You have the test results before you. It is positive! You are overwhelmed. Also scared! Preparing for fatherhood is no joke! You have to bring in a host of changes!! Oh, wait! Your dear partner’s mood swings will go through the roof, and you must be patient. How? This write-up will guide you through. From bringing changes in the personal domain to changing your stance at work, as a man, you will have to adjust yourself to unforeseen circumstances. Let’s start working on that.
Also, this article has been written with inputs from ‘first-time’ dads, who have been ‘hands-on’ in bringing up their children. Hence, if you and your partner are planning to become parents, this content is equally relevant for you. Read on –
The arenas to care while preparing for fatherhood
This content will elaborate on the specific areas a would-be-father will have to work on, from their personal stances to their official domains. In fact, there’s a thought that nothing could (however much you are prepared) stop you from losing track at times while you are preparing or are doing the duties of a father.
Even the superstar Ryan Reynolds, says this about his daughters – “I’m like any other parent; I’ll have a moment where I’ll just snap!” – you now can understand what you are getting into.
1. Physically you must be prepared to
Your wife will undertake the colossal physical change, but you must also prepare to bring about some changes in yourself.
Change your diet
Preparing for fatherhood is a cataclysmic job, and your health is the priority. Whether your wife is already pregnant or you are trying for a baby, in either case – fruits and whole grains will have to replace pizzas and fries. The late-night parties and leftover food need to go to the bin. You will have to suit your palate with fresh-home-cooked food. Also, the ‘diet colas’ despite their ‘claims’ don’t really control your sugar. But fresh fruit juices do.
Give up on your ‘not-so-healthy’ habits
You might like your whisky or scotch, but your body is not ready to always accommodate that. Also, if you are a smoker, it is time to take the first step to quitting. It is high time you give up on your ‘unhealthy’ habits while the baby makes its way into your life.
#If you can’t just quit it, however much you try, you better take a therapist’s help at the earliest.
Welcome a disruption in your schedule
That is bound to happen! Forget a good night’s replenishing sleep, forget date nights (at least for the time being), and surely Netflix and chill can wait for some years. It’s a monstrous little human with a supernatural need that is coming your way, so you better start readjusting your schedule.
Also, once the baby comes, time, his/her sleep pattern, and schedule and plan out a chart with your better half to ensure that both of you can take your breaks while caring for the baby.
Deal with your wife’s physical requirements
Your wife has just delivered a baby, and despite the happiness and relief – the hormones are going astray and will continue going for some time now. Hence, her physical and emotional requirements will change drastically, and you will have to stick through it. This is one of the most important but neglected aspects of preparing for fatherhood.
In fact, there will be times when you will just have to hug her and sit by her while she rants about the responsibilities that came with the baby. Most fathers find this tiring and useless (they are also frustrated with their disrupted schedule), which causes arguments between the partners. Why don’t you change it with your spouse?
#Take care of her postpartum physical issues – almost 15% of women globally suffer from minor to major post-delivery physical complications.
Give up on the pleasures of sex at times
Sex was pleasurable, but now, you will perhaps not have it. If at all you do, be prepared to have nothing more than a quickie because the mother has to attend to the baby. Rather than cribbing about the ‘loss of alone time,’ it is better to try to adjust to the priorities and seek a common pleasure time. Adjusting and readjusting – as they say, change is the only constant!
These are some of the physical adjustments that you must make. But mentally – there’s a lot coming up.
2. Psychological facts to understand
It is not just a physical change that has occurred but a psychological acclimatization of the ‘presence of a third party’ that has happened. So take care of the following things –
Mental health is important
Whether it is the sudden pangs of anxiety or the postpartum depression – it is inevitable for both parents, and you will have to handle it well. From the records of a survey by a US-based medical platform, close to 13% of new mothers and 10% of new fathers suffer from postpartum depression.
The issue starts when they do not analyze the problems and prioritize mental health. It is all taken down, with both partners shouting at each other and creating an untoward toxic environment. Stop that immediately and sit down and talk things out with your wife. If required, seek help from counselors.
Change your attitude – getting to the team player zone
The baby is yours, and thus as parents, you deal with it jointly. There is no selfishness, ‘I’. ‘My’, ‘Yours’ here. It is always ‘Ours,’ and you must change your attitude from ‘personal’ to ‘team’. Whether you like it or not – you will have to make sure that both of you are equal and, at times, not so proportionally – but to be a part of your child’s growth.
Scrutinize on your ‘dad’ abilities
A very important aspect to remember while preparing for fatherhood is knowing what kind of ‘father’ you want to be. Whether you want to follow the standard ‘ father guardian’ pattern or be more like ‘father-buddy’ either way – you will have to scrutinize your ‘dad’ abilities before the baby arrives.
3. Have you prepared your home?
Babyproofing your home is one of the crucial steps in preparing for fatherhood. The edges must be refined and the steps modified – the baby’s welfare is a priority.
The style needs to go – enhance your comfort zone
You may win the award for the ‘most stylish home’ among your peers, but the baby needs ‘ultimate comfort’. Keep the sharp things at bay, see how you will reframe the staircase, and put up barriers at those ‘tricky’ points in the house.
What about the setting of your home?
Apart from changing your home’s decor, you also need to reorganize the setting at your home. The baby’s products must be at an arm’s distance, while avoidable contents have to be kept away. Discuss with your partner and see what suits both of your requirements before you go on a changing spree.
Have you prepared your vehicle?
The fancy car must have an ‘infant seat’ and an extra belt! If you have a two-wheeler, it is important that you consult your mechanic and change certain fittings to make it more feasible for the baby.
4. Changes are due at the office
Your ‘cool, carefree’ attitude needs to take a backseat! You will be a father now. Hence, you might take some steps while preparing for fatherhood in your professional domain.
Be driven – but know when to say ‘no’
There’s no need to put a stop to your ‘career – growth’ once you enter the phase of fatherhood. But what is required is – when to say no, when to take a backseat, and when to bow down. Remember – there’s someone back at home waiting for you.
Whether a new project or a sudden late-night party, measure your priorities and act accordingly.
Get ready, would-be-dad!
Do you understand what changes you will have to bring within yourself while preparing for fatherhood? Though mothers have traditionally been the nurturers and caregivers, modern fathers are playing a big part in this crucial duty. Hence, all said and done – be the father your child can proudly look up to. Be patient.
All the best for the upcoming responsibilities.
Monalisa Mukherjee is a content writer and copywriter with close to 3 years of experience. She has written for websites like Biography Talk, Contour Cafe, He And She Fitness and Fiction Pad. She is currently associated with a noted Digital Marketing Agency and specialises in writing articles for travel, entertainment, cooking, celeb, lifestyle, tech, health, fashion and film news.