How Do You Know If You're Ready To Be A Dad?
June 25, 2009 11:54 PM Subscribe
How do you know you're ready to be a father?
posted by Effigy2000 to Human Relations (42 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
My fiancee, a woman in her mid 20s, wants a baby. I'm a man in my early 30s, and... I'm not sure how I feel.
One part of me very much likes the prospect of being a dad and actively wants to have a kid. I like the though of seeing my partner happy and pregnant, and then eventually happy and a new mum with her new baby. I like the idea of seeing what kind of person the two of us would create. I like the thought of shaping the kid, teaching him or her the values and the things he or she needs to know and will shape their lives. I like the idea of playing games with the kid, showing them the world. It all seems pretty cool and I'm totally onboard with all of it.
But another part of me (and I'm not sure its a bigger part or not) is worried. I worry about money and whether we'll have enough to do this right. I worry about how a pregnancy know would affect the wedding we've been working so hard to plan. I worry about having enough time to look after it and spend time with it (both of us work long hours, busy jobs) and the effect having a baby will have on what little social time we have left. I worry about lack of sleep because the baby is crying (I like sleep). I worry about accidentally hurting the baby somehow. I worry I might be a terrible father and my kid will grow up to hate me.
And I worry about what would happen if our baby was ever to die. I know its macabre but I do worry about it. I worry about the effect the death of our child would have on my relationship with my partner and on me, personally. I worry about future wars that could hurt our child. I worry about them making some stupid, split second decision at some point in their life that ruins everything for them. I don't want any of that to ever happen to my kid and I'm not sure I could handle it if it did.
Of course I have considered that the reasons I'd like to have a baby are not necessarily reasons in and of themselves to bring a child into this world. By the same token, I know some of my fears are irrational and not reasons in and of themselves as to not have a child. Frankly, it seems to me that the most obvious reason to have a baby is because both partners are ready to take on the responsibility of caring for and raising a child, and by the same token the main reason not to have one would be because you aren't ready.
Which leads me to my question. How does one know they're ready to be a father? Is it a lack of any doubt? Is it the opposite; that having fear and doubts like mine is a good sign that I'm ready to be a dad? Or is there simply no way one can be ready for such a thing, that one should throw caution to the wind and accept the apparently incredible changes that having a baby apparently brings you (according to previous Askme threads I read about how cool it is to become a parent and how your life changes).
Any insight and advice you can give me would be appreciated.