatherly abilities, helping you become the role model you could only dream of. Being a father involves personal sacrifice, molding a child into a responsible person, and finding answers to questions you didn’t even know existed. As long as you pay attention to your child’s needs, plan ahead, and keep an open and level headed mind, you can flourish as a father. Look around for all the great kids you know in your life, and seek counsel from their fathers. Remember, every parent will make mistakes along their journey. The key is to learn from them
2. Can I Keep the Baby Safe?
Another common fear is having full responsibility for a fragile bundle of joy. Changing nappies, making sure your baby is safely secured in strollers and holding them correctly… overwhelming stuff! Yet very normal concerns. Education and practice will go a long way. The most important thing you can do to keep your baby safe is to stay informed about how they are most likely to get hurt and learning what you can do to help prevent it. There is a great deal of information online, and this safety tips for parents fact sheet is a great place to start.
3. Will a baby change my relationship and sex life?
As a general rule, new mothers are told to wait between 4 to 6 weeks before they start having sex again, but that time will go very fast when you have a newborn to look after and keep you busy. A lot of men tend to worry that the passion and sexual chemistry will be lacking once the baby comes. It is perfectly normal to feel this way, and your partner most likely feels the same way. So talk to each other about your feelings, you’re in this together after all.
4. Is this the end of my independence?
Fatherhood isn’t signalled by four horsemen racing across the sky, and it certainly doesn’t mark the end of fun. Yes, you may be getting minimal sleep or time for yourself during the initial months. But when the baby’s sleep routine is established, you and your partner will have more time for the things you enjoy, together and individually. It’s important to be a team, communicate, and share childcare responsibilities, remembering that you both have individual needs. A good tip is to try and get to know other new parents (either online or in-person), who can share insights, and how they manage.
You can plan endless activities to experience with your child as they grow up. In a way, you and your partner are sharing a new best friend. Enjoy your time together! Here are a couple of ideas: so underestimated, is reading to your child. Research has shown that a crucial component in stimulating a child’s language and brain development is reading and talking to your child, with a newborn not being too early to start! If reading isn’t your forte but you fancy yourself as a creative showman, then share your imagination through a made-up story! As well, some hobbies you have always had can be shared with your baby; grab the stroller or strap your baby in a body carrier and hit the hiking trails.
Calling all dads, how are you feeling about your new son or daughter arriving into the world? Don’t feel fear, feel the excitement! This is a beautiful moment in your life, enjoy it!