Becoming a Dad – The Fears, Myths, and Concerns

pregnant couple

To be a father, or not to be – that is the question. You’ve seen that look women get when they see the newborn baby in the park with her mommy, and they start thinking about having a baby; you know, it’s the same hungry look you have when your waiter brings out that 21 oz. porterhouse steak. She gives you that look, and a little wink, and you start to think, “oh yeah, I’m in,” until the fears start to set in. It’s normal to have some fears and apprehension about becoming a father, but there is no reason to linger in those fears forever.

Some of the top fears of fatherhood are simply myths that are easily debunked, while others are matters of attitude and perception, which simply take small adaptations that are well worth the tradeoffs. Below are some of the most common fears of becoming a new father.

man and pregnant belly

FEAR: Fear of the pregnancy and birth
Men are the first to admit that women are a great mystery. We just don’t understand. The process of pregnancy and birth, and all of the discomforts, hormonal changes, and risks that go with it, can be very overwhelming. 
TRUTH: Pregnancy and birth can enhance your relationship with your partner, increase spirituality, and improve physical health.
BRIDGING THE GAP: Learn all you can
Knowledge is power. Don’t settle for not understanding. The more you know about a healthy pregnancy and the miraculous process of birth, the more comfortable you will be. Women have been having babies for a very long time. The American Pregnancy Association reports that a low percentage of pregnancies in the U.S. experience any complications, and complications are greatly reduced by proactive prenatal care.

smiling dad and baby

FEAR: Failure- Will I be a good dad?
Most men worry about managing themselves, let alone managing another human life. Everyone always jokes that kids don’t come with a manual. When you follow the directions, electronics, mechanics, and even baking a cake warrant a predictable outcome, but a child does not. 
TRUTH: You already have most of the skills you need to be a great father. You just need to learn simple ways to apply them with a child. There really are manuals for your children, although they are more extensive and varied, due to the uniqueness of each child. 
BRIDGING THE GAP: Learn all you can
There are patterns of positive parenting and healthy, well-adjusted children. There are many books available teaching basic principles of child care, development, effective discipline, etc. You are not alone when it comes to raising a child.

couple kiss

FEAR: Relationship with my partner will change
Men often worry that they will have less time, less activity, less intimacy, and more disagreement with their spouse after the baby is born.
TRUTH: Honestly, your relationship will probably change, but not necessarily in a negative way. Having a child can enhance the intimacy between moms and dads. It can help to add shared purpose and strength to a relationship (if those things are already present before the baby is born). 
BRIDGING THE GAP: Work on your relationship before that baby comes
Get to know each other better. Talk and play together. Jerrold Lee Shapiro, PhD, is quoted in a WebMD article saying, “Having a child intensifies everything in a relationship.” If it’s good, it will get better. If it’s not so good, now is a good time to work on it.

couple finances

FEAR: Money – Will the baby put me in the poor house?
Historically, Fathers have been the primary provider, although this has changed slightly in our current society. Men worry that there won’t be enough to go around, and that a child may postpone the acquisition of “stuff.”
TRUTH: First, kids provide tax benefits. Second, as your family grows, it often motivates people to increase their income and improve upon their monetary situation.
Get the education, or training, that you feel is necessary to do what you love, and will provide for the needs of your family. Avoid debt that will add to your future financial stress.

{ MORE: Attacks on Public Breastfeeding Make No Sense, and Dads Can Help }

The opposite of fear is faith. Becoming a father takes faith to see the value of a precious, little child, who will look to you, and love you, for the willingness you had to put aside the fear, and assume the role of Daddy.

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What do you think?

Becoming a Dad – The Fears, Myths, and Concerns

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  1. Profile photo of Grace Grace says:

    My husband still worries about money, and didn’t stop talking to me this last pregnancy (we now have 4 children) our nephew is back with his mom. he says no more children unless we make 6 figures… as if that would ever happen… so blessed though to have 2 boys and 2 girls. i’m not sure that our relationship has changed much for the positive at all, it is not worse but not better either.

  2. Profile photo of John Haley John Haley says:

    Enjoyed this article! It definitely touches on some of my concerns…not all…but some! 🙂

  3. Profile photo of liz says:

    very important article, now i can feel my husband thoughts tnx so much

  4. Profile photo of Andy Andy says:

    Thanks for all the thoughtful comments!

  5. I know many dad worry about being good dads and many do not want to end up like their dads.

  6. Profile photo of MamaCat MamaCat says:

    I think the dads get forgotten because Mom is the visibly pregnant one and everyone asks how SHE is doing. I have lots of coworkers whose wives have recently been or are pregnant and I always make sure to ask how Dad is doing, not just Mom and baby.

  7. Not many articles point out stuff the Soon-to-be/Fathers will experience. It’s a roller coaster for both parents and always better if they are in it together from the start!

  8. Profile photo of Aimee Aimee says:

    I should print this article and give it to my husband, Should help calm some fears he has.

  9. Profile photo of Grace Grace says:

    my husband worries about money to the extreme. last year when we had 2 children and our nephew living with us and i told him i was pregnant he stopped talking to me for around 5 weeks

  10. Profile photo of Lulu Lulu says:

    This is a good read for ALL parents, whether father or mother.

  11. Profile photo of Julie Julie says:

    What a great article for men and women.

  12. Profile photo of ornella ornella says:

    my bf will be reading this soon!


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