GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Lifestyle

October 25, 2013

Baby's birth is source of joy, anxiety for first-time dad

Dear Abby: My wife and I are about to welcome our first child and we are overjoyed. However, as her due date nears and we start talking about the birth, hospital, etc., I’m getting nervous and anxious. I’m worried, I guess, that something will happen to my wife and I won’t be able to cope with everything.

I had a rough childhood. Expressing emotions sometimes is pretty hard for me, so my wife doesn’t know about this. Any advice on how to express my fears without sounding like I’m scared of losing her and the baby and expecting the worst? Is this a common thing for first-time dads?

Overly Emotional In Texas

Dear Overly Emotional: Of course it is. You’re not experiencing anything different than what other expectant fathers feel. But please understand that the incidence of maternal and infant mortality in the U.S. is VERY LOW.

Because your wife may have concerns or anxieties of her own, it would be better not to discuss your fears right now. If you have male friends or relatives who are parents, they might be willing to listen and offer support. Your family doctor could also listen and, if necessary, refer you to someone who can help you cope with your anxiety. But please understand that all of the feelings you’re experiencing right now are very normal.

Dear Abby: My granddaughter asked me a tough question today. She lives primarily with her mother and stepfather. Her biological father sees her two nights a week and every other weekend. When he asks her if she misses him, she says she has to lie and say she does. She hates lying and asked me how she can tell him she doesn’t miss him very much without hurting his feelings. Can you give me some ideas?

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