|Photo by Steve Maw https://flic.kr/p/aBBYSL|
Hey Billy. I want to reassure you that this question, or perhaps more accurately this feeling, is so common it's almost universal. It doesn't matter if the conception was completely unexpected or planned down to egg selection; it doesn't matter if you're a first timer or a veteran (in fact the second spin of the wheel can be scarier). No one is immune to the lost in the woods feeling of pre parenthood. In fact I think it's an evolutionary advantage. This question is your mind's interpretation of a primal fear that stops you from thinking everything will be fine if you continue to down sambucas and propels you into the nearest Mothercare. Don't let a feeling of overwhelm convince you that you're stumbling, this question is evidence of the fact that you're already being a really good father and you've already put you're child's needs above all else but don't get carried away superdad, here's what you're gonna do about it.
THINK ABOUT YOUR CHILDHOOD Take some time to look at the experience you had growing up. If you have any fears about becoming a parent they probably come from things that occured within your own family. For example, if you grew up without money you might worry that you won't be able to provide for your child and so finances would be the first area of your life to get ship shape.
ACT AS IF Start making changes to your lifestyle now so that it isn't a huge shock to the system when junior is born. You might want to reset your budget to include baby expenses or cut down on your visits to the Kings Head; start to establish the habit you'll need to feel comfortable with when the baby arrives. If you're not successful, don't worry, this is just a practice run.
LOOK FOR EXAMPLES Look to your peers for examples of parents that are making it work. Talk to your friends about how they cope, when something resonates note it down for your future family. Also pay attention all the very ordinary folk - in the park, in Morrisons - that are laughing, smiling, getting by somehow. If they can do it, you can too.
FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE At some point you made the choice to be with your partner and that means there must be something positive about them and they made the choice to be with you so in turn you've got to have something good going on. Think about all the things that make you great people and these are the very same things that will help make you great parents. Perhaps you're neat and tidy, how brilliant for staying organised when you have a baby. Maybe you've got a good sense of humour, you're gonna need that at 4AM. Even if the only positive thing you can think of is the fact that you're great at making omelettes, well then your son or daughter is gonna get to eat some of the best omelettes in the country. What a lucky, little tyke.
On Tuesday's I usually cohost the 'Advice from the Heart' linky with the lovely Julie from Happy Mama Happy Baby but we've decided to have a fallow week to let a fresh crop of posts grow. We'd love to see you with your parenting advice posts next week. In the meantime, do you have any advice for some brand new parents to be?