We know that the title ‘Preparing for Fatherhood’ might seem daunting to you because the realization that you will soon become a father is daunting in itself. You might be feeling a range of emotions now – stress, anxiety, nervousness, happiness, excitement, etc. – and might be struggling day and night to cope with them.
But we just want to say that remember that you are about to enter one of the most beautiful phases of your life. Youth, wedding, and parenthood are a few phases that change your life completely. Currently, you might be trying to balance the emotional and professional aspects of your life so that you can welcome your baby into this world and your life in the best manner possible. You might be scared, but we are sure that you are leaving no stone unturned in making sure that you become the best dad ever.
So, we want to congratulate you for facing your fears and marching ahead in your journey. We also want to tell you that you should not feel guilty or embarrassed about the way you are feeling. Every dad-to-be feels the same way. The important point is that you are going through so many emotions because you want to be a perfect father, and thus, you are not taking the birth of your child lightly. We want to be your companion on this journey. Hence, we have curated a list of 5 tips that will certainly help you in preparing for fatherhood.
Are You Preparing for Fatherhood? Read these Tips
It’s often believed that men are less emotional than women or they don’t have an emotional connection with their children. While it cannot be argued that women express themselves freely and share an amazing bond with their kids, it would be wrong to say that men don’t share a bond with their kids.
As the mother keeps her baby in the womb for nine months and spends most of her time with her kid during the initial years, she develops a rapport with her offspring. But it does not mean that fathers love their children any less. Dads may not say it often, but their lives revolve around their family. Hence, men also strive to be great fathers, just like women strive to be great mothers.
In today’s time, men openly acknowledge the fact that they want to be involved in the upbringing of their children as much as possible. Therefore, even some companies grant paternity leave to male employees who are about to become fathers or have recently become fathers. You just need to take care of some points and manage your time effectively so that you can start preparing for fatherhood in advance. Now, let’s have a look at the tips.
Picturize Yourself as a Dad
If you have ever been to an interview, you must have visualized yourself in an interviewee’s chair before reaching the venue. People visualize themselves in different situations and roles to prepare themselves to face the situations and fulfill the roles when the time comes.
So, before becoming a dad, you must picturize yourself as one. When you imagine yourself taking care of your baby, you will notice the good and bad aspects of your parenting style. You should visualize yourself in various scenarios, such as feeding your child, singing a lullaby, taking your child to the park, and so on. It will give you an idea of your parenting skills. Picturizing yourself as a dad also means that you should think about the qualities that you want to have.
When you imagine the type of father you want to become, you will be able to identify your strengths and flaws. You will identify the areas in which you have to work. If you visualize yourself as a dad who is always present for their child, you will work at handling your schedule well so that you can make time for every activity and event in which your child participates. You might even think about starting to work remotely.
On the other hand, if you visualize yourself as a dad who wants to secure the future of their child in terms of finances, you would work at increasing your income so that you can fulfill every desire of your child. Similarly, if your priority is to become a father in whom a child can confide without any hesitation, you should work on your personality so that your child can see you as a friendly and trustworthy person.
Engage in Mindful Communication
Engaging in communication that leads to fruitful results is a step you cannot miss while preparing for fatherhood. You must have heard how communication is important to lead a team or run a business. Communication is also important to live a happily married life.
But it becomes even more necessary when it comes to bringing a baby into the world. Giving birth is a conscious choice you and your partner make. So, once you get to know the news of the arrival of your child, you should make all decisions mindfully. In order to do, you need to communicate with your partner about all the matters related to the child.
In the previous point, we have explained how you should picturize yourself as a father. You should share your visualization with your partner and ask for her opinion. Gone are the days when the father used to provide for the family, and the mother used to take care of the home. You need to remember that you have to work as a team to give your child the best life possible. You both should decide on the parenting style. You now need to respect each other even more if you want your child to respect both of you.
Divide Responsibilities Mutually
One of the matters that you should communicate about with your partner is the division of responsibilities. It’s not a hidden fact that once the baby is born, you will have a ton of extra responsibilities to fulfill. The upbringing of a child is not an easy task. You have to always be on your toes to make sure that your child gets all the nourishment and care they need.
