D A D S
Fathering is hard work. The idea of what fathers should be has changed since we were children. Fathers know that they want to be an important part of their children’s life; they just aren’t always sure how to do it. The following suggestions may help a new father to assess what his expectations are and look for ways to achieve those expectations.
Fatherhood in the 90’s is not easier nor harder than other generations, just different. It requires not only looking at what kind of father you wish to be, but how to make those dreams reality. Parenthood is an exciting adventure!!
Don’t be afraid of your feelings. Fatherhood is both emotional and touching. It is a relationship that changes your life. Look at your hopes, your fears and your dreams. “You’ll find out your not alone in those fears . . . ” -Brazelton.
Ask questions. If there is something you don’t know – ask. Answers can be found with your doctor, your insurance agent, your hospital or birthing center, your friends and the child’s mother. Many anxieties can be reduced if you have the information. Find a class or seminar that specializes in father’s concerns. Many parent groups teach classes for men only that give father’s concerns. Many parent groups teach classes for men only that give fathers a place to compare notes with other fathers.
Do plan how to balance work demands and family commitments? Consider: number of working hours, benefits, out-of-town trips, off-hour projects, child care arrangements, and long-term career goals.
Support on the home front. Consider your expectations about yourself as a “father” and the mother’s expectations of you as a “daddy”. What is your idea of your involvement in the physical care of your baby/child (feeding, diapering, bathing, rocking, playing with)? How will you keep the relationship with mom growing and intimate? Make these plans as specific as possible.