Comment on this story
Adapted from an online discussion.
Dear Carolyn: When I started dating my wife, “Maryann,” I was 27 years old with no plans to settle down. Right away, though, my family just loved Maryann. She’s great—she’s fun to be with, smart, beautiful, and a really nice person, and she’s got a great job. My parents and siblings kept saying, “You better shut this up.”
And I did it. Now we are expecting our first child, and I am scared and wondering if this was something I never wanted. I feel a little stuck.
I can’t tell Maryann. She is so happy. Is this normal for a man facing fatherhood? There is no one I can talk about without feeling like an idiot. what do i do now
Too much too soon: grow up fast.
This can mean different things to stay/go/talk/shut up/pretend/do it continuously, but it’s all included in ‘being’. You are in this because you listened to outside voices like an obedient child instead of listening to your own needs, desires and nature. I think we all make this mistake at some point, throwing marriages and careers and purchases that we could accumulate to the moon, but I also don’t think that mistakes in thought process necessarily mean that the decisions made are mistakes.
Regardless, you need to be heard now. And you have to live, breathe, talk, act, love and make decisions like a married adult in the face of parenthood. What do you think this means? What does it mean to do your best?
Feeling like a jerk is part of the process, as we will all find out eventually. But to speak freely, enter a therapeutic environment. Statistics. For the innocent child, if no one else.
I know it’s hard to find someone available, affordable, and supportive, and to admit that you need help with something that everyone else seems to be able to handle without help. (Pro tip: Few do.) But if you carefully edit your words to make yourself look and feel better, then it won’t be the truth and you won’t get the help you need.
Re: Too much too soon – what you’re feeling is normal. Your life has changed, and it will change even more. This is a crazy time, and you’re not a bad person or “immature” (that catchphrase for anything women disapprove of) for feeling overwhelmed. No doubt your wife is second-guessing every decision she has made at this point. The difference is that he gets support for it instead of insults.
I suspect this will be better for you, and you will all be fine. In the meantime, I suggest asking men how they felt during their wives’ first pregnancies.
Anonymous: If you want to write something more sexist, I can update the file (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Opinion of other readers:
· Fatherhood (or fatherhood) will take everything you have and 100 percent more. It is best to go into it very aware of how to take care of yourself. Ask yourself: what do you like to do? What feeds your soul? What fills you up? What stimulates your creativity? What makes you love being alive? Answering these questions will help you not feel “isolated” in a decision you’ve already made.
· What were your alternative plans at the age of 27? I’m not kidding, I swear! It’s just that you don’t mention anything you were doing or wanted to do that marriage and parenthood superseded. And now you are unhappy, but you seem to have taken a back seat to the design of your own life.
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