When a woman is expecting a baby she can fear an endless list of things including the pain of labour, the safety of the baby or the ability to breastfeed. But women aren’t the only ones who are scared. Expectant fathers can be left feeling stressed and anxious as they harbour fears about the impending birth and parenthood, although they may not let on that they are. If you suspect otherwise, encourage them to talk about it before the baby arrives, even if it’s with other fathers. Once the baby has arrived there’s undoubtedly going to be less time to sort things out.
Here are some of the most common fatherhood fears:
Will I have enough money to raise a baby?
Everyone knows that raising a child can be expensive so it’s only natural that a father might be worried about having to provide for his new family, especially if mum is taking time off from work to care for the baby and daddy will be the sole bread winner. But creating a budget and sticking to it can be the best way to overcome this fear, even if that means they have to sacrifice that weekly carton of beers or packet of cigarettes. Every little bit counts and when it’s your own children that you’re sacrificing for, it seems to make it so much easier to give those things up.
Will I be a good dad?
This fear is quite common for fathers-to-be especially if they haven’t had any experience with a baby before. Although parenting can be tough, a lot of it is just common sense so fathers should have faith in themselves that they will be more than capable of looking after a baby. They also need to be patient and remember that it could take some time for them to feel comfortable with their baby – it won’t happen overnight but the more time they dedicate to their child, the better things should get. This fear could also stem from the fact that their father may have been absent when they were little or the relationship with their father was less than perfect. They should remember that they have the opportunity to right those wrongs and not make the same mistakes their father did.
How will I support my wife during labour?
Let’s be honest – the idea of childbirth can be traumatic for both the mum and dad, especially after we’ve heard all of the horror stories from friends and family. And it’s no wonder really that men fear the childbirth experience when they are portrayed in films and sitcoms to be useless when it comes to helping their partners in the entire process. Fathers-to-be should consider enrolling in a childbirth class to better prepare themselves for what is to come. The more they know about the process the more comfortable they should feel.
Will having a baby kill our relationship?
Change in your relationship is normally inevitable because having a new baby is hard work for most parents. Sleepless nights and an overall increase in workload around the home can be stressful so it’s no surprise that relationship change after the birth of a baby. It’s important to schedule time to yourselves and that includes having sex because if you don’t, it may not happen. Keep the lines of communication open at all times and work together as a team to help strengthen your relationship, not diminish it.
Image via selveyheating.wordpress.com