Having a child can be one of the most amazing things to happen to any man. The upgrade from man to father is a big leap and it can take a while for even the most accomplished and focused of men to take in. But make no mistake—you shouldn’t take it lightly! Once you’ve recovered from the initial shock of being told by your partner that they are pregnant, you need to get your ass into gear and start making some changes around the home.
The biggest question you need to ask yourself is: “am I ready to become a dad?”. You’re probably a bit cautious about answering this question, but chances are that by the end of this article, you’ll be able to answer with a fist pump and a resounding “yeah!”.
Speak To Your Employer
Unless you are self-employed, you’re going to need to let your employer know that you are expecting to be a father soon. You will have to discuss things like paternity leave and reducing your overtime for a while so you can take care of your child. If you’re unsure about what paternity leave is then you might be asking yourself “what paternity rights do employees have?”. In short, you are entitled to up to two weeks off to spend with your partner or to look after your newborn. It has to be taken in one consecutive period so you can’t spread it out, and it has to be taken within 56 days of the child’s birth. During your leave, you’re also entitled to paternity pay to help you cover the costs of looking after your child, and you will also have the right to return to work and to your regular duties.
Take Control of Your Financial Situation
There are many changes you can make on your journey to becoming a father, but perhaps the most important one is getting a grip on your finances. You’ll have to start budgeting and ensuring that you have the job security required to sustain looking after your child. There will be many expenses in the future such as childcare, toys, presents, perhaps even switching out your car for a more family-friendly vehicle that can be used to ferry people around as well as furniture. The best way to take control of your money is to start budgeting. You can use smartphone apps or computer software to help you do this, but it usually isn’t required. The golden rule is that you need to spend less than you make, pay off any existing loans or debt, and focus on saving.
As self-sufficient men, it’s normal for us to get things done as quickly and efficiently as possible. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work for having a child. Patience is a virtue and you are going to have to learn to be patient around your children. It will take some time to bond with your child when they grow up, there will be ups and downs, and during your partner’s pregnancy she will panic at times and she might have mood swings that could make it difficult for you to stay focused. However, the key here is to remain patient and focus on the long-term goal: your child.