New Dad Anxiety - How to Overcome the Fear of Fatherhood

baby Jan 20, 2023
New Dad Anxiety

If you’re a new dad, chances are you feel ecstatic about your new role. However, you’ll more than likely experience new dad anxiety too. You don’t know what exactly to expect, what struggles will come your way, and how you’ll perform as a father, so you end up feeling anxious and overwhelmed.
In this article, we’ll talk about the common sources of new dad anxiety and share some tips to help you overcome the fear of parenting, so keep scrolling.

Fear of the Unknown
One of the major causes of new dad anxiety is fear of the unknown. You have zero experience in taking care of a baby, and now you have your own child whom you’re solely responsible for. However, you don’t have any idea how to feed them, change their diapers, give them a bath, put them to sleep, or even hold them properly — everything is just unfamiliar to you. You can’t help but feel scared, worried, and anxious.

As you go through this new journey into fatherhood, you’ll learn a lot. You can also read books about parenting, watch helpful videos, or simply talk to your friends. However, the fact that you don’t know how this whole experience will turn out can be scary.

Fear of Failure
As a new dad, you may also experience anxiety because of the fear of failure. You think you won’t be able to play this new challenging role successfully. You’ll doubt yourself and start believing that you don’t have the qualities to be a great dad. You keep worrying about doing things the wrong way. You know you have to take care of such a delicate human being now, but you’re too afraid to make mistakes.

Know, however, that no parent is perfect. Even dads with many children still make mistakes and continue to learn.

Fear of Not Being Able To Provide for the Family
One of the major challenges of fatherhood is experiencing the fear of not being able to provide for your family. Your partner has gone through a lot to bring your little angel into this world. Hence, you’ll want to do your part and be a great provider, but at the same time, you’ll feel the weight of that huge responsibility. You’ll want to give everything to your child and let them experience the best life, but you may not be able to do so because of certain circumstances.
From diapers and clothing to food and toys, raising a child can be costly. However, with some budgeting and adjustments, things will get better. Don’t pressure yourself too much. Also, remember that the things that are most valuable to your child are free — love, attention, affection, and your presence.

Fear of Not Being Able To Bond With Your Child
Another source of anxiety in new dads is the fear of not being able to bond with their baby. Your partner is more likely to be the primary caregiver. From their womb to breastfeeding, they’ve developed that strong special bond already, so your baby might always be looking for mommy. Meanwhile, you may not be spending as much time with your child because of work and other responsibilities. As a result, it could take a while before you and your child can build an intimate connection.
When you find it hard to get close to your child, don’t withdraw. Remember that bonding takes time and effort. Try to be patient. Spend alone time with your baby. Find time to feed them, bathe them, or change their diapers. It may take weeks or months before you and your child become closer to each other, but it’ll be worth the wait.

How To Overcome New Dad Anxiety

The fear of fatherhood is completely normal, and there are several ways to help you overcome this new dad anxiety.

Talk About Your Feelings With Someone You Trust
Being a new dad is a crucial and life-changing role, so it’s best to have the right network of people who can listen to you and support you on your journey. Express your emotions with your partner, friends, family members, or a therapist. Knowing that someone understands you and your struggles without judgment helps you keep going and strive to be the best dad that you can be.

Take Care of Yourself
Taking care of yourself helps reduce stress, fear, anxiety, exhaustion, and burnout. It also keeps you more energized and ready to shower your child and partner with love. That is why you should always find time for self-care. Eat well. Get enough rest. Meditate. Exercise. Reward yourself once in a while. Remember that you can’t help others if you don’t help yourself first, so be strong and healthy for yourself and your child.

Get Support and Resources
If there’s one thing you need to know about all the challenges of fatherhood, it’s that you are not alone. A lot of people are truly willing to help you. You can join online support groups and communities, including Dad University, and feel welcome, heard, and accepted. You’ll gain support from people who are going through the same thing or have already gone through these things. You could also talk to a therapist to further understand yourself and your struggles of being a dad.

You Will Do a Great Job
As a new father, it’s normal to experience fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of not being able to provide for your family, and fear of not being able to bond with your child. Don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re already doing great.
Talk to your family and friends. Don’t forget to take good care of yourself while taking care of your child. And finally, gain support from online communities like Dad University. Join us today so we can start helping you build a strong relationship with your child.

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