What a roller coaster ride it’s gonna be!
A guy who was all about sipping his favorite latte, guilty binge-watching Netflix, now has a treat of responsibilities on his plate.
Oh, man! I feel like an empty drum in the hands of a typhoon.
In-short… I AM D.O.O.M.E.D
“You’re going to be a dad,” I remember when I first heard those words. Oh! Every minute detail about that moment is etched in my neurons.
I was ecstatic. These words still reverberate in my ears, and ahh! what melody they feel like…
Like every other dad in this world, it was hands-down the best moment of my life. Learning that you will be a dad feels like receiving a cake of jumbled emotions.
Take all the superlatives of the word ‘happy,’ and you still can’t explain the joy of that moment.
However, when the ecstasy subsides, some specific fears kick in. These fears are a combination of some genuine concerns and apprehensions.
The same happened to me. When my mind cleared, and I gave it a thought, I started questioning myself.
- What kind of a dad would I be?
- What about my carelessness, my sense of responsibility, I f*ck up there.
- What twist my relationship will take once the child arrives.
Damn it! Was I even ready for the daddy’s job? The fear of failing at it was surreal.
But I couldn’t do anything. So, I dragged myself out of the consternation and manned up!
Lucky me! I had a bunch of people who guided me. My wife and I also talked about these fears, and we planned a few things.
Today, when I see the dads-to-be in desperation to find answers, I couldn’t help but think about my time. You know what guys, repeat after me:
“You don’t need a grand scheme or a 100-page manual to be a good dad.”
All you need is someone to guide you and tap your back, saying, “It’ll work out fine.”
This blog will give you the same reassurance. I have highlighted my fears and what I did to overcome them. Let’s have some daddy-to-be talk.
The ‘monetary’ concerns
A child = expenses. Period!
The mere thought of expenses like healthcare, diapers, food, childcare stuff, diapers, food, child care, and college, etc. scared the hell out of me.
So, I started to plan it all – took a pen and paper, and sat down. I talked to my wife, and before I knew, I was finding answers to all my problems.
Here are a few steps you could take to ensure that fatherhood doesn’t become a financial burden for you:
- Buy health insurance that can cover the labor cost and complications that might occur post-pregnancy.
- You would have to make some budget cuts because “childcare is expensive.” So, let’s say, you used to dine out every week; now, you would have to cut it to once a month.
- Planning a budget and being frugal about every penny would go a long way in easing the financial burden.
- Having a child isn’t a one-time expense. As the child ages, the expenses mount. So, a long-term investment could be a wise approach here. Since you are not after immediate gains, you can invest money into a scheme that matures after a long-time and gives you adequate returns.
The fear of ‘what if.’
What if I fail at being a father?
Honestly, all the responsibilities I ever took in my life, I failed at them, and only got better with trial and error.
Could I afford that with my child? Hell no!
The fear of whether you could be a good father is ‘genuine.’
It helped me when I understood that no one is born a father. Guys don’t know the first thing about feeding, bathing, changing, burping, and caring for a baby.
So, I talked to my father and asked what he did when he was about to be a dad? Listening to his experience, alleviated my fears. So, you can do that as well.
Also, my advice for dads-to-be and moms-to-be is to seek professional guidance from a parenting counselor.
They are professionals who guide to-be, and even experienced parents, and work with them to ease them into parenthood.
What would my life look like?
Let me tell you about my life before being a father.
Wake up, go to work, come back, watch T.V., eat, and have fun.
On weekends, I use to go out with my wife or friends. I could even sit all day and watch a football game – it was all fun and no worry!
But, after you become a father, you have to take up a whole new set of responsibilities. You are no longer free to wander out whenever you want.
Thus, the fear of missing out on activities after the arrival of a baby is very much understandable. Not only your kid, your wife, too, would need your support. You have to be there for both of them.
I planned my routine in such a way that I spend most of the time with my wife and kid.
In the initial days, you would need to put all the friends’ meet up on hold. Try your best to give most of your time to your baby and your wife.
Even if you miss out on a few functions, you would feel that it was worth it when you witness the little moments of your children like their first laugh, the first words coming out of their mouth, etc.
A few compromises here and there, and you will be eligible to be called a responsible father.
What would my relationship be like?
It is believed that a child strengthens the bond between a husband and a wife. Rightly so, having a child is an ecstatic moment in both the parents’ life.
However, a concern that deters many parents form the thought of conceiving a child is the ‘loss of spark’ in their relationship.
I used to think that my relationship, and more importantly, my sex life wouldn’t be the same. Bummer!
According to psychologists, this fear arises because the child gets the attention of both parents, and the relationship subsequently suffers.
So, my wife and I started to think of ways to keep that ‘spark’ alive. We understood that our child would be entirely dependent on us, so all our plans had to centre around him/her.
I’d say: Discuss with your doctor, nurse-midwife, if it is ok to be intimate during pregnancy, and plan accordingly.
Once the child comes into the world, you would again need to sit and plan how you want to go about life.
Relax! It will all work out
Parenthood is a baggage that you have to carry without the knowledge of what’s inside it. However, once you have picked it up, you can’t put it down. You have to carry it all along.
The fears in guys about fatherhood are legit. However, what needs to be understood is that the wife is feeling the same.
So, you both are fearful, and the best course is to talk about the fears.
Making some wise choices, changing a few habits, and, most importantly, staying in the loop with your partner can make parenthood a lot easier.