Impending Fatherhood Fears
New Dad Concerns
Titles like these show up frequently in parenting literature: “The Five Greatest Fears of Fatherhood.” “Seven New-Father Phobias.” “10 Reasons Why Guys Are Terrified to Be Dads.” As someone who suffered from a few such fears before our first child was born, I can attest to how intense and individual they seem.
In reality, however, all five or seven or 10 of them fall into the same categories of fear that plague guys in romantic relationships. It can be a great help for men to recognize this similarity, especially since these fears of imminent fatherhood suggest that men have successfully established long-term relationships with their partners. The skills needed in a marriage differ from those needed in parenting, but the attributes are essentially the same: patience, self-sacrifice, and flexibility are certainly among them.
Thus it can be a real confidence-booster for a future dad to be able to say, for example, “I don’t know exactly what awaits me as a father, but I couldn’t tell the future when I got married, and Linda and I have worked well together.” In many ways being a good dad is an extension of what it takes to be a good husband. This article outlines the similarities between guys’ partner-fears and their parent-fears, and discusses a few common methods for alleviating anxiety over becoming a father.
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