How To Get Mentally Ready To Be a Dad In Your 20s
Let me tell you this from the start: Nothing will get you ready for what is coming.
No book, no movie, or even this blog will be able to get you ready for the amount of shit that is coming your way.
I had my first son in 2020, right after finishing my 24th birthday and I gotta say… If someone told me two years ago that I would be married and have a son in Vietnam, I would laugh my ass off.
I’m not gonna lie, I went bad shit crazy inside my head when I found out my girlfriend is pregnant.
You probably know what I am talking about.
I did not know what the fuck was going on.
I had to move from Poland to Vietnam and switch my party life to a full-time dad in a matter of months.
Relocating to Saigon, raising a kid without a stable job during COVID, and being a stay-at-home dad was not something I have imagined myself doing in my early 20s.
I was on the edge of a mental breakdown numerous times.
So what did I do to keep going?
I changed the way I looked at my situation!
‘Having a kid is a blessing!’ That is what I kept saying to myself instead of ‘Fuuuckk, what happened to my life!’
Many people can not have kids, no matter how hard they try.
Many have a kid after forgetting to wear a condom once.
There is no Standard Operating Procedure to how or when to have kids.
I always thought with age, the urge of starting a family and parenting instincts would naturally appear. The more people I have met, the more I realised that I couldn’t be more wrong.
I have met single guys in their 30s and 40s, without any need to start a family and have kids. I also met new dads in their 20s like myself that are living their dream life.
When I asked both age groups about having kids, both of them laughed and said “Oh, man… definitely not now!”
So, when will we be ready?
The answer is NEVER!
The urge of having a baby is not something that will grow into you with time. It has to be influenced by a third party.
We can read books, watch tutorials to gain more knowledge about raising a kid but trust me: Parenting in real life, it is so much different than in movies.
No man is ever really ready to have a kid, no matter the age. If it comes, it comes. And when it does, you will just have to deal with it like a man.
Some of you are probably freaking out right now.
If you are waiting for the pregnancy test results or your girlfriend is already pregnant, remember to stay calm!
It is not as bad as it seems… Fucking trust me!
The physical side of parenting will be challenging, But the psychological side is another kind of a shit storm…
The baby will cry non-stop, poop non-stop, and be hungry non-stop.
The physical side of parenting will be challenging, But the psychological side is another kind of a shit storm. The baby will cry non-stop, poop non-stop, and be hungry non-stop.
You will not sleep for days and you can kiss your social life goodbye.
It takes 20 days to build a habit, yes, nevertheless, repeating the same thing every single day in an environment full of poop and crying is still not a very pleasant experience.
Physically you can get used to it. With time you will do most of the house chores automatically.
What will really beat you to the ground and make you want to quit is the psychological pain you and your partner will be going through.
Leaving in a constant routine in a contaminated environment full of baby vomit, stress and crying will have an impact on your mental health.
Emotions will build-up, you’ll get mood swings from lack of sleep and you’ll start to argue with your partner more and more.
You will have sex a lot less and you feel like whatever you are doing is not good enough.
You will start to trap your feelings day by day and create a huge bubble of emotions that will burst at any time.
I have been there…
I wake up every night two or three times, I have to change diapers eight to 10 times. Fifty percent of the time my ears are bleeding out from listening to the baby crying.
Yet, deciding to have my son still remains the best decision I have ever made.
Have you ever felt like the most lonely person in the world? Like no one gives a fuck about you? The feeling of emptiness and lack of purpose?
I sure know how it feels like.
After having my son all those negative feelings disappeared.
He brings so much joy and happiness to my life that there is no room for any sadness and doubt.
So, how did I get mentally ready to be a father?
Panicking and overthinking your situations will only drive you mad and sooner or later you will fuck something up.
The only way to mentally get ready for having a baby is to just relax!
Go with a flow and learn in the process.
You will make shit loads of mistakes in the beginning but that’s fine!
Every good parent has dropped their kid on the head at least once or twice. Trust me, I’ve dropped mine twice, and my wife, at least four times!
Support your partner, read baby books and try to keep the environment as chill as possible.
A stress-free environment is key to surviving this challenging period in your life.
Andy Tran blogs at andythedad.com. This article was republished with permission.