For many fathers, the birth of their baby really marks the official ‘beginning’ of fatherhood – when reality really hits and you begin to see the impact on your life.
Becoming a father brings many changes, some of which you may have been aware and prepared for, whilst others may be quite unexpected. Sometimes the reality of parenthood comes more suddenly for dads and partners than for women who have already experienced many changes with the progression of a pregnancy.
Whilst you and your partner may feel closer in the days following birth when you are both excited about the new life you have created together, the following months are likely to involve various adjustments to cater to the many changes that parenthood brings to different facets of your life. Whilst exciting and rewarding in many ways, it can also be a challenging time.
Some of the major impacts that fathers talk about on their lives as new parents include:
Changing roles and responsibilities – that come with an increased sense of responsibility for bringing a child into the world and their upbringing.
Your work life as a parent – adjusting and getting back into work (with it’s own demands) coupled with the effects of interrupted sleep and/or possible sleep deprivation is yet another transition and can cause conflict if not managed.
Connecting with your baby – getting to know your baby can take time, and men are likely to vary greatly in their confidence with handling their new baby.
Your relationships with your partner – will change with your new, and competing priorities.
Your relationships with extended family – can also be affected in ways that you may have sensed or not expected at all.