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Fatherhood is all about the journey - Lifestyle Article

05 September 2012

Lifestyle article brought to you by Cells4life. Specialists in stem cell storage and cord blood collection.

My partner and I conceived our son when we were just teenagers. My son is now 5 years old. The assuming responsibilities of a young dad are like no other. At the time I was incredibly nervous and sceptical about making the transition to fatherhood. I would worry about whether I was ready for it and doubted whether I was emotionally mature enough to bring another human being into the world.

If the truth be known, failure is not an option and never will be. An expectant father must be ready for the arrival of his child. Alas, as soon as my son was born I knew that I was ready. Every second since has been tough, but well worth it. Being a father is arguably one of the toughest jobs ain the world, but one of the greatest pleasures. Being a teen makes it an even harder proposition to endure.

To those I speak to the message is consistently clear: wait, bide your time and go and have some fun before settling down and starting a family. I would agree with this, but you can’t turn back the hands of time. Instead one must ‘pull up their socks’ and get on with the job and survive with what life throws at them.

Through conversation I have learnt I was not alone feeling shocked, overwhelmed, panicked, scared, and/or alone. Also if the pregnancy wasn't planned (which many are at my age) these feelings should come to no surprise.

As time goes on and the role as father cements itself as ‘normal’, challenges change. Expectations differ. For example at parents’ evenings, the obvious age divide becomes ever more apparent. Being personally mistaken for an older sibling could well serve as a complement to many, but I generally feel that I get less respect as a result. I never once thought this would be an issue.

If I can pass on one piece of advice, I’d recommend meeting as many other young parents as possible. Meeting other guys going through the same experience, dealing with similar feelings is of huge benefit. Don't feel embarrassed or hesitant about asking for help as there are lots of people out there feeling just like you. You are not alone and shouldn’t feel like you are.

Fatherhood is all about the journey.

Lifestyle article brought to you by Cells4life. Specialists in stem cell storage and cord blood collection.

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