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Coping With Changing Emotions for Partners

August 11, 2013 by HealthyFamilies BC

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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.


Resources and Links:
BC Council for Families Fathering Resources
HealthLink BC Family Life Cycle - Parenting: Babies Through Adolescents
Public Health Agency of Canada: Attachment

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