surprises of new fatherhood

Fatherhood is Full of Surprises

Dear Mr. Dad: I just found out that my girlfriend is pregnant. I have no idea what to expect. Can you give me a few hints?

A: Congratulations—you’re in for a long, wild ride! Becoming a dad involves new responsibilities, new pressures, and new expectations to live up to. For some of us, this little jolt of reality comes early, before we leave the hospital. But for others, it may not kick in for a few days. Sooner or later, though, you’re going to realize that your life has changed forever. Sometimes the changes are subtle, sometimes not so subtle. But they’re almost always surprising. Here’s what you’re likely to encounter:

  • Confusion. In the early days, you’ll experience a variety of confusing and often conflicting emotions. On the one hand there’s the virility, power, and pride at having created a new life. On the other, the feelings of helplessness when you can’t satisfy (or sometimes even understand) your baby’s needs.
  • A new way of loving. There’s no comparing the all-consuming love you’ll have for your child with the love you have for any other human. Maurice Sendak captured the feeling perfectly in a scene from Where the Wild Things Are, where the monsters plead with Max not to leave them: “Please don’t go,” they say. “We’ll eat you up we love you so.”

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Photo by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash

Armin Brott

View posts by Armin Brott
Armin Brott is the proud father of three, a former U.S. Marine, a best-selling author, radio host, speaker, and one of the country’s leading experts on fatherhood. He writes frequently about fatherhood, families, and men's health. Read more about Armin or visit his website, You can also connect via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,  and Linkedin.

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