I wrote this post before the arrival of our little bundle of joy! Therefore, I thought than rather toss it to the side of the road, I'd use as much of it as it might be relevant to some of you. I have however added an extra sentence under each 'fear' talking about whether or not there was a need to be fearful... Make sense? Good!
Here we go:
I think it's common for new dads to have all kinds of genuine fears about being a new dad. Well, I hope they do, because I am positively crapping it! It would probably be fair to say that beneath my manly, calm and collective exterior is a quivering wreck of a man. (Is it OK that I referred to myself as 'manly?' I like to think I am...or at least look it!)
Assuming that this is common among dads to be, I thought I would write a post about what those fears might be. Be aware, these are my fears and I'm bearing my soul here. Don't laugh at me...
#1 Will I cope with the labour?
I know what you're thinking, will I cope with the labour? What about the wife! But, what I mean is whether I'll be able to do the right things at the right time and say the right words. Will I make it worse for her? Will I faint at the sight of a crowning baby head or any number of bodily excretions seeping out from an orifice? Will I be able to encourage her well or not? The labour is a genuine fear!
- Definitely worth fearing! But, I did cope, just. Seeing the person you love in that much pain is awful. There are no words to prepare you for it. Read this for more perspective!
#2 Will I be able to be man warrior, hunter gatherer and powerful protector? (they'd be great names if I were a boxer..."welcome to the ring the man warrior, powerful...you get the jist)
Money does come into this; obviously having a baby does increase the outgoings and decreases the income (stupid unpaid paternity leave and ever decreasing maternity leave income)... And it is scary to think whether we'll have enough money to have a good lifestyle and enjoy life etc etc I'll have to start reading The Skint Dad Blog in more depth I reckon! I also want to protect my family and stand up for them. Will this come naturally? I suppose it does for the wife, so why wouldn't it for the children? I want my family to be as secure as Fort Knox (and not the Fort Knox from Die Hard 3...) Financially and safely! Impenetrable and all that.
- Not worth fearing: this will just happen naturally. The financial thing will just go on throughout your life... But it is for certain that my protective nature has gone through the roof.
A friend recently said to me, so this technically isn't my fear, that since having a baby he has suddenly developed a great fear of dying! That in turn has now made me fearful of being fearful of dying as a result of having a baby! Work that one out!
- I'm now terrified of dying... what will happen to the boy if I do? Ahhhh!
#4 Will having a baby affect my relationship with the wife?
This is true. The wife and I are inseparable. If I could I would actually live in her pocket and if I could choose it would either be her 'back' pocket or 'chest' pocket...catching my drift? But seriously, having a baby is going to eat into our time together something drastic and that time is so precious to me. What if I loose that time and it starts damaging our relationship? I have taken steps towards dealing with this: we've booked in the grandparents every Wednesday evening from birth, so we can have a date night. Up here for thinking, down there for dancing!
- This fear is in your own hands. The fear has certainly made me pro-active though and I've already made plans for our first date night / date 2 hours.
#5 Will I get shunned to one side because it's physically impossible to dispense milk from my breasts...despite them becoming more moob-like by the day!
I want to be involved as much as possible, but there are times when I just won't be. Not necessarily breast feeding, I can still sit with them both and bond etc but it is a fear that I'll be at work all day and miss out on things and therefore learn things slower...which brings me on to my next fear nicely.
- Not worth me fearing, but that's because my wife is amazing and included me every step of the way. She's even been so kind as to wake me to 'watch' the 2am feed!
#6 I have no idea what the hell I'm doing!
I know there isn't a manual and I'm sure that mums fear this as well. But how do you pick up a baby? How do you bath a baby? How do you clothe a baby? How do you feed a baby? How do you talk to a baby? How durable is a baby? When should they sleep? When should they wake? What if they cry? Nappies? Will I be able to stop them crying?
How do you learn all this stuff? I can see myself now asking my wife everything. Is it OK to pick him up darling? I know I shouldn't, and I hope I don't but it is a fear. I guess my best thought is that couples should approach it together and learn together, allowing each other to try things and get things wrong.
- Definitely worth fearing. I still have no idea what I'm doing and learning in the deep end. The good thing, the baby hasn't read the manual, and so does't know which way round the nappy goes either.
#7 Will I be a good dad?
A big fear, probably of all dads to ever grace the planet with their presence...but really a daft one. What is a good dad? A question that has many different answers. Will I be a good dad, all I know is that I will do my best and when I balls up, I'll try again. I think that is what makes a good dad, so maybe this isn't a fear after all.
- I'm fairly confident that this will remain a fear my whole life.
#8 Will I ever see the inside of a pub again?
I hope so and I think so but I guess less so... I learnt the other day though, that the local curry house now delivers beer with a curry so really, I don't have much need to a pub anyway.
- Your destiny is in your own hands. Do you dare raise the subject of your baby's head and wetting stuff?
#9 Will I get my wifes attention?
I have to admit that there are times when I want my wifes attention, but not getting it, I'll do something naughty... streak or break something or wind her up by poking her. Now, I'm going to have to contend with a gorgeous, cute, sweet ball of baby. Will I ever get her attention again? Maybe I need to get down the gym to turn the 1 pack into 6 and the moobs into pecks! That'll grab her attention.
- Amazing wife: I must be doing something right, because I still get lots of attention. Worth fearing though - it will heighten your desire to make sure your fears don't happen.
#10 Lack of sleep makes my wife cranky and I can't cope when she's cranky!
Not the most diplomatic way of putting it, but I guess sleep deprivation for everyone concerned is a fear.
- Fear it & deal with it!
#11 I might have to do some housework!
Jokes...I do lot's as it is... *ahem*
So there you go... some real fears from a real new dad to be. Resonating with anyone?
*Just to add, the fears don't outweigh the excitement...I think
This article was originally posted on The Dad Network, to see more great blogs about all things dad, visit them here