Therefore, you must fulfill your responsibilities wholeheartedly and dedicatedly. Since it’s not possible for a single person to do everything, you need to divide the responsibilities with your partner. The division should be carried out mutually.
In simple words, both you and your partner should be satisfied after taking a share of the duties. The tasks that new parents generally have to perform include but are not limited to feeding the child, bathing the child, changing diapers, playing with the child, and ensuring safety of the child. A child needs to be supervised all the time so that it does not encounter any danger. It’s quite possible that both you and your partner have a full-time job or business.
In such a case, you should make all the preparations in advance according to your plan of taking care of the child. You can come up with useful solutions like preparing meals and freezing them, hiring a nanny, inviting your parents to live with you for some time, etc.
Stay Healthy Physically and Mentally
Maintaining your physical and mental health is one of the most crucial steps in preparing for fatherhood. After reading the previous points, you must have understood that upbringing a child is more difficult than you can think.
You will have to carry out tasks you have done before. You will have to adjust to the fact that the new member of your house has become your top priority. You will have to understand the various signals your child gives for different purposes, such as feeling hungry, feeling thirsty, having pain in the stomach, and so on. You will need to study the behavior of your child to understand how they respond to different situations and stimuli.
Thus, you should be physically and mentally well. You cannot fulfill your role as a father if you don’t have enough energy or stamina. You cannot take care of your child if you are struggling with diseases. Similarly, raising a child can become difficult if you are dealing with mental health issues.
As we have mentioned at the beginning of this blog post, the feeling of becoming a father can bring with it a variety of emotions. Along with happiness and joy, you might also experience nervousness and anxiety. You should face these emotions bravely and remind yourself every day that they are a part of the journey. You can take the help of simple practices like meditation, maintaining a gratitude journal, or writing in a diary to stay calm.
You can note down the emotions you feel throughout the day so that you can become aware of how you are feeling. It will help you avoid behaving irrationally. You should make a proper routine in which you allocate time to exercise and other physical activities. You can spend time pursuing hobbies or playing sports so that you can stay away from overthinking. You should get enough sleep, as you have to take care of your partner as well.
Be Financially Prepared to be a Father
Even though many people avoid discussing the topic of financial matters in relation to the birth of a child, it is a topic that should not be avoided. The process of preparing for fatherhood is incomplete without taking into account the financial aspect. Just like responsibilities, your expenses also increase when you become a father.
Thus. you should be financially sound to bear the expenses. People assess their financial condition before planning to have a baby. But at times, the assessment can be incorrect due to several factors, such as inflation, sudden loss of job, etc.
When your partner is pregnant, you should conduct due research to list down all the probable expenses you have to bear from the stage of pregnancy till your child becomes a teenager. You might have to refer to various sources and seek information from different people to make this list. But in the end, you will have better clarity on how financially capable you are of raising your child. You will notice the details you might have ignored earlier.
You should compare the monthly expenses with your monthly income to create a budget. You should discuss the budget with your partner so that you both can abide by it. If required, cut down on some unnecessary expenses and, if possible, generate more sources of income. If you are not someone who makes a budget, it’s time you start doing so.
Apart from the 5 major steps mentioned above, you need to take several small steps to welcome your child. For example, you have to make a nursery and make adequate space for your child in your house. You also need to babyproof your house.
Another point to consider while preparing for fatherhood is to keep your house clean at all times. You should get the deep cleaning done in your place. Pregnant women should stay in hygienic conditions. Unhygienic conditions affect the growth of a baby in the womb. You should buy a decent-quality baby car seat. You should also get rid of bad habits like smoking, as passive smoking can affect the health of your partner and child. You should search for the best baby formula.
Fatherhood can make you feel at the top of the world. The journey to becoming a good father is a never-ending one. But you must remember that you are not alone. You can always take the guidance and support of your family members, friends, and even therapists. At times, you might feel that you are not doing enough, but you should not get disappointed. You need to appreciate yourself at every step you take. You should love yourself in order to love your child fully.