Helping Men Become Fathers
Even though the baby is not in their belly, pregnancy can be a very scary thing for the father-to-be. The unknowns of fatherhood, the increase in responsibility, the financial implications, lifestyle changes, and so much more can make the thought of having a child very overwhelming, especially if the pregnancy wasn't planned. Because men play such a crucial role during and after the pregnancy, it is vital that men are equipped with whatever resources they need to feel comfortable and confident that they can fill their new role to the best of their abilities.
Men, remember that she needs you now more than ever. It’s vitally important that you provide her with the support she needs — emotionally and physically. She will be going through a lot of changes, experiencing a lot of pain, sickness, mood swings, and a number of other emotions and physical stresses, before and after the pregnancy, that can have a huge affect on her. Be the man that she needs you to be, support her and care for her as it will make a huge difference in your relationship and the development of your child.
THE DO'S AND DONT'S OF PREGNANCY
So your girlfriend or wife is pregnant and you aren't really sure what to do, how to react, and what the future holds. Here is a list of do's and don'ts that we have found to be extremely helpful for fathers-to-be:
WHAT TO DO:
Listen. Keep the lines of communication open between the two of you at all times. If you don't talk to her she may feel insecure, un-loved, and worried about the future. If she doesn't talk to you, then you may feel left out, uninformed, and disrespected. The same applies when it comes to listening to what the other person is saying.
Stay Calm. She needs your support as a boyfriend or husband now more than ever. She may be carrying the baby, but you are BOTH parents, and regardless of your relationship in the future, that baby needs you too.
Talk About It. Prepare to talk with parents and others close to the situation. Hiding the news from people who can genuinely help you only increases the stress — yours and hers.
Gather All The Facts. Educate yourself. Collect information and seek advice from people you trust. The more you know the more comfortable and confident you will feel.
Be Honest. Own and share at all times how you feel. You’ll be surprised at how much it will help her to know that you share the same concerns. You’ll be surprised at what you learn about yourself. It’s normal to have feelings of anger, frustration and fear. Make sure she knows she is not alone. Stand tall together!
WHAT NOT TO DO:
Don’t bail. If you run from this situation, things will be much harder for everyone involved. There is tons of evidence that proves being there for your child and for the child's mother is extremely beneficial to the child and BOTH parents over the course of their lifetimes. Being a parent is a true blessing that will impact you positively for the rest of your life.
Don’t close yourself off emotionally. It is a man's nature to hide his feelings and not let people see the various things that affect them emotionally. The problem is, most men bottle up these emotions until the pressure builds to the breaking point, in which men tend to then make decisions they later regret. Be open with your partner and others about your emotions, you'll be surprised to find that you aren't in the boat alone!
Don’t pressure her to do what you want. As the saying goes, Mom know's best, so when she is adamant about not following your advice don't take it personally. Applying pressure will only push her away, possibly into a regretful situation. Instead, work together as a team, find out how you can both support each other without forcing your will onto the other. And remember, she is going through a lot of physical and emotional changes, so you may not be able to do things you were used to doing in the past.
Don’t forget that you have a very active role in this situation. Don’t stop communicating. Express your feelings, listen to input, and add your thoughts whenever needed.
Have more questions about becoming a father? Contact us!