So it has been months, and while everyone oohs and aahs about how the new mom is progressing, you have been quietly harboring fears, doubts, and anxieties. For every pink or blue ribbon the new mom receives, you are screaming inside - doesn't anyone know I am part of this process, too. And I would like a bow too!
Don't worry new-dads - we know you are just as anxious as everyone else during this time, and for the most part we (pregnant ladies) appreciate your sparing all your worries while we grow a baby. Men often times keep their feelings to themselves to spare their partner, unfortunately, that translates to us as "not caring". Men and women are not usually on the same page when it comes to emotions and how to express them. Maybe this is a good time to read a book on better communication between partners. The diversion may relieve some anxiety and you can pick up a few pointers on how to talk to your partner.
A pregnancy can also add stress to your regular routine at work - "He is in a daze because he is about to have his first (or fifth) child". Both families, with the best intention, share opinions different from yours. Remember first, to respect the cultural, gender and age differences and then communicate with your partner, any immediate concerns.
Participate in hospital maternity tours - this is where your baby is going to enter this world - ask questions to the New Parents Program administrators. This is a good time, to discreetly ask about Paternity testing - often times the New Parents Education program will have local resources for you regarding paternity DNA tests. If possible, accompany your partner to her prenatal exams and get to know her doctor and other healthcare staff. Birthday is not the time to be introducing yourself as the new arrivals biological father.
And when that magical day does finally arrive - you and mom will be in a special place where you both have such an emotional bonding - it is a life changing event - in the heart of any man - no matter how big and strong - that ties you to baby's mom for ever. (unless you are a sociopath) If you doubt that you are the father of this child, but have supported this woman - emotionally throughout her pregnancy - knowing that your Paternity Test will be done on the day or birth or the day after helps you to concentrate on the present.
And now that you have a new baby in your home - remember for the first few months - mom's hormones are balancing out and so she may seem a bit more emotional than usual. Check in with her verbally - how is she feeling - remember the focus has been on her for 9 months and now it is entirely on the baby - make sure new mom is OK with all the changes that have taken place in her life. Let her know you think she is a great mom. New moms don't always have enough time for themselves - make it a point to give mom some time to get sleep, eat right and maybe spend quality time with other children in the home.
Most of all new dad - remember you have created a life in one simple act (hopefully it was fun) and are today responsible for the physical, mental, emotional, financial and spiritual well being of this child. What you did yesterday doesn't matter - today you are a New Father and have the future of a human being in your hands. Take care of this baby like a flower - nourish, encourage, correct, direct with love and patience. Lead by example - it always works.