Pregnancy is often a very intimidating experience for the mother. Various aspects of her life, from her body to her responsibilities, are subject to change from the time that she is informed of the news. While there is generally a great deal of dialogue surrounding these changes and the difficulties a mom-to-be will have to go through, not much is said about the fathers. It may be assumed that men only play a supportive role in the pregnancy process or even after the process is over. However, there are a lot of changes that they may be required to make in social, professional and personal lives too. Following are 5 things men worry about when their wife gets pregnant:
1. How much fun are they really going to have?
A man’s best friends may know that he’s not always going to be available during the 9 months of his wife’s pregnancy and even after the baby is born. Despite that, it is inevitable that the father-to-be is going to be worried about whether his friends will truly be accommodating or whether he’ll have to find a whole new set of friends who are also fathers themselves. Even if they make their peace with this insecurity, they might still worry about not having the time to do a lot of the things they once did with their friends. This includes going for a couple of drinks, hanging out at their favourite bar, or even being able to sit in the comfort of their homes and have the sports channel running all evening. Having a baby may require their undivided attention, which can be a scary thought.
2. Putting on a few pounds
It isn’t just the mothers who put on weight during their pregnancy. Fathers may face the same dilemma, when they’re around their wives for a majority of the time. Women, during their pregnancy, may have unusual, and relatively unhealthy eating habits. It can be hard to resist the thought of drowning a 3-scoop sundae of chocolate ice cream with even more chocolate sauce. Moreover, pregnancy is accompanied by a lot of stress which can result in an equal amount of stress-eating. During the period immediately after the birth of the child, the new father may therefore witness significant amounts of weight-gain.
3. The logistics of pregnancy
With a new baby coming into the family, finance is a cause for concern. In a family having only a male breadwinner, a majority of the responsibility may fall on the father. He may have to rethink his career goals, whether his salary will suffice the needs of a whole new human being, whether their current house is a good fit for a family, etc. Even in a household with two breadwinners, these concerns continue to remain just as relevant, though the weight may get distributed across four shoulders instead of two.
4. What it means to be a father
Deciding on a parenting style is a big decision and can be a source of worry for both parents. With men, however, there are many expectations, stereotypes and realities that the father may have to come to terms with as the pregnancy progresses. Does the father really have to always be the lenient one in a relationship? Will he have to be the mediator between his wife and children? Never ending advice from other parents, or worse, advice from people who have no kids at all may make this decision even more confusing than it otherwise is. Are they going to be the ‘cool dad’ who lets their child get away with most things? Or will they be more authoritarian and set rules that child will have no choice but to follow? These thoughts are likely to have occurred to the father even before he knew he was going to have a child, and may just seem even more real when it’s finally time.
5. The actual birth
Men are culturally expected to be emotionally strong about everything, whether it comes to watching a movie or watching their wife give birth to their child. This stereotype, along with being completely false, may make it seem like fathers don’t have that much to worry about. News of the baby finally coming into this world can shatter their nerves, however. Besides all the physical aspects of the pregnancy that he’s going to witness, he may be worried about his wife and the pain she’s going to go through. He may even experience last minute jitters and wonder whether he’s really ready for this new responsibility.
Despite all these things that a father-to-be may be worried about, most are able to calm their nerves - acting as a pillar of support for their wives. It is an act that definitely deserves equal credit!