Last Reviewed: April 2017
Men’s Common Fears About Fatherhood
- Feelings of fear, worry and anxiety about fatherhood are normal.
- Encourage future fathers to be open about their fears.
- Talking to new fathers will give future dads a reassuring perspective.
Talk with your partner about how he feels about fatherhood.
Reassure him that his feelings of fear, worry and anxiety are normal. Encourage him to be open about his fears and reservations and share yours with him. Encourage him to talk with other people who’ve recently had babies. They’ll give him a perspective on his fears and concerns.
Fear #1: "My life won’t ever be the same."
Your partner might be afraid of becoming a father because he’s afraid of change. He might fear that fatherhood will spoil his relationship with you and take away his independence.
Reassure him that fatherhood doesn't have to end the activities that he enjoys. As your baby sleeps more, he and you will be able to do more things together and individually.
Fear #2: "I won’t be able to support my family."
Today men aren’t expected to be sole providers. This fear is still very common. Even men whose partners don’t want to leave their jobs or careers might fear being the only one who can pay the bills, even for a short time.
Having your finances in order will help him see that having a baby is affordable, even though your income might be reduced for a few months.
Set his mind at ease by creating a pre- and post-baby financial plan. Take a look at how you’re spending now, and what you can cut back on or do without. A financial plan will help you both understand how much you can — and can’t — spend during your pregnancy and after the baby arrives.
Fear #3: "I won’t be a good father."
The fear of not being a good father troubles many men, especially if their fathers were emotionally distant or abusive
. They’re afraid they don’t know how a 'good' father should behave.
Assure your partner that he won’t have to handle every part of fatherhood at once. Remind him that when your relationship started he didn’t automatically know how to be a good partner: he just learned as your relationship developed.
Opportunities to teach and guide your baby will rise one by one at different ages and stages. If he needs advice, encourage him to talk to fathers he knows about any issues they may be facing.
Fear #4: "Something might go wrong."
Yes, things can go wrong with you or the baby when you’re pregnant or in labour. Your partner might also worry about birth defects, especially if you and he are over 35 or there’s a history of genetic disorders
in either of your families.
As you plan for your pregnancy, encourage your partner to go with you to a pre-pregnancy appointment. There you’ll both be able to ask the doctor any questions and discuss your concerns. You can also increase your chances of having a healthy baby through healthy eating and physical activity.
For more information:
Region of Peel — Public Health
905-799-7700 Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Caledon residents call free of charge at 905-584-2216
To speak with a Public Health Nurse