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Going to be a dad

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Hello all, been a while but i need to unload and get my thoughts down somewhere.

So in about 5 months i'm going to be a dad and i can't quite seem to get my head round it! I can barely take care of myself, how the fuck am i going to look after a baby? Its just so weird. We had the first scan a little while back and it even looks like a little person (obviously i wasn't expecting it to look like a hampster or anything but i didn't think it would be so well formed so early).

The strangest thing is how confusing it all is. On the one hand i'm quite excited about it, things with my girlfriend are great and i always assumed i would have kids some day...on the other hand i thought it would be about 10 years down the line. I feel like a load of doors have just slammed shut and a load of extra responsibility has just dropped on my shoulders. I know its selfish, and its not as if i'm that young - plenty of people have kids at a younger age - but i just didn't want to have to deal with this stuff so soon.

And i wanted to be a bit more settled when i did have kids - in a job i plan on staying in, have a mortgage, be able to provide properly. I can't even stay out of my overdraft let alone get a fucking mortgage. I know that stuff isn't the be all and end all. I know there are far more important things to a child than money but it is still important. And i wanted to be able to give a child the best start to life that i could.

Most of all though i think the thought of becoming a parent is just really fucking scary. Its moving into the next part of life and its so different to what i've known so far. How do you work out what your supposed to do? None of my friends are even close to becoming parents, most of them are planning the best way to shag their way around south america, so none of them really know what this is like. They're being very supportive and are always available for a pint and a chat but i feel a little bit alone. Plus when the baby does come we're going to move to be close to the missus's mum so it'll be a bit harder to meet up with the lads.

I'm not really sure where i'm going with this but needed to write it down. Any words of wisdom from new (or old) parents would be great.

Cheers

Jon

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Congrats dude! :)

    No real parental advice from me, will be a while until i'll be a papa i think but anyway, congrats :D
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Talking to other dads/dads to be might help. Theres a few forums for dads or sections of mums sites for dads. Not sure how good these are but heres 2.

    http://my.bounty.com/forums/

    https://www.dadtalk.co.uk/index.php

    Try and think about just taking a different path, rather than what you are losing out on. Having children doesn't mean you can't live your life, it's just different.
    Being a parent is hard but it's also rewarding.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Tweety wrote: »
    Try and think about just taking a different path, rather than what you are losing out on. Having children doesn't mean you can't live your life, it's just different.
    Being a parent is hard but it's also rewarding.

    Yeah I know that it brings as much, if not more, reward as options it closes and I'm fine with that. Its the other stuff that I'm finding difficult. Like how do you learn to be a dad? What if i'm shit at it? What if he/she is born and i feel nothing?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    http://www.thesite.org/sexandrelationships/familyandfriends/pregnancyandparenthood/preparingforfatherhood

    congratulations?

    At the end of the day there isnt a parenting manual. You just get on with it. You look after the baby, you make sure its fed, clean, cuddled. You may or you may not bond immediately, but you do have to do your best, and the bond will come, and you will probably find that it is a bond like no other. This tiny helpless being that you have created and you nurture and watch it grow. It really is a beautiful thing.

    It is a lot to come to terms with. It will change your life forever, and just because you dont feel ready for it now, doesnt mean you will always feel like that, and it doesnt mean you wont be a good dad.
    You dont need loads of money, you dont need to be the perfect parent. You just have to be good enough.

    Theres a hell of a lot of unplanned childen out there and most people get by and little by little they realise how its given their life new meaning and direction that they never had before - its actually changed their life for the better.

    It wont always be roses but it will be ok. Youll all be ok. Just look after your woman because this is gonna be pretty difficult for her too.
    Have you talked with her about what she expects from you out of this?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You sure there isn't a manual SCC?

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Haynes-Baby-Manual-Conception-Years/dp/1844250598/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1221909017&sr=8-5

    ;)

    I heard yesterday someone on the telly who was talking about whether they should give everyone compulsory parenting classes. But then someone in that kind of business said that the people who put effort into going to parenting classes turn out to be good parents anyway. It's the parents who don't bother putting effort into their children that are the ones to worry about but not much we can do about them.

    So as long as you are committed to your kids I reckon you don't need to worry about whether you can hack it or not - its putting in that committment that counts.

    But if you're still anxious you could go to one of those birthing groups where you can meet other parents to be and other people in the same situation, maybe even nip off to the pub with one of the other dads because they're probably in exactly the same situation ;) (or were at some point)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Jon_UK wrote: »
    Yeah I know that it brings as much, if not more, reward as options it closes and I'm fine with that. Its the other stuff that I'm finding difficult. Like how do you learn to be a dad? What if i'm shit at it? What if he/she is born and i feel nothing?

    First of all, congratulations :)

    A friend of mine told me the exact same news last night, and he was definitely firmly camped in the middle ground somewhere between excitement and being scared shitless. I wouldn't expect anything else.

