Becoming a father can be a scary thought. But it doesn’t have to be.
Many fathers feel a sense of panic and stress when they find out they will become a father. Being a dad can be hard work, but it’s worth it: not just for the child, but for dad as well. Many fathers live longer, healthier lives than men who are not fathers. Many men have also said it’s one of the best things to happen to them.
Going into fatherhood prepared can help ease anxiety and stress that comes with a new baby.
When preparing to become a father, keep these four things in mind:
Love- Some men may find it difficult to show love to their children (especially boys). Showing love may sometimes be mistaken for being too feminine. Some fathers feel they need to be strong and give out punishment for bad behavior. However, boys who are hugged and shown affection actually grow up healthier and with a better understanding of what it means to be masculine. Fathers must also show respect and love to their partner. This gives children a solid foundation of what relationships should be like and what they should look for in a partner as they get older.
Time- Fathers need to be available to their kids and need to have a lot of time to be able to spend with them. If fathers are not around to spend time with their kids, the children may feel like the father has more important things to do than be with them. You can spend time with your kids by reading to them, playing a game, going to the park, etc. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to spend a lot of time.
Commitment- New fathers are faced with a host of responsibilities and commitments. It is your job as dad to keep commitments you make. If you say you will be at your child’s soccer game, be at that game. Children want you around, and if it seems like too big of a commitment for you to keep, they may stop asking for you to show up at events.
Responsibility- Fathers take on so many new responsibilities when they become a dad, that it can be hard to wrap your head around them all. Dads make sure their child has clothes, food, shelter, and all the tools they will need to become the person they want to be. Fathers may also help with other chores around the house, making sure their child lives in a clean, safe, comfortable environment.
Source: New Father Book: What Every New Father Needs to Know to Be a Good Dad; Better Homes and Gardens (This book can be found in our lending library)
The Lending Library at Mohawk Valley Perinatal Network has many resources for new dads, such as books and DVDs.