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Common Fears Expectant Fathers Face and How to Overcome Them

Common Fears that Expectant Fathers Face
Every father-to-be feels nervous about coping and fulfilling the diverse duties of being a parent. His mind may be flooded with anxiety, and he may prefer to keep mum about it. This post discusses the common fears that expectant fathers face.
Neha Deshpande
Last Updated: Mar 8, 2018
What I love most about fatherhood is the opportunity to be a part of the development process of a new life. - Seal
For a man, there are two important occasions which change his life completely. One is when he finds his partner and starts his journey of life, and the other is when he becomes a father. With the baby arriving in his life, he realizes his responsibility, and finds it hard to cope with idea of being a good parent.

Even after reading all about pregnancy and attending classes with his wife, he keeps worrying till the time his wife and baby are safe and sound. Having all these fears is quite normal, as he is suddenly thrust into this situation. Most of the fears arise due to lack of knowledge, so it is best that men prep themselves with what needs to be done on their end in different situations. If they are prepared, they won't panic, and they will make the situation easier for themselves and others around them. This AptParenting article has listed the common fears that fathers-to-be present.
Will I be Able to Help My Partner in Labor?
Many of the expectant fathers have the fear of not performing well when their wife goes into labor. During the whole pregnancy period, they have been very supportive and have tried to do their best. But many of them fear the hospital room, especially the sight of blood and bodily fluids. They feel that they might just pass out, or throw up. In short, they feel that they won't be able to stand by their partner when it is required the most.
Partner Helps His Wife
Dealing with the Situation - This may look like a difficult situation, but it has been observed that in very rare situations, the father actually runs away from the hospital room. Don't bother yourself beforehand about the sight you may have to face. Instead, think of your partner who will be needing you the most as her support. Work through your fears; may be you can step out of the delivery room for a bit, breathe out, and return to the room. You could even talk to your friends, who have recently become fathers, and take a cue from their experiences. It will certainly help you get mentally prepared to brace the situation.
Will I be Able to Provide for My Family?
Financial security for the family is the biggest concern on a man's mind. When the child arrives, there is generally a shift in the income, with the man having the responsibility to provide for three instead of two. He has to not only support his family, but also take care of the child's education in the long run, as his wife may take a break from work to devote herself to the child's upbringing.
Couple saving money
Dealing with the Situation - Planning finances well in advance will help reduce the fears of a father-to-be. Once the baby arrives, he can prepare a budget for every month. He may have to cut down a bit on his own expenses so that everything can be managed properly.
Will I be Able to Keep My Baby Safe?
Even after attending all the childbirth classes with his partner, when the nurse gives the baby in his hand, the father fears whether he will be able to hold the baby in the correct way. He worries whether he will be able to contribute to duties, such as changing diapers and helping with other such chores. Also, for the security of the baby, he realizes that he has to baby-proof the house, so that his little one feels safe.
Father changing diapers
Dealing with the Situation - In this situation, an expectant father should recall all the lessons that he had taken in the pregnancy classes along with his wife. He can always take the help of his wife, or own mother if he faces any difficulty. This fear is because the situation is new to him. With time, he will get used to it, and take care of the baby all alone.
Will I be Able to Balance Work and Family?
Bringing a balance between work and family life is another concern that wanders in the mind of an expectant father. He realizes that once his baby comes into his life, he is required to spend more time at home. He might be in a soup, because on certain days, he may have to stay back late, thus hardly finding time for his little one. In short, he can neither ignore his work nor family. He also wishes not to miss out on the beautiful moments with his child due to his work pressure.
Newborn baby
Dealing with the Situation - With some time management, he can manage and give quality time to his family. He should avoid overburdening himself with such thoughts. He just needs to work out how he can optimize the time that he has, and take care of the little one.
How Long Will I Live?
When an expectant father goes through the whole process of watching a new birth taking place just in front of his eyes, it is quite obvious that he thinks of the end of his life. He is no longer a young member of the family, and now there is a replacement (in the form of his newborn baby) whom he is going to love more than himself. A lot of men think that they are immortal. Becoming a dad means putting a child's needs ahead of yourself, and loving it more than yourself.
Underwater Caverns
Dealing with the Situation - Do not think too much about the future. Take life as it comes. Moreover, if men have some dangerous hobbies, like glacier surfing, bull running, or deep sea cave diving, then it is time for them to take a backseat. He should know that his family needs him more now.
Will My Partner and Child Survive?
Fathers-to-be fear that they might lose their child due to setbacks like stillbirth, or miscarriages. They also worry that if due to any unfortunate circumstance, they lose their partner, then they would have to shoulder the entire responsibility of raising the child.
Couple in the field
Dealing with the Situation - No doubt that childbirth is a nerve-wrecking experience, but it is necessary not to give importance to irrational fears because it is only going to make the father-to-be a nervous wreck. Stay calm, and hope for the best.
Will I Get Attention From My Wife?
When the baby is born, initially the mother will be seen spending and catering to all the needs of the baby. In short, the baby will steal the limelight and look towards his mom for security, comfort, and love. This will leave her exhausted, and she might not be able to get intimate with you. She will probably pay more attention to her little one, and not have the time for you.
Family on sofa
Dealing with the Situation - Rest assured that this is just a temporary phase; with time, it will pass off. Fathers can come up with ways to take care of the baby along with his partner. By doing so, he reduces her responsibilities, which will help him get some time on hand to spend with his wife.
Will My Social Life be Affected?
A would-be-father fears that he might lose out on his social life due to his parenting responsibilities, as it is going to take all the time he has. He fears that he won't be able to meet any of his friends, or go out and have an active social life. Eventually, he feels that he will lose all his friends and may miss out on all the fun he used to have.
Fathers pushing strollers
Dealing with the Situation - The fear is obvious, and the father may feel in the initial stage that his social life is coming to an end. But with time, he and his wife will adjust with the parenting duties, and taking care won't be that difficult later on. He can call his friends over to his place along with their kids, and have fun together. He can take the help of his parents, and ask them to babysit when the couple has some social engagements to attend.
Will I be a Good Father?
Right from the time his wife breaks the good news that she is pregnant, the expecting father worries whether he will make a good dad or not. He knows that he will be looked upon as a role model by his child, and it is his duty to transform his child into a responsible adult. He also fears whether he will be able to bring him/her up with a financially stable life.
Father and son talking
Dealing with the Situation - The dad-to-be can talk to his father and acquire some knowledge about parenthood, which will help him in raising his own kid. After all, they have been through it all, and will know how to guide you.
Men get scared when they are not aware of what is going to happen. However, let me put it in this way to make it easy for you -- being aware of the fears that are coming your way with the arrival of the newborn is the first step towards knowing that everything's gonna be fine!
Happy family
Parents kissing baby
Family portrait
Smiling father and mother holding a baby
Cute young family