Whether you have been expecting the news and hoping for it, or it completely blindsides you, finding out that you are going to be a Father can be overwhelming, to say the least. So, how do you cope with your own feelings and be supportive to the Mother of your child, whether you are together or not?
Your Feelings are Valid
Many men feel that their feelings don?t really come into it, after all, they are not the ones carrying the child and experiencing the symptoms? but your feelings are perfectly valid and you are entitled to share them, if you can do it in a respectful and sensitive way. Sharing your worries at this stage can help you get used to the idea of a new baby and can bring you closer, rather than putting on a brave face and letting those worries bubble under the surface.
If you are Together
If you are in a relationship with the Mother, then things will obviously be easier. You are in this together, and it is an exciting time; but that doesn?t mean you won?t have any worries or niggling doubts. She will have fears too; so talk them through together… just make sure you preface your worries with reassurance. Start off with the things you are sure of ? whether than is wanting the baby, wanting to make a family, loving your partner, then explain your worries. Let her reassure you as much as you feel the need to reassure her.
If she has morning sickness, feels tired or unwell or is suffering from mood swings, then be there. Don?t overdo the sympathy without offering practical help. She may know exactly what she wants, in which case, help her out, or she may not, in which case just be there for her. However much she wants you to understand exactly how she feels, chances are, you won?t be able to completely empathise (not being pregnant) but you can listen to how she feels and resist the temptation to minimise what she tells you!
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If you aren?t Together
If you aren?t with the Mother of your child when she announces she is pregnant, the situation is obviously going to be more difficult to navigate. The important thing to do, is to listen to her. How does she feel, what does she want? By supporting her now, you are being an important part of your child’s life even at this early stage. It is especially important that you are honest about what you want too; so tell her how you feel and how involved you wish to be. This is the time to step up and discuss the issues involved in a serious and sensible way.
However involved you are able to be in the pregnancy, it is important you make the most of it. While it might not seem like it in the early days, the nine months will fly past, and the more you work on the relationship during the pregnancy, the easier things will be when baby arrives. This is true whether or not you are in a romantic relationship with the Mother. Make the most of this time and prepare yourself for fatherhood so that you can enjoy the new arrival as much as possible.