THE BENEFITS OF PREPARING FOR FATHERHOOD
During the run up to having your first child the concept can be daunting, filling you with a sense of excitement and apprehension in equal measure. You think you have an idea of what is ahead, but really it is a fraction of the reality. The truth is that you cannot possibly comprehend the full magnitude of life with your own children until you are living it.
As a father or father-to-be, we often impose a degree of pressure on ourselves to be the provider for the family, assuming a role that would be more suited to society decades ago. The reality of today is that both mothers and fathers are the bill payers with responsibility often being shared equally. The same goes for sharing of parental duties, particularly with young children who produce cosmic amounts of chaos and crap, when in previous generations this was largely not the case. Fathers were pretty much expected to be ‘hands off’.
Pride can sometimes lead to anxiety and even depression in men who feel they are falling short in their role as ‘dad’. This is normal, but it is truly important to try and nip this mindset in the bud as the negativity generated will almost certainly spill into your family life and start to erode relationships with the ones you love most, preventing you from being the best role model and influence on your child’s life. Not to mention the relationship with your poor partner.
In our opinion, it is crucial to try and not lose sight of the fact that nothing is more important than the relationship that you develop with your child over time. The debate over nature versus nurture and what plays the most pivotal role in determining your child’s character and personality is ongoing, but it would be crazy to overlook the impact that your behaviour and outlook on life has on your child’s development, setting the scene for the adult they will become.
Having children is without doubt the most wonderfully rewarding experience, often leading to an unparalleled sense of fulfilment. It can also be jaw clenchingly stressful. But, you are allowed to find it hard at times, even overwhelming - and there is no shame in that. In truth, it would be unusual if you did not.
Men are notoriously bad at seeking help of any kind. This is fundamentally unhelpful as there is a huge amount to be gained from talking to others in your position, even if it is for a whinge and a pint. Sometimes it is better to do that outside of your immediate friendship group as the relative anonymity can be liberating.
Preparing yourself for the inevitable challenges that come with family life and gaining relevant knowledge from trusted sources is empowering. This approach will do wonders for your confidence and anxiety levels, ultimately reducing the pressure that you are putting on yourself and enabling you to become the father that you are aspiring to be.
To find out more about Hank, visit their website: https://www.hellohank.co.uk/speaking-events