You are going to be a father. You are really excited.
Everyone knows you are. But at times you feel alone,
isolated. This has in part to do with the stress you
carry in your head: the thoughts, the planning, the
changes, the demands. Some pressures are real, like
money. Others are self-imposed caused by the fear
of the unknown or the expectations you have to meet,
more so if you are becoming a father for the very
Think about it..
• Let it be known from the beginning that you
are an integral part of the pregnancy equation and
are involved at every step of the way. Set the standard
early so that friends, relatives and medical personnel
understand your equal participation in the pregnancy.
The role of the expectant father evolves just as much
as the expectant mother's. Parenthood will involve
endless series of decisions and adjustments. Work
towards shaping your family's future without rushing
the process. Recognize that it takes time to become
a parent and consequently don't be pressured into
having unreasonable expectations!
that as a parent you a person as well
and that none of us is perfect.
• Don't be uninvolved out of fear. You are not
the first: many men before you have walked this road
and many men after you will in the future. Read useful
literature and ask questions. The more involved you
are the more informed you will become and consequently
the more prepared you will be to deal with anything
that comes your way.
• You may find yourself jealous of your unborn
child and your partner for all the attention they
are getting. Your role as the expectant father may
seem small and insignificant comparatively and you
may wish to be recognized for the contributions you
are making. This is totally justified. Instead of
getting bugged and angry, let your partner know how
you feel and seek her support in your role as you
provide her in hers.
• Your family is becoming a crowded place where
once it was mainly you and your partner. Keep a positive
attitude amidst the changes. Changes can be frightening
but in this case everything is going to work out just
fine. Some people are going to step back and others
are going to come forward. Welcome this change as
• Most men worry about the unknown. They worry
about the changes associated with pregnancy, what
will happen to their sex lives, what labor will be
like and how will they cope with the a brand new,
fragile, helpless member to their family. When you
have such doubts, just look at your friends. If they
managed, so can you!
• Exercise is a good way to control
An hour everyday at the gym, jogging
or bike riding does wonders. Now you still have time
but once the baby arrives, you will have very little
time to do anything else so take advantage of the
free time and freedom that you now have to de-stress
by exercising perhaps.
• Your male friends with children
can become another avenue of encouragement. Get advice
from them, joke with them, check with them on how
they felt during low times and how they dealt with
those phases. Most importantly remember that such
feelings are legitimate and you are not alone in this.
• Keep doing regular normal things
is another approach to manage stress instead of taking
the other extreme. Stick to your regular routine as
long as it works for you. Begin your day as always,
going to work and putting in the required hours, meeting
the same people and from there heading back home to
your family. Although it may seem monotonous, the
predictable routine can be comforting in this constantly
the due date in mind especially when planning
your outings or when you need to travel
for work. You need to stay close to home
base for at least 1-2 months before the
baby is due. Both you and your partner
will not feel comfortable otherwise.
• Take a night off and go out with the
Do guy things with your buddies. Communicate
this need with your partner; she will understand and
may even encourage you to go. An occasional outing
with your friends may rev you up - in fact encourage
your partner to have her friends or mum over or if
she is up to it, to go out with her group of friends.
• Don't be hard on yourself;
not everyone is skilled at the same kind of tasks.
A lot of hard work is involved when building a family.
Don't do things you are uncomfortable with because
that's what you are 'supposed to do'. Do the work
you are equipped to do well and you will make a worthwhile
contribution to your pregnancy. For example if you
can't cook for nuts, don't force yourself into the
kitchen. Instead take over the food shopping. Focus
on contributions that make you feel good and then
you are likely to do it well.
• Be honest with yourself and your partner.
Resentment will build for having to act in a way that
is not you. Trust your emotions and allow yourself
to be who you are and feel the way you do without
external pressure to be otherwise. Be vocal about
the difficulties you face. For example if you don't
feel comfortable going to the doctor's office, let
it be known instead of making up excuses. By explaining
your fears to your partner, you are helping her to
understand you better.