First Time Dad – Thoughts, Feelings and Worries
One night, after Theresa and I had just gotten back from a date, I was sitting down on the couch with a drink I had just made and I heard, “I don’t know what this means.” Of course it is Theresa standing there behind me with a pregnancy test that I had no idea she was even taking. The test showed two lines, one super dark line and one faint, but still there, pink line. So naturally, we questioned if this was accurate and went out and bought another box of tests. I don’t have much advice when it comes to this topic but one thing I will say for certain is to only buy the digital read out pregnancy tests. Yes, they cost more, but the screen clearly says either “pregnant” or “not pregnant”. It takes away from the excitement when the test seems to say “maybe pregnant.” She took two of the digital tests and they both came back pregnant. Below are just some of the things that I’ve learned, thought about, done, felt, etc since finding out the news.
- Why am I not more excited? Even though I’m not a very emotional person, I for some reason thought that finding out I was having a kid with the woman I love would cause this flood of emotion and excitement. I mean you see all these Youtube videos of dad’s losing their minds when they find out. For me, it was happiness and excitement for sure but it almost didn’t feel real. It was more of an, “Okay what’s next? What do we do now?”, kind of thing. I felt kind of guilty about it at first for not being more excited about this amazing thing that was happening to us but as we keep going to doctor’s appointments and Theresa’s belly starts growing and moving I’m getting increasingly more excited.
- What about miscarriage? Almost immediately after finding out we were pregnant I started worrying about the potential for a miscarriage. It seems like everyone has horror stories about this and I couldn’t help but worry. I wish I could tell you I read a book that made me stop worrying but I have no advice here. I still worry and I can’t help it even though I rationally know it is totally unhelpful. It isn’t an all consuming everyday kind of thing but I just wonder how the baby is doing and hope all is well. I suppose my parents still worry about me so I’ll probably always worry about our baby.
- Are kids expensive? I probably have no idea just how right I am but I would say yes they are. And it starts from the first doctor visit. I like money and I like budgets so one of the first things I did was to map out our budget after the baby. I would strongly suggest you do this before you actually have a kid. Call a couple daycares, review your insurance, make some guesses on diapers, toys and clothes. It certainly adds up if you aren’t getting a lot of used stuff and don’t have family to help watch the baby during the day. People should try to come to terms with reality before they have a kid. The information is out there.
- Will I be a good Dad? I know I’m almost 30 years old but I still feel like a kid myself most of the time. It just seems crazy to me that I will be responsible for raising another human. I do however believe that I will do a good job at fulfilling the role of Dad. I know it will be a constant learning and improving process but I believe that wanting to be a good Dad and being committed to it will go a long ways.
- Abortion is murder. My view actually shifted on this one. I use to have more of a semi pro-choice kind of stance, which I now feel guilty even admitting. It has really been incredible witnessing this miracle. What is amazing is how fast everything happens. At just seven weeks and one day pregnant, we went to the doctor and, plain as day, were able to hear our baby’s heart beating. You could even see this little tiny baby with a little tiny heart. Getting an abortion is no different in my mind than killing someone who is recovering from a car crash but needs to remain on life support until their body heals.
- Why is everyone so negative about having kids? Perhaps I will understand this one more after I have kids. Everyone I have talked to so far has gone on and on about how much work they are, how expensive they are, how big of brats they can be, how you don’t get to sleep anymore, etc. Mind you, most people follow it up with, “but it’s the best thing that will ever happen to you.” It seems like people would downplay the negative and up-sell the positive aspects if it was so great. Anyway, Theresa had a great point when she asked me, “Didn’t people say lots of negative things about marriage when we were engaged?” Yes, people always told me how hard/miserable marriage was going to be and it has actually been fairly easy and absolutely wonderful so far.
- I am now worried about the state of our society. Now that I know I’m going to be responsible for raising a child, I’ve started looking at things through the eyes of a parent and, for me, it is terrifying. For example, I’ve become completely numb to all of the over-sexualized material, ads and commercials all around me until I started thinking about how my child will be seeing this stuff. I’m not excited about my daughter asking me questions about the headlines on the cover of the latest issue of Cosmopolitan as we are checking out at the grocery store. I mean, honestly, how is it okay to have some of this stuff in the checkout line where every person must walk by it and see it?
I haven’t even had a chance to meet our daughter in person yet and my world is already changing. I know that change will just continue for the rest of my life because of her. I’m excited about the future and having this amazing opportunity to raise someone that I helped create.