You have been feeling sickly recently and something tells you it may just be an early sign that your baby is on the way.
You are anxious and the next morning you dash into the pharmacy to get your pregnancy test kit. You can hear your heart beating as you pee on the kit. You look closely and it shows you are pregnant! What a joy! You scream and your hubby comes to check up on what is happening to you. You give in a hug and tell him his dreams of becoming a father is now a reality.
After the excitement, the surprise comes the dawning of a new reality for your man-he is going to be a father. This new understanding for a man comes with inner battles and struggles that may not be obvious to everyone. Many daddies to be feel awkward and anxious about knowing what is expected of them and meeting up with that expectation. It is even more difficult to share these insecurities because the focus is on ensuring the wellbeing of the mum-to-be.
Here are some of the thoughts that a dad-to-be would likely think about as he awaits the birth of his baby.
- Protection and Provision: In a home where the financial framework is not strong, one of the biggest fears for the man of the house is how to provide and protect his family. This is because the birth of a child further increases financial pressure on the family’s purse from two to three.
- Independence: Many dads-to-be worry about the likely increase demands on their time when the baby comes. This is because the focus will be on caring and nurturing the child which one way or the other affects personal freedom of the couple. But the truth is that you find love in another dimension that you have never experienced before you became a dad.
- Birthing process: Some men tend to feel afraid of what their likely reactions will be when they see their spouse in labour and delivery. The fear of passing out or throwing up could be real if you cannot stand blood or body fluids. The reality is that it is not a crime feel this way and it does not make you less of a man.
- How to care for the baby: You know how frail new-borns are when you carry them? Most dads-to-be are afraid that the way they would carry their baby may hurt the baby so they shy away from doing that. There is no need to worry, as long as you are cautious and do not grip the baby roughly with a little carefulness, you pull through and become a baby care champion soon. Dads-to-be can learn from experienced dads to make the transition easy.
- Changing phase of life: Becoming a parent sends the signal that you are getting older and your replacements are coming to life. That’s hard, but it is the truth. You are no longer a child but a father. At this point, you begin to look at life more critically with a careful examination of your past choices and present opportunity.
- Spouse and baby pulling through the childbirth experience: Watching your wife bring forth that new life is a nerve-racking experience that many men who are experiencing it for the first time will not forget in hurry. The type of healthcare system in Nigeria is such that men whose wife are in labour pray hard for their wives and baby to come out alive. These fear grips many men. No man wants to lose his wife to childbirth but this still happens around us.
- New competition for spousal attention and love: Some men fear that their wives would love their new baby more than they love them. Women tend to focus attention on the newborn than their husbands. This worry extends to the deep and sometimes unuttered concern of when the couple’s s.x life would resume and how to handle postpartum changes.
Indeed having a baby can affect your relationship with your spouse but it will improve with time if you do the following;
- Prepare for the coming of your baby together; discuss your fears and expectations of each other and the birthing process.
- You show understanding that your baby needs your wife and that you are partners in raising your bundle of joy. Having a dad friend will help you share your worries and find good counsel on how to scale through the new change of having a baby.
- You provide financial and emotional support as she undergoes dramatic physical and emotional changes in her body and mind.
Being a dad changes your life forever, in spite of its challenges, fatherhood is one of the best things that can ever happen to any man.