Finding out you’re going to be a father can take you by surprise. It’s normal to feel a variety of emotions—like disbelief, anger, fear or happiness—allat the same time.
It’s important to take time to understand your feelings, but keep in mind while it can take time to adjust to the idea of becoming a father, if you decideto consider options like adoption or abortion, you might have a limited timeline for making these decisions. For more on these choices, check out the Options in pregnancy fact sheet.
The importance of fathers. A father is a vital part of a child’s upbringing. So, while you might be questioning your ability to be a good father, just your presence is really important!
Suggestions for transitioning to fatherhood. Most of what you’ll need to know immediately about fatherhood you’ll be able to learn in parenting classes. These classes cover a variety of topics—like the birthing process, how to child-proof your home and how to care for your newborn—and typically begin when your partner is in her seventh month of pregnancy.
Finances. It’s important that you get your finances in order and make a plan for how you’ll earn income before your child is born. If you don’t already have one, it might be helpful to open a savings account so that you can start to set aside money for long-term expenses like college.
Independence. Becoming a father means you’ll probably have a lot less time to yourself, and you’ll most likely get much less sleep at night. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun! As your child gets older, you can include him or her in family-friendly activities.
Relationships. Although you shouldn’t assume that a child will bring you emotionally closer to your partner, you should take this time to communicate your fears and expectations for raising your child together. It’s also important that you set parameters for your romantic relationship—whether you decide to remain a couple or not.
Acknowledgement: This fact sheet was originally developed by youth and staff at ReachOut.com, a website that helps teens get through tough times.