How to Prepare for Fatherhood

baby Aug 23, 2022
How to Prepare for Fatherhood

Being a father is one of the biggest – and probably one of the most overwhelming – milestones in your life. Nothing beats the feeling of holding your baby for the first time. But before that moment comes, ask yourself, “Have I been preparing for fatherhood?” The time leading up to the birth of your child is usually the most nerve-wracking for soon-to-be-dads like yourself. But don’t worry!  There are ways to prepare for your new role minus the nerves.

In this article, we will discuss some pointers to help soon-to-be-dads prepare for fatherhood. Because let’s face it, fatherhood is life-changing.

Get Into the Right Mindset

Preparing for fatherhood requires a lot of mental preparation. This means getting into the ”Dad Zone,” where you are equipped with a fair amount of knowledge on how to take care of your partner and the baby. You might be feeling a rush of uncontrollable emotions right now, but you can actually combat them by taking some initiative. This can help because our actions can alter the way we think and feel. Start off by simply doing some research on how to prepare for fatherhood.

Fear is inevitable, especially when it’s your first time having a baby. However, you can lessen your fears by performing mundane dad-related tasks such as attending the doctor’s appointments or setting up the baby's room. All of these can get you into the fatherhood mindset and allow you to function better leading up to the birth of your baby. Increasing self-awareness through these tasks is one of the best ways to prepare for fatherhood.

Visualize the Type of Father You Want To Be

Did you have a role model or a father figure growing up? You might consider modeling your parenting strategies after theirs. Who this is is up to you. To visualize the type of father you want to be, think about how you want your baby to grow up. Also consider your current family setup. Do you want to be a stay-at-home father? Are you planning to work from home while taking care of the baby? Will you and your partner hire a nanny if you’re both working? You may also ask whether you’ll be  an affectionate father or a logical disciplinarian? Remember that you can be a mixture of both. Consider these questions early on to avoid any confusion.

Regardless of what type of father you want to be, you’ll do amazing as long as you have your child’s best interest in mind.

Realize That Your Well-Being Matters

You might get so caught up preparing for fatherhood that you forget about your own well-being. As dads, we often think that we are not as significant as our children, but this is a misconception that you should eliminate from your mind.

The physical and mental well-being of the child heavily relies on you. If you are not well both physically and mentally, how will you be able to take care of your baby? So yes, you matter, especially to your partner and the baby. Act like it by remembering to maintain your own wellness.

Focus on Getting Healthier

Part of realizing that your well-being matters is taking action to stay healthy for your child and partner. Two things we need to remember in order to do so are diet and exercise. The overwhelming feelings may try to get in the way of you staying healthy. But this shouldn’t be the case, because fatherhood involves a lot of work. Besides that, your physical condition can affect your mental health. If you’re not eating the right foods and if you’re skipping exercise, you may not be at your best to carry out some fatherly duties.

Moreover, we all want to live longer for the baby. You have to get the right amount of nutrients and burn calories to stay in shape and extend your lifetime. A good rule of thumb is to exercise at least three times every week and avoid eating anything that comes in a box or a can. Eating healthy homemade food can keep you well and physically equipped before the baby arrives.

Practice Patience

When you have a child, everything will become more challenging and everything will take longer. Almost nothing will be carried out according to your timeline. You might miss important appointments because your baby won’t stop crying. Because of the incessant cries, you might have to wake up in the middle of the night, which may cause you to miss deadlines or be late for work.

Nevertheless, patience takes a lot of practice. Try meditation to increase your self-awareness. Of course, you can’t be patient 24/7; but at least try to practice this virtue for your baby. In the long run, you’ll find yourself more equipped to face your parental challenges with more patience.

Wait To Buy Things

Always take note of the word “need.” Only buy what your baby needs. As parents, we get enticed by clothes and toys sold for babies  which can lead to the temptation to buy everything we see at the mall. Remember that babies grow up fast, and if you purchase luxury items for them, they may not be able to use these items much or at all before they grow out of them.

The baby industry also capitalizes on fear by advertising items as necessities for your child’s safety. Not having these items can scare us because of how they’re advertised. It will scare you to the point that you’ll think these baby items are necessary when they’re actually not. Try to focus on the basics, such as food, diapers, milk, a carseat, a stroller, etc.

You’ll Do Amazing as a Father

With these tips in mind, you can be an amazing dad for your baby before and after their birth. Remember that being nervous and overwhelmed is normal, but you got this. Just focus on the present, and everything will follow as you prepare for fatherhood. Fatherhood is not easy, but the first time you see the baby, you’ll realize that all your sacrifices are worth it. 

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