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Dad looking for help in a sea of Mums(19 Posts)
I have scowered the internet for help but starting to think it isn't out there.
I recently became a father and like most I haven't got a clue what I'm doing.
To paint the picture,
Me and the mother dated briefly after separating amicably she discovered she was pregnant, we have kept our relationship platonic.
Now we have a boy and I'm struggling to understand my role and where I fit, I have a lot of questions but no one I feel I can ask as some I'm embarrassed to admit.
Anyway if anyone is able to help or point me in the direction of a place that can I'd be very grateful
It's a good question. I first thought of Gingerbread although I think they focus on resident lone parents. Have a look at their website thought as they are keen to support mums and dads.
What are the things on your mind? Practical things? Emotional things?
try local sure start childrens centres some have dad's groups
are you visiting? Little and often when they are very small. it is hard work trying to co-parent and fit round everyones needs.
Thank you, a few things, I'm seeing him as frequently as I can but only for short bursts, should I be doing more?
Constantly thinking about how it's going to play out long term. My biggest concern is I kept hearing"it's different when it's your own" but I feel no different. I don't feel like a parent
tell us more OP. How old is he? Are you nearby?
And for lots of us (mums included) it's a fake it till you make it situation. I was going through the motions for months (and it was easier as a resident parent and a mother because there are things you just have to do so it's obvious what to do) but I didn't feel like any kind of parent for months.
Hats off to you for thinking about it - I hope you get lots of good advice on here.
Maybe you need to have a more consistent pattern to help you feel more involved.
Does he have anything things at your house? If he were to stay over you may feel much more involved.
He's only a couple of weeks old, maybe I'm being too quick to this. I'm not far away, I'm round as often as I can be.
I'm worried when I'm there I'm more in the way, the feelings of this being my son rather than just a random baby hasn't hit and I'm worried it won't.
Can you do stuff like change nappies, or take him for a walk in the pram to let his mum have a rest every now and then?
Could you stay over and do some night time feeds too? Though
that would involve either using formula, or his mum expressing.
well there's absolutely a limit to how much you can do at this point, unless the baby is being formula fed. I think lots of men (even in couples) feel like a spare part at this point. But you are absolutely doing the right thing by going round and trying to be engaged. Don't overestimate how much anyone knows what they are doing at this point, how much any parent feels like a parent at two weeks in. I certainly didn't but I could hide behind the fact that I had to sit on the sofa and breastfeed for hours so it looked like I was gainfully employed.
This is for the long haul. You've got decades to build a relationship with your son - and with yourself as a father. Don't worry that you are not doing it right and stop doing any of it because you are bound to be failing anyway. Lots of separated parents do that and it's a heartbreaker - it's just all about the commitment and the long haul, not the successful interactions on days 1-30!
Well, I had given birth and it took me a while to feel like a parent. Don't beat yourself up.
Were you at the birth or not? That might make it feel less real too.
I would say your number one aim now should be building a good relationship with the mum as someone she can trust and rely on. Be on time. Offer practical help if you can - like picking up shopping. Investment in that relationship is likely to pay dividends long term.
My husband and I are very much together, but he enjoyed taking our newborn DD out for walks on their own, with our dog. Sometimes I even got a bit offended that he didn't want me to come! He just chatted away to her and told her all about fishing and stuff
that she couldn't have cared less about and I think it really helped him to bond with her on his own and adjust to being a Dad, which he too found a bit tricky at first. It was lovely for me to get a lie in too. They are ridiculously close now (she is 3) and I really think that spending that alone time together was the foundation for their relationship.
Thank you all, I unfortunately wasn't at the birth at her request. I'm glad what I'm feeling is rather normal then. I have yet to spend any time just me and him but he's so reliant on her (food source) I'm ok for that to come later.
Thank you all again
Keep posting OP. This is so normal and it's unchartered territory. You're building a relationship with new mum and new son without the usual social anchors in place. You'll be fine - I was a single parent so made it up as I went along but I think this stage is easier for mums in a way because the task at hand is obvious. Do you have any friends in a similar position?
Thank you, all my friends with kids are either married or were at least together when the kid was born. So unchartered territory all round
Sorry that didn't make much sense - normal but unchartered territory! I meant it's all very normal to feel this way for everyone but for you it's un chartered because of the circs. I think being there and being supportive and not expecting too much of anyone, least of all your relationship with new baby, are important. How are things with the mum? It's difficult when neither of you are sure where the boundaries are.
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