That faint line in that pregnancy test is going to change your life forever.
You might think you’re well-equipped for fatherhood but really – no one is prepared for sleepless nights, the diaper changing routine, and seemingly endless crying.
We’re not going to sugarcoat it, fatherhood is a huge responsibility that will affect almost every single aspect of your life. It won’t be easy, but with the right attitude, it can be pretty amazing.
Here are some things that might help you navigate this crazy journey. Who knows, brother? You might even get to enjoy the ride.
Fatherhood is a lot to handle, especially if there are things you may have to give up in order to make room for a newborn. The pressure of being the adult has now raised the stakes, and it’s probably not the right time to give in to a panic attack.
Think of it this way: you may probably have new competition for bedspace, your wife’s attention, and probably ownership of the remote control, but when the time comes, your kid is going to turn out to be your wonderful prince or princess. Either way, you’re going to love it – but for the meantime, try to relax and calm down. You will have an heir to your throne coming soon!
Plan that baby shower
Have you heard of the saying, “It takes a village to raise a baby?”
Well, that’s true.
You will need a lot of help in making sure that everything is comfortable and well-suited when the baby arrives. Enlist the help of your generous friends in picking out the things your child would need, and pick out the gift registry that’s best for your baby’s needs.
Reading books on pregnancy and watching educational videos on YouTube could help you anticipate some of the possible issues that new parents typically encounter in this journey, and how you could address it in the most practical manner.
Instead of watching cat videos again and again or playing your video games, commit to doing something more useful with your time.
Prepare for the pregnancy and childbirth
This early, I’ll confirm what most husbands/fathers have experienced: Women become almost entirely different creatures while pregnant.
It’s the hormones, the stress, the cravings, a plethora of things that make them behave differently. This is a whole new road that you both will be heading, so it pays to be prepared. Join her during those all-important ob-gyne visits and Lamaze classes. Help her with her cravings. Remind her how beautiful she is even though she may feel otherwise. Discuss your birthing plan, whether you want it at the hospital or at home, with or without medication, and explore your options. Hold her hand and encourage her during labor and delivery. And most of all, be there to welcome your child.
Happy wife, happy life
This adage has never been more true. As the half who became pregnant, gave birth and maybe even be breastfeeding your child, she’ll be going through a lot especially in the new role she’ll be embracing. Simple things like taking care of the baby while she has a good meal or gets to go out with friends for a change mean a lot to them, so take the opportunity to step up and be the father your child deserves in these instances. And while the baby will always be a center of attention, don’t forget to take care of your partner as she has equal importance in the development of your child. A happy wife leads to a happy life, indeed.
Enjoy the freebies!
Many parenting websites, online stores and even online groups offer freebies for first-time parents such as diapers and other baby essentials. Make sure to sign up and join these promotions as any extras you can benefit from the savings you can get from these promotions. You may even end up meeting fellow parents who share the same situations and challenges as yourself, and their ability to relate to what you’re going through and provide advice can be both a source of amusement and wisdom.
Here’s a few places you should go get your free baby stuff blitz started. Remember to make a TEMP email account before signing up to any of these. Ain’t nobody got time for baby spam.
For those of us who can afford an extra room for the newest family member, it’s a great time to start preparing as soon as you can. With your wife’s input, plan how you want the room to look and factor in the essentials such as the crib, drawers for the supplies, and even proper lighting and ventilation. Since this will be where your child will stay, make sure to design everything about the baby and its needs. Explore any opportunity to bond with your child, whether it’s simple tasks such as changing diapers or sterilizing bottles, or being able to go to the nearby park for some fresh air. Every little thing you do does add up as your child grows and you’ll be looking back on those days with a smile on your face, knowing you did your best for your little one.
Remember, this is not a contest!
This might be the most important thing I’ll have to say. So often in the media, we see these so-called “perfect parents” who look so chill and relaxed as if they’re enjoying raising their child. And if you ever had parent issues, you suddenly find yourself questioning your abilities as a parent. But remember that everyone’s experiences and methods are unique. Comparing yourself isn’t healthy since this will only bring in doubts and self-pity. Focus on being the best father you can be and don’t be afraid to let your wife know when you need help. Because when it’s all said and done, the only people who matter in this discussion are your wife and soon-to-be baby.
I hope these tips will help ease your fatherhood jitters. Because while any man can have kids, a good father can literally come from anywhere.