There is a lot of stress that comes with being a pregnant father. You have a lot to think about, a lot to plan, and a lot of changes to absorb in what seems like an awfully short time. New demands are coming at you from your partner and family. Meanwhile, you may already be working harder to make more money for when the baby arrives.
Some of these pressures are real and need to be addressed, such as money, but some of the stresses you're feeling may be self-induced. Since you've never had a baby before, you don't know what to expect. This may make you put more pressure on yourself than you really need to.
Exercise Is the Way
Exercise is a proven method of controlling stress. The reason for this is simple—it works. You're going to feel better about yourself and your situation after you spend an hour in the gym, go for a jog, or take a ten-mile bike ride. Whatever you do to get your head on straight, do it. And keep doing it, as regularly as you can.
Pregnancy changes your world, but it is nothing like what will happen after the baby arrives. Once she arrives, you have very little time to do anything, including exercise. For now, you still have a great deal of freedom and free time, comparatively speaking, so take advantage of both while you can.
Go Out with the Guys
Okay, so maybe it's not exactly the way it used to be with you and your friends. But you're a guy and, as such you still have to blow off a little steam now and then. Even Mr. Dependability gets to take a night off, and there's no reason you shouldn't get to as well.
Go out and howl at the moon with your buddies, if you've got the itch to do that. See a movie your partner has no interest in. Watch a game from your favorite sports bar. Pick something that you haven't been able to do in a while and plan on an evening out. If your partner is very understanding, make plans to get away from everything. Take a day or two off from work and get the guys together for a long weekend in the mountains.
Your partner will understand. She may even encourage you to go. Just because she is tired and feels like staying home doesn't mean you always have to do the same.
Be aware of the due date before you schedule your getaway. This is also true for travel at work. You need to stay close to the home front for at least one and perhaps two months before the baby is due. Neither you nor your partner will be comfortable with you out of town too near the time that the baby is due.
Keep Things Normal
Another way to manage stress is to take the opposite approach. Instead of going on a big getaway, keep things as normal as possible. Stick to your regular routine, as long as your routine works for you.
Although the regular workday routine can sometimes be a grind, it can also provide a great deal of comfort for the father-to-be. Driving to work, putting in your eight hours, doing your job, seeing the people you see there, and driving back home at the end of the day can provide parents-to-be a solid foundation in a world that feels like it is constantly shifting.
Your family, which once consisted almost exclusively of you and your partner, is now a much more crowded place. Like it or not, so many more people are part of it, and that includes this kid you've never met and who's still being formed, but who is already causing extreme amounts of mischief. There is nothing you can do about this, really.
What you can do, amid the hubbub, is keep a positive attitude. These changes, you will find, are not so bad after all. Everything is going to be just fine. This is your world, and welcome to it.
Part of what it means to be a father is learning how to adjust to this new, suddenly expanding world—a world that includes your family and friends and your partner's family and friends. While some people are stepping back, others are coming forward in your life. Some changes have already occurred, with plenty more to come. And all of this is occurring because of a tiny little being you haven't even met yet.