Having a baby – especially your first – can change your life dramatically.
And while lots of people focus on the mom, dads and partners have to cope with a whole new range of challenges, too.
Some of those challenges relate to emotions that may be unfamiliar, or may make you uncomfortable as a partner. Don't worry too much. All of the following thoughts are common, and you can get support if you need to work through them:
- My partner is so involved with the baby that there is no time for us.
- None of my friends are parents so they don’t understand what I’m going through.
- I'm nervous about caring for the baby. What if I drop her? My partner is much more at ease with changing, bathing, handling, and playing with our baby than I am.
- How will I be able to protect and provide for my new family?
- Now that I have a family I’m much more aware of my own mortality. I had never considered life insurance before.
- I’m afraid of being replaced by the baby. My partner loves the baby so much and only seems to let me be involved when she says it’s OK.
- This is a whole new role for me. I’m not sure I like having to do more chores around the house. I want my partner and my old life back.
- I'm so tired. A good night's sleep is all I want right now.
- How can someone like me be a good parent? I don’t know what I’m doing!
It's normal to feel uncertain right now, and dealing with emotions can be a challenge. Look for help in your community, family or online. Try spending time with other fathers or partners, and schedule some special time for just you and your baby.