As an expectant mother, my wife is currently concerned about “nesting,” washing new baby clothes with special baby detergent, designing a baby room, asking me to assemble impossible baby swings. Some might think I have it easy, but my thoughts are already in the future. Today, I’m going to discuss a few things an expectant father of a daughter might worry about.
Months before I was born, my dad came home and announced, “I quit my job.”
“What are you going to do?” my mom asked, a bit financially worried.
“I’m going fishing,” my dad said.
And I understand. Our baby is coming at any moment. As an expectant father, here are 5 worries I’ve experienced:
Taking Time Off Work as an Expectant Father
Let’s begin with the one week of paternity leave I’ll get through my company (I’m super grateful btw; a lot of companies don’t offer this benefit). But CA has this Family Leave Act that allows a new dad to take up to 6 weeks off (which is how much time my dad took). I’m struggling with what I should do. I want to be the best dad. While I’d still make part of my income through the Leave Act and this would be give me uninterrupted time with our daughter, I’m also concerned about finances and being a good provider for our family.
For the longest time, it was just me. Then, I got married 4 years ago, and I adjusted to finances for two. But now, we’re adding a baby girl to the equation.
I’m already searching deals at the grocery store. Just the other day, Kristen incredulously asked me, “Why did you come home with 172 diapers for a 25 lb. child?” They were half off. Stock up. This is how hoarding begins.
As an expectant father I’m also already worried about getting our baby the best education. Should we enroll her in second language courses off the bat? What about infant music programs? I think about the hefty price of prom dresses when she’s in high school (oh, and if she competes in pageants like her mom, evening gowns). And we haven’t even gotten to discussing college! All together, that’s a sizable slice of financial pie.
Surrendering My Life
You can follow my trail on Instagram, but I’ve been spending a lot of time in the gym (#nodadbod). In addition to work, I spend time on this site, our GoodGuySwag online group, and also LA Men’s Group (a group I assembled over 5 years ago). But I have to make sacrifices in order to be a good dad. Life is going to change. Friendships will be different. My defined schedule will morph because my daughter is a priority.
It seems like yesterday when my buddies and I joked around about daddy issues. It turns out, that joke’s not funny, especially when you’re an expectant father having a girl. If my baby girl has issues, that’s on me. As I wrote about in How a Father Impacts Identity Positively and Negatively, a child’s mental health, social skills, and risk of teenage pregnancy are squarely placed on a father’s shoulders.
As Father’s Day approaches, the importance of a dad in a child’s life cannot be underestimated, and that now includes me.
Boys Asking My Daughter Out
I’m already worried about boys asking my daughter to a dance. I know she’s going to be beautiful in every way, especially to me, so I’m prepared to be the best guardian in the galaxy. Right now, I feel like the only items I need are guns and books.
Guns could come in the form of a pistol (or the two guns I’m building on each side of my body at the gym each day, right?) And if that doesn’t scare that boy off, he gets to submit a book report to me on Black Tie and 10 Ways to Win a Girl’s Heart.
These are just a few of the stresses an expectant father of a daughter might feel. If you need me, I’m going fishing.