You’re excited to be a first time Dad, but chances you’re equally freaked out with the delivery and your ability to be a parent. Here are 10 common fears of new dads and why you shouldn’t worry. Everything will be just fine.
Will I do everything right?
No one is perfect. What you need to know is that any father can care for his child. If you don’t have experience around babies, we recommend that dads-to-be get some baby-handling practice. Visit a friend or relative who has a baby, have them show you how to pick up the baby, put him down, change a diaper, use a bottle and swaddle.
The reality is that many of the basics of child care are relatively simple, and expertise comes with everyday practice. Trust me, you’ll be a pro at changing diapers in no time. There are also many books available teaching basic principles of child care, development, etc.
I fear not being able to properly provide for my family once the baby arrives
It costs an average of $286,050 to raise a child until age 18, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Do your homework to get a feel for what you’ll really need to spend. We found the initial burden was minimal during the first few months, simply because we didn’t have the option to dine-out, go to the movies, etc. (note that in Canada the government subsidizes up to $524/ week for maternity/paternity leave)
Look for easy ways to trim expenses, such as cooking dinner at home and buying groceries in bulk. See if you can cut your child-care costs by utilizing family in the area, joining a babysitting co-op, or getting creative with your work schedules.
Also remember that having kids provides tax benefits.
I’m worried I will be useless during the Delivery
There is nothing in our life experience to this point that prepares us for the childbirth experience. All dads joke about passing out, throwing up, or getting queasy in the delivery room. Chances are you will step up the plate and be just fine. You will be so focused on keeping your partner comfortable (as possible) and excited to meet the new addition to your family, a little blood won’t bother you.
Ask your wife what she wants your role to be during the pregnancy such as taking the active role of “coach”.
We suggest all expecting dads to take birthing classes and help their partner develop a birth plan. And hey, if you do happen to faint or throw up you will have a great story for your child.
Will I ever sleep again?
Never fear, You WILL sleep again, though the first few months are touch and go. You will need to set up a plan with your partner. Will one of you handle the late-night shift on weekdays and the other on weekends? Will you alternate nights? Can a family member help out to allow both parents to get some much needed rest?
Something will be wrong with the baby.
About 97 of every 100 (97%) of babies born in the U.S are delivered in good health without a major birth defect, such as spina bifida or Down syndrome. Additionally, many birth defects, such as club foot, webbed toes and even some heart defects, are minor or very treatable. If you’re worried, get statistics online or talk to a health care provider.
There are definitely increased risk factors for some, these risk factors include smoking, diabetes, epilepsy, drinking alcohol and obesity, although for 70 percent of all birth defects, the cause is unknown. Have no shame counting the baby’s toes and fingers right after birth!
Can I make the move to adulthood? What about my video games?
Young men who are dads-to-be have lived a kind of self-centered life where in many ways they have done what they want when they want. Becoming a father means putting the needs of a child over your own and loving someone more than you love yourself. If you’re struggling with the losses of that lifestyle, recognize that you’re sacrificing for something larger than yourself.
Don’t expect to see your friends as often as before or stay out all night. Try to plan a night out once a week or month with your partner. Make sure she does the same.
I’m worried about being a good dad.
If you’re worrying about being a good dad then you probably will be a good one – because you care. Remember that learning to be a dad is a process, not an overnight transformation. Spending time with your baby will help you learn what to do and will mold what kind of dad will become.
The relationship with my partner will change.
Yes, your relationship will most likely change, but not necessarily in a negative way. Having a child can enhance intimacy between couples. It can help to add shared purpose and strength to a relationship, having a child intensifies everything in a relationship. If it’s good, it will get better.
Post baby, it’s important that couples need to schedule time for themselves and focus on what they liked and did before, plan date nights, take walks together, check in with each other during the day.
Will we ever have sex again?
Over the first few months of parenthood, most of a new parents energy and interests will probably be directed at the baby. Moms body has just gone through an incredible trauma and needs time to heal and rest. In addition, her hormones are fluctuating like crazy – transitioning from pregnancy peaks back to normal levels. She just won’t feel like ‘it’.
Once the dust settles, though it may seem less than romantic to schedule a sex life, you and your partner may not have one if you don’t pencil it in.
“Crying newborn”. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Crying_newborn.jpg#/media/File:Crying_newborn.jpg