    But you won't be shit at fatherhood, even though - as has been said - there's no guide to parenting. It's really, really scary to come to terms with the fact that you are going to be completely responsible (well, in partnership) for another human being. It'd be weird not to be scared and apprehensive. That kept me up at night when I was pregnant, I worried so much about whether I was up to it and what would happen if I discovered that I wasn't. I think the important thing to remember here is that even though children don't come with an instruction manual, people have been having and raising babies into adults for thousands of years and most of us turn out ok. More or less ;)

    The basics come with a bit of trial and error, and you have time when the baby is born to figure out how to care for him or her, and you just do it because your baby needs you and your task in life becomes fulfilling their needs. Anyway, you won't be alone. In addition to you and your girlfriend, there are likely to be grandparents, aunts, uncles, and so on that will be more than happy to help. No one expects you to know it all. You will definitely find yourself annoyed by everyone and their 2 cents of advice about raising kids... I loved it in the beginning and I am still grateful for the gems, but after a while you wish you'd never asked!

    Yeah, your life is going to change. It'll be unrecognisable this time next year. I know my husband and I both had big concerns and questions about how the life, routine, and freedom we'd come to enjoy would change. He especially felt that way, and had a situation a bit like yours where his friends (even though they're knocking on a bit) don't have any kids. You'll be the one they come to for advice, then, because someone has to be first after all. My husband did have his brothers (who have children), which helped, but it was a terrifying time for him. Then he felt guilty about his worries and reservations... and even more so when you have doubts, and everyone is telling you how miraculous and wonderful this all is. It's normal, or at least it isn't abnormal. But, you can't help but wonder what life is going to be like, I definitely did... and all my imagined scenarios were so far off the mark it was ridiculous. I knew that everything was going to change, but not quite how. Guilt may tell you not to bring this up with your girlfriend, but I would wager that she has fears and concerns too and it is really important that, from the beginning, you share them with each other and talk. Tell her what you're worried about, what you don't want to lose from your life right now, and what you don't want to change and come up with some solutions together. Be willing to help develop possible solutions to her worries, as well. Obviously with moving near her mum she is getting a great lifeline, but when push comes to shove it's the two of you in this together.

    I think you'll do just fine, and be a great dad. The fact that there's no real preparation for parenthood means you can be as good a parent with a "surprise" pregnancy as you can with one that's been planned for years. When you meet your son or daughter then you'll definitely understand why generation after generation bothered reproducing (in addition to the fun part, of course). You will be absolutely enchanted by this tiny little baby who dotes on you, depends on you. If not immediately (I imagine it will be), then it will come, I'm sure of it.

    PS. prepare for the tiredness to end all tiredness. Fair warning to ya :razz:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Jon_UK wrote: »
    Yeah I know that it brings as much, if not more, reward as options it closes and I'm fine with that. Its the other stuff that I'm finding difficult. Like how do you learn to be a dad? What if i'm shit at it? What if he/she is born and i feel nothing?

    Don't worry about the feeling nothing bit, some people it takes longer than others, doesn't make you a bad parent, you will just need to make the effort and in time it will come.

    Have you and your partner thought about going to postnatal groups? They can teach you the most basic things and reassure you about labour and having a newborn. Can also be great for making friends with kids of similar ages. Men go to these too. Your partner can find out about these from her mw.

    Good luck to you both, we are due to go through it all again (have a 4 yr old) in feb and i am worried in a different way this time but we will be fine as will you.

    It's normal to worry but you will both learn and the baby will be fine and you will get midwife and health visitor care early on who can help advise on things you are unsure about.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Look at this as an opportunity. I had an unplanned pregancy when I was 22. I had just graduated and only been seeing my boyfriends for a few months, and we found out I was pregnant. It shocked us, we were totally unprepared, and none of our friends had children. But 5 years on we have everything that you have said is important to you. We both have good jobs, we have a mortgage, and we can provide for ourselves and our children (baby no.2 was planned and arrived in Oct 2007!).

    Being a parent is scary. And baby's dont come with a manual, you learn as you go as you go along. I found my relationship with my parent really improved at this time, as they taught me so much about looking baby. There is also loads of support out there - from parentcraft sessions, to postnatal groups (for both Mum's and Dad's) as well as practical assistance in terms of benefits etc if you need them.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Return of the Jedi...where you been fella?

    Congrats on the wee baby. :thumb:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Jon_UK wrote: »
    So in about 5 months i'm going to be a dad and i can't quite seem to get my head round it! I can barely take care of myself, how the fuck am i going to look after a baby?

    Congratulations ... but it doesn't sound like Jon_UK junior was planned? Not surprised you're nervous! :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yerascrote wrote: »
    Return of the Jedi...where you been fella

    Working! Or so it seems. Since I finished uni I just don't seem to have enough spare time to come on here.

    Thanks for all the congratulations and links guys, much appreciated. Although my post probably didn't read like it I am really excited, just not very prepared. But like many of you have said I suppose a lot of people approach it without being prepared and work out fine. Post natal groups sound like a good idea, will definitely look into those.

    Cheers for all the advice
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