Emotions such as fear, exuberant happiness, being overwhelmed and enthusiasm are often closely related in young fathers. Rarely was her fatherhood planned. The news came as a complete surprise to many young men: You will be a father, we are having a child. Then the men ask themselves: What does the future hold for me, are all my plans over now? Do I even want a child? And a feeling of helplessness spreads.
It takes a long time for expectant mothers and fathers alike to adjust to the idea of living in diapers, feeding and sleep deprivation instead of an exciting young life as a teenager or young tween. In many cases, the child has to be born before the young parents can “grasp” their actual happiness in the truest sense of the word. Every young couple, whether they are together or separated, knows that having a child is a huge responsibility. Hence the initial worries and fears, and rightly so. Neither young mothers nor fathers can really guess what is in store for them . Despite the possibility of terminating the pregnancy, many young mothers and fathers decide to have the child despite everything and take the risk of parenthood.
Tips for young fathers
For the young fathers, the step initially seems to be less of a burden than it is for the mother, who may have to interrupt her education and who will have to carry the pregnancy to term and thus have to cope with the physical stress, including childbirth, on her own. But responsibility for young fathers begins during pregnancy. It is her job to support the mother of her child to the best of her knowledge. To stand by her during the check-up and ultrasound appointments, to make decisions together and to relieve the mother of stressful tasks. Likewise, voluntarily abstaining from smoking and drinking in order to make this step easier for the mother, for the benefit and health of the child. Preparing for birth togetherTo strive and overcome oneself to be present at the birth if the child’s mother so wishes. The search for a larger apartment or your first own apartment, which may be necessary, or the talks with the grandparents-to-be, which are sometimes not easy, are easier to master together.
The young men should also deal with the subject of baby care . You will find a lot of useful information in our baby guide .
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Sticking together as parents
It is surprising that young mothers and fathers in particular often receive strong support from the baby’s grandparents. Maybe sometimes even too much, for example when the grandparents take over the duties of the young father and push him out of his fatherhood to protect their young and inexperienced child. Young fathers sometimes have a hard time with that. Irrespective of how intensive the support from outside is, whether from grandparents, friends or the youth welfare office , conflicts cannot be avoided after the birth. They are even part of long-term partnerships and late-parenting couples. Having a child is an enormous challenge. The tension, the responsibility, the lack of sleep and the exhaustion attack both mother and father. And that’s the same in every family. (The first year with the baby ) But perseverance, trust in your partner and love for the child make up for it. At first, fathers also feel a bit helpless because the child’s attachment seems to be more fixed on the mother. What am I good for if my girlfriend is breastfeeding the child for half an hour?
Young fathers should therefore also take a certain amount of manageable free time, as should mothers. Sharing tasks together, discussing beforehand who will take on which obligations. Young fathers still feel they have a responsibility to feed their young families and therefore do not want to give up their jobs. And yet it is necessary to manage the time well and to support mother and child. For example, as a father, you take over the task of putting things to bed in the evening, although you have the feeling that you want to take a break after a hard day and don’t want to be overwhelmed by the obligations at home.
Many young fathers are not afraid to go to counseling centers and accept help if necessary. How do I deal with custody? What happens to minors or if only one parent is of legal age? Many questions arise, including legal ones. Am I entitled to a family helper? The youth welfare offices advise all parents, not just the young ones in particular. Because many young fathers have the courage to take on the adventure of having children and want to make it happen. An exciting, exhausting and worthwhile irreplaceable time lies ahead of them. Hardly any father regrets having a child, but rather is committed and proud of his daughter or son. As strenuous as it may be. Family counseling is also happy to help young fathers.