Becoming a dad is an exciting, challenging and life-changing event in a man’s life. For many first-time dads, the challenge prior to birth lies in understanding what it means to be a good dad and what life will be like after the birth of your child. It’s a very different experience to becoming a mum and for this reason it’s often overlooked. Rest assured, we know what it’s like on both sides of the coin and we’re here to help you settle into your dad identity.
As we know, a woman’s body transforms dramatically during pregnancy; her body, her mind, all of it gradually changes as the baby grows. While it may take some time to adjust, this process allows her to familiarise herself with the baby and prepare for motherhood.
Fathers, on the other hand, watch and appreciate this process from the outside. For many, preparing to be a dad is a mental process, which can be difficult to master prior to the birth of the baby.
Below are some activities which may help you take on your dad identity.
Prepare the nursery. Set up the crib, help choose the colour scheme and decorations. Taking part in activities that prepare you for baby’s arrival can help it become more real to you.
Buy clothes. Not socks and trainers for yourself, dad. Rather, pick up some onesies and nappies. Get familiar with the sizes and your preferred brands. Pro-tip: check for 100% cotton on the label as newborns have sensitive skin.
Read the same blogs as your partner. First time mums are notorious for reading hundreds of parenting advice blogs both before and after the birth. This can be a good thing, especially if it’s an unfiltered, honest response to parenthood. It’s a good idea for first-time dads to read them as well. You’ll undoubtedly find some really helpful hints that may not have crossed your mind previously.
Use your mates. If you’ve got friends who are dads as well, then spend time with them and learn from their experience. Every new dad has a story to tell.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Being a parent is a new experience, so it’s ok to feel unsure about it. Ask lots of questions and be open to different parenting styles. You’ll find the right one for you soon enough.