Surviving First Time Fatherhood
What goes through the mind of a man who finds out he is going to be a father for the first time? Is it fear?
What goes through the mind of a man who finds out he is going to be a father for the first time? Is it fear? Is it shock? Is it excitement? Is it some amalgamation of all three of these feelings? You can be sure that there will definitely be some anxiety involved. It can be something planned or unexpected, but the reaction will be the same. What do you do once the initial shock wears off? How does he plan for something that he has probably never even thought about until now?
Nervousness about whether he will know how to be a good father will probably hit first. These feelings are natural and can happen to any man. You have nine long months to get used to the idea. Waiting on the impending arrival of the new baby will teach you many things about fatherhood, and you wife will be the one to teach you. Oh, also be aware that hormones will play a pretty big part in how your wife reacts to many things, and some of them won't make any sense, but just go along with her, no matter how strange her request seems to be. You'll live longer that way!
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Accompany your wife to all her doctor's visits, so that you know what is going on, and are able to keep up with the health and growth of your baby. A little knowledge is a powerful thing, remember? Your wife may appear to be brave and fearless, but it's new and frightening to her also. Together, you can survive those nine months and learn a little something about your impending fatherhood.
Spend some time getting that nursery ready. Even though your wife might make what seems to you to be unreasonable requests, it's all part of the pregnancy process. Bear with it, and help her all you can. Working together to prepare for the birth will bring you closer.
Talk to your friends who have been through it before. They can give you a lot of little tips and insights that you didn't know about. Drive them crazy with questions if you must! Learn, learn, and learn some more. Read books on childbirth, and raising a new baby. If you know a little about what to expect, coping will be a bit easier.
Spend your time baby-proofing the home. Yes, it's a bit early, but it will help take your mind off other things. Discuss names for the baby, make future plans, daydream about your child becoming something great in life, work out a financial budget, and above all, support your wife. Be there for her if she needs to talk, or cry. Her changing hormones will make her do many things she never did. Understand that the mood swings are not her fault. You will get through those nine months, and come out with the knowledge that while you may make mistakes along the way, it's all a part of being a parent, and a dad.
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