When you are young, there is nothing scarier and nothing more worrisome than knowing in nine short months you will have another human life solely depending on you. Having a mother’s perspective on all the hardships faced as young parents; it is difficult for me to see things from the father’s eyes. It is hard as a teen mom and I don’t admit as often as I should that teen fathers don’t have it easy either.
The first part of a child’s life is spent inside the mothers’ womb, and when the child is born there is no person he/she would rather be with more than their mommy. In some situations, this makes fathers feel detached and out of the loop, which can be hurtful and cause tension in the mother and fathers relationship. This is something to be prepared for, even before the birth of your baby. Every relationship will undergo a dramatic change when the birth of a child is expected.
Being pregnant was a very exhausting and emotional time in my life. During pregnancy my body, like many other women, went through very dramatic changes. I was so tired and never felt like dressing up which lowered my self esteem and my hormones were raging causing emotional outbursts and mood swings, where I would cry or get angry for no reason. It is very critical for your relationship and the well being of the child she is carrying to show her you are there for her and she is not alone. The farther along I got in my pregnancy the lonelier and more depressed I became. I felt this way even though many people surrounded and sympathized with me. I felt like no one truly sympathized with my specific situation.
It is also mandatory for the father to prepare himself for the road to come by either being active in school, getting a job or legal income, getting educated on child development and the first years of life, and saving money. I asked different mothers and fathers what they wish they would have done before the birth of their children and many of them said getting a job beforehand rather than saying “When my baby is born I’m going to get a job”. One father I spoke to said since the birth of his son it has been hard on him and the way he feels about himself, because of his inability to provide:
“Some days it makes you feel less of a man. It sucks, when you don’t have any money for diapers. When you look in the refrigerator and can’t put food in it. It really sucks.”
When you have a child on the way or are already a father, you must step out of your situation in order to see the big picture. There is no greater blessing than a beautiful, little baby. I experience all the happiness in the world in just my son’s smile, but it is no easy task and it will weigh you and your partner down. It is scary. The only way you will truly understand is through experience. It will be hard to be a parent, but it will only be harder if you don’t want to do it. There are days when I’m not ready to go home from work, because everyone needs a little break, but I love my son with all my heart. I show my love for him by reading to him, singing his favorite songs and playing games with him, even simple games like patty cake. Preparation and positivity is your best bet. Your child will look up to you until they are ready to make decisions for themselves be able to understand for themselves, and the best thing for them to see is a good role model who will always be there.