Becoming a dad: not real yet?

There’s no perfect way to find your way into being a dad. Some men say that it’s not until they attend birth classes, go through the birth or drive home from hospital with their baby that being a dad feels real.

If you’re a dad who’s only just getting into pregnancy and the thought of being a father, that’s OK.

But you might have a bit of catching up to do. You can start by thinking and learning more about:

Burying yourself in work?

It might be that pregnancy and becoming a dad still don’t feel real because you’ve been caught up in work. Perhaps you’re already feeling the financial pressure of providing for a family.

You’ve probably heard of work-life balance. Now is a good time to start thinking about what it means for you and how you might be able to get the balance you want.

Unsure about the pregnancy

If you’ve been unsure or against the pregnancy from the start or you’re not sure about parenthood, you’re likely to be in a tough spot.

You could have a conversation with someone you can trust, like a friend or your GP, or ring a MensLine counsellor on 1300 789 978 to talk about your concerns or situation. It’s a free, confidential service.

Unsure about the relationship

If you’re not sure about being in a relationship with the expectant mother, you’re in a hard situation.

The reasons for feeling this way probably won’t go away when the baby is born. Now could be the time to do some hard thinking about your life and relationships. Discussing the situation with someone else might bring a different point of view and help you get things clear in your head.

If your relationship is breaking down, or has already ended, it’s still very possible to be an involved, loving and responsible dad. You might like to read more about successful single parenting and part-time parenting.

Things you can do

  • If the pregnancy still doesn’t feel real or the thought of being a dad is strange, don’t be afraid to say so. You could bring it up in conversation with a friend who’s a dad or expecting a baby. Did he feel the same way? What made things real for him? Was he given any good advice?
  • If you haven’t already, it’s a good idea to go to a birth class – these classes will give you an idea of what to expect during birth and could help you feel more confident about supporting your partner and caring for your baby.
  • If you’re not sure about becoming a dad, you could discuss what’s on your mind with someone you trust – or ring MensLine on 1300 789 978. They might be able to help you figure out why you’re feeling this way, and what you can do about it.