pregnancy

6 things your husband is thinking about becoming a dad, but won't bring up unless you ask.

Let’s face it, ladies. It can sometimes be hard to figure out what’s going on in a man’s head. And that’s never truer than when he’s petrified about becoming a dad.

It’s fair to say that during (and even after) pregnancy, the primary focus should be on the mum, but the guy is dealing with a major life change too. Unlocking the black box that is the male psyche is critical to successfully navigating the first year together.

Here’s the definitive list of what’s going on in your man’s head:

Sean Szeps shares what it’s like raising a baby of the opposite gender on our podcast for new parents, The Baby Bubble:

1. “Will we ever have sex again?”

Men love to talk about this subject amongst their mates, but for some odd reason are really uncomfortable bringing post-pregnancy sex up with their partners.

You can avoid uncomfortable failed attempts if you talk about the subject prior to the birth. Let him know that reconnecting physically after the birth of your child is something you’re thinking about.

Explain that it won’t be possible right away, but that you’d like him to be honest about his sexual needs. This will create the space for you to be honest in return. Especially if you’re not feeling ready when he is.

It won’t be easy (post-pregnancy sex never is), but remember that having a healthy, happy relationship is critical to successfully surviving the first year of parenthood.

If raising an amazing child in a stress-free environment is a top priority for you, turn on that sexy music and remind yourself why you got together in the first place.

2. “Am I allowed to see my mates?”

This is probably something you’re thinking about too, but men seem to lack the ability to admit when they miss their friends.

We all know how important it is to retain some of our pre-parent selves after our children arrive, so agreeing on a schedule that allows you both time to leave the house and catch up with mates is going to make both of your lives much more enriching.

I would even go as far as to suggest that you lock in some dates before the birth. You may not want to leave their side when the time comes around, but if it’s in the calendar, you’re more likely to go. And I promise you won’t regret getting a glass of wine with your besties.

3. “Do I have a say in anything we buy?”

Most women take the lead on all things baby. They pick the colours and the clothes and the toys, forgetting that their partner may actually be interested in what’s being purchased.

Instead of just expecting them to speak up, run some options by them first. In fact, take them on a shopping adventure and see what items they gravitate towards.

Having a say in the selection process will make them feel more connected to their unborn baby. Unlike you, they don’t have the constant reminder in their belly that their life is about to change, so getting them involved as much as possible will help kickstart the bonding process.

Too cute: Celebrity dads talk about their relationships with their daughters.

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4. “Are you going to love our child more than you love me?”

This is something that most men think but REFUSE to admit it to their partner. It’s cute though, right? Maybe you’re thinking it, too.

It’s a difficult subject to broach without making them uncomfortable, especially if your partner isn’t very emotional. You can help ease into the conversation by saying things like “you’re going to be an amazing father” or “I can’t wait to watch you become a dad.”

Scheduling date nights just a few weeks after your child is born will be helpful, too. The bond you have with them is just as important as the one you have with your child, so prioritise alone time and try not talking about the kids once you’re out. Even if just for a minute or two.

5. “How am I going to support us financially?”

New dads are often forced to take on the full financial weight while the mum watches the kids. This is obviously not the case for every family, but men are often less comfortable admitting their fears around providing for their family.

Because you’ll be impacted by the pressure they are experiencing too, I’d suggest you have a financial meeting a few months before the baby is due to discuss both of your expectations.

You can help ease his concerns by offering to cut back in specific places, or by opening up about when (if at all) you hope to go back to work. If he can see a timeline in front of him and work out a rough plan with you, he’s less likely to feel overwhelmed and become resentful of you a few months in.

6. “What if I’m not good at being a parent?”

Believe it or not, men have the same thoughts as women do when it comes to first-time parenting. The fear of “being bad” at parenting is the same for us all.

Do yourself a favour and just be honest with him about your fears. That will hopefully create a space for him to be honest back. And if not, just be bold and ask “are you worried about anything when it comes to being a dad?” Lines like “I want to make sure you’re feeling supported” will go a long way in pushing him to open up.

The moral of this complicated story is that if you’re thinking it, he’s probably thinking it too. Women just happen to be better at talking about their feelings then men, so create a space for open dialogue and push him to be honest with you. And himself.

Make sure to ask the men in your life what they think about this list. Heck, use it as a conversation starter tonight!

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