You just found out you are going to be a father but this was an unplanned pregnancy. It was unexpected and even unwanted. We are not going to play you should have done this or could have done that. You are in this situation….so in this video, we are helping you figure out what you need to do. Unwanted pregnancy is not an easy situation to be in and I’m sure your thoughts are going crazy all over the place….which brought you to this video. Let’s first take a deep breath. It’s going to be ok.
Before we get into what you can do, let’s look at the various possibilities that you could be facing….. I’m going to assume you have already spoken with the mother of the child about the plan. If you have not, that’s going be your first priority. You have to have the important and real conversation. A disclaimer: your own beliefs and her beliefs may come into play for these scenarios so for some people these may be all of the options.
#1 – You both agree to terminate the pregnancy. If that is the case, this video doesn’t apply.
#2 – You both want to have the baby. If so, congratulations to you. The rest of the Dad University videos will be helpful to you, including this one.
#3 – She does not want to have the baby but you do. Well, at least in the United States, she doesn’t need your consent to terminate the pregnancy. There really isn’t much you can do.
#4 – She wants to have the baby but you don’t. Again, at least in the US, men don’t have much say. She can keep the baby if she wants to.
So this is the scenario of an unwanted pregnancy. Let’s now look at what you need to do.
#1 – Step up & Commit. What does that mean? You are 50% parent to that child and crucial to their well being. Don’t let anyone (especially her) have you think that you shouldn’t be involved or don’t need to be involved. The child will be better off with a solid and involved father. Even if you and the mom don’t work out, you need to be 50% parent to that child. Not 90/10, not 75/25, or 60/40. You are 50/50. Commit to it!
#2 – Mentally begin preparing. You are probably scared and that is totally normal. I think it’s a good thing that you are scared. It means that you care. So even though it’s an unexpected pregnancy, you now need to begin preparing mentally for the baby’s arrival. Look at the situation as a blessing. You now have the opportunity to positively impact another person. You can do it.
#3 – Improve your situation – When you have a baby on the way, whether it was an unplanned pregnancy or not, we men always start evaluating and questioning our situation. Am I going to be a good father? Can I afford a baby? Am I mature enough to do this? Nothing will help speed up a process like a child on the way. You may need to finish school, get a better job, or even evaluate the people you are hanging around? Cut back on the partying and social activity. It’s time to get serious. Remember, your involvement is crucial. You are 50% so you are going to need to act like it whether you want to or not.
#4 – Setup your network – If you can, try to get support from friends and family. Do this far in advance (like now) so you have options and everyone around you also has time to prepare. But here’s a note, do not expect anything from anyone. Nobody is obligated to help you. But if someone is willing or offering to help, allow them to do so.
#5 – Be empathetic toward her – Empathy is putting yourself in someone else’s situation. Realize that she is going through some serious stuff herself. Not only mentally, but she will be physically changing too. It’s actually a lot harder than your situation. Being empathetic solves so many problems. It allows you to get along with others and harmony is something you will really value in this situation.
#6 – Do it for your child – Whether it’s getting along with the mom, saving money, or stopping your partying….you are doing it for your child. Remember 50% and your child deserves it. I understand that an unwanted pregnancy isn’t ideal but it’s real. Being a father is an incredible experience. You have an opportunity to make a difference. I believe in you and will be here in support of your journey.
I’d love to hear from you. Are you in a situation in which you have an unexpected pregnancy? Leave your feedback in the comments.