Becoming a dad: not real yet?
There's no perfect way to find your way into being a dad. Some men say that it's not until they attend birth classes, go through the birth or drive home from hospital with their baby that being a dad feels real.
If you're a dad who's only just getting into pregnancy or the thought of being a father, that's OK.
But you might have a bit of catching up to do. You can start by thinking and learning more about:
- being a dad
- your birth support role
- the first hours after the birth
- adjusting to fatherhood
- your relationship.
Burying yourself in work during pregnancy?
It might be that pregnancy and becoming a dad still don't feel real because you've been caught up in work. Perhaps you're already feeling the financial pressure of providing for a family.
You've probably heard of work-life balance. Now is a good time to start thinking about what it means for you and how you might be able to get the balance you want once your child is born.
Unsure about the pregnancy
If you weren't keen on the pregnancy to start with or you're not sure about being a parent, you're likely to be in a tough spot.
You could have a conversation with someone you trust, like a friend, a family member or your GP, or ring MensLine on 1300 789 978 to talk about your concerns or situation. It's a free, confidential service.
Unsure about the relationship
If you're unsure about being in a relationship with the expectant mother, you're in a hard situation.
The reasons for feeling this way probably won't go away when the baby is born. Now could be the time to do some hard thinking about your life and relationships.
Discussing the situation with someone else might give you a different point of view and help you get things clear in your head.
If your relationship is breaking down, or has already ended, it's still very possible to be an involved, loving and responsible dad. You might like to read more about positive single parenting and part-time parenting.
Things you can do
- If the pregnancy still doesn't feel real or the thought of being a dad is strange, don't be afraid to say so. You could talk about it with a friend who's a dad or expecting a baby. Did he feel the same way? What made things real for him?
- It's a good idea to go to a birth class, if you haven't already. These classes will give you an idea of what to expect during birth and could help you feel more confident about supporting your partner and caring for your baby.
- If you're not sure about becoming a dad, you could talk about it with someone you trust or call MensLine on 1300 789 978. They might be able to help you figure out why you're feeling this way and what you can do about it.