Fatherly Stuff: Addressing A Common Fatherhood Fear (Part 2), Do I have what it akes to be a good father?

Mar 5, 2012

Addressing A Common Fatherhood Fear (Part 2), Do I have what it akes to be a good father?

(Note: This is part 2 of a series addressing common fatherhood fears and ways to manage)

Check out Part 1 and Part 3

I spoke about the day I found out I was having my son in the first part of this series, and my initial feelings of anxiety. Part of this fear stemmed from the fact that I was in my early twenties and with the exception of my little sister (who is 12 years my junior), I really had no experience with babies.  Considering all of that my thought process at the time was, how in the heck was I supposed to be a good enough  father to my future child? Similar to this guy:


First and foremost, the fact that you care enough that you’re worried about whether you will be a good dad is a great thing.  It means that you already possess the special quality that every respectable dad has: The ability to look beyond yourself for the sake of someone else.  With that being said, the following are things that helped me overcome this fear and may benefit you as well.

1. Educate Yourself
As the saying goes, we fear what we don’t understand. Most guys have no idea how the whole pregnancy thing works, and that mystery is what makes it so scary (or at least that’s how it was for me).  What you can do to get rid of some of that uncertainty is education.  Check out your local library or bookstore and pick up some pregnancy books.  One of the most popular (and most helpful, in my opinion) is the book, “What to expect when you’re expecting”. It is a comprehensive guide of what goes on in a pregnant woman’s body from week 1 to week 40. Going through these types of books will help you better understand the whys, how's and WTFs of the entire process, which will better prepare you for what’s to come.

 Another tool that helped me through the gestation period is the “Laugh and Learn” DVD. It’s basically a virtual childbirth class that you can take whenever your schedule allows. I found it very helpful, hilariously informative and the things I learned from that DVD absolutely helped me be a stronger support system for April when she went into labor.

By using these materials to help understand what you will be facing, you can effectively unveil that proverbial, “man behind the curtain”, and better prepare you to take that next step into fatherhood.

2. Find a support group or speak with an experienced parent

For those who can, I suggest you try to get in touch with a friend or family member you know that has a child. By doing this, you can get valuable inside information on what it's like raising kids. Ask them questions about what they did to prepare and how they are currently managing.  Also if possible, take the time to interact with their children, especially if they are still and infant or toddler. There is nothing like hands on practice to get you comfortable with the idea of having a baby of your own.

For those who don't have the benefit of friends or family with children, getting together with a support group is a great way to learn about parenthood. Like the saying goes, there is strength in numbers. Typically the members of such groups consist of dads who pool their resources in order to help each other by providing information based on their individual experiences as well as solutions to the challenges they faced. Here is a link to the Global Father Support Group. I encourage everyone to check out the list and reach out the a group near your area.
If there isn't a group in your area, why not start one of your own? Having experience isn't necessarily a requirement. Even if you're in a group of new dads who know nothing about child rearing, talking to each other about what you're going through will do nothing but help


Question: Have you ever felt like you weren't good enough to be a dad? What did you do to overcome that fear?


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