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How do I be a good Dad in 2020?

My baby girl is 3 months old. We weren’t planning on kids, didn’t want to bring a child into this world, but when my SO got pregnant we decided that we wanted to be parents and chose her. She fought her way out through a traumatic birth and is the most beautiful, sweet little person I’ve ever met.

I’m lucky to be able to work from home, so I’ve witnessed all her milestones. I’ve been able to hold and love her when she’s anxious. I try to help my SO so she can recover and rest and get back into her career.

The thing is, I feel like a man adrift in the ocean. I get to spend so much time with my baby, which I wouldn’t trade for the world, but I have NO accountability, no lifelines that I can rely on. Family defers to us (which I appreciate) but man I have no idea if I’m making the right decisions. I have to decide if Grandma can even hold the baby, and nobody can tell me if that’s the right call. My friends are single and are rearing to get back to normal pre-COVOD life, which I get, but that’s not an option for me so I feel disconnected from my people.

I’m stressed beyond the point I thought I could reach. I feel like there’s no good answer on How to be a COVID Dad I guess, but I would love to know how other dads are faring. how can I make sure i’m a good dad? I don’t know

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12 Comments

  1. Your doing exactly what you should be doing…you worry for no reason and you wonder if your doing it right. Ive been dealing with that for the past 2 years now. And I feel like im not there enough for my daughter (working 3rds) but I do my damnedest to be with her when im off and to do things with her.

  2. When I decided to be a Dad I decided to get strong and healthy and started lifting and practicing Jiu Jitsu; the men I met were/are my social circle and I feel incredibly, desperately lonely and I don’t know how to replace those friends.

  3. Hey man, I know exactly what you’re going through. It sounds like you’re doing great!! I have no idea what I’m doing either, but so far it seems like trying to be an equal partner in parenting, household management and everything else is working well. We’re very lucky to be able to be with our partners and babies and support them (I also wfh and have done for years.) I think when your girl gets a little older, just making her feel like she’s important to you and a priority (though not your *only* priority) will imbue her with the resilience and self confidence that she needs. I’ve seen what happens to people who grew up with emotionally unavailable or checked out fathers, especially the effects on daughters, and it’s not pretty. Even if you can’t give her a huge house, designer clothes and a brand new Mercedes on her 16th, all she really needs is your unconditional love, healthy levels of attention and your encouragement. Your SO needs to feel like she has a co parent and equal team mate, not a manchild, and a husband who still values her as a woman and not just a mom.

    You’ve got this!!

  4. Your post is a bit of a ramble but I can understand that – I have a 20month old son.

    You love your daughter, you’ve seen all the milestones, you’ve cared for your partner…..that makes you a pretty fucking good dad in my eyes.

    Being a father is about balance. Remember you are still a partner and you have your own needs. A healthy dose of self doubt is good.

  5. Balance bro, balance. Your SO and daughter are #1, but you cannot forget about yourself and your needs. Talk openly about how you feel with your SO and I can almost guarantee that she will support you so you may regain those lifelines, at least partially. And perhaps she’s feeling similarly, and would appreciate that support as well (not saying you’re not already, but you know what I mean).

    I’m “essential” working 60-96hrs a week in a papermill, my sacrifice is that I’m not there to see all of the milestones for my 6 (yes 6, 3 step children and 3 biological sons) kids. That truly sucks, but my wife understands that because I do this, she can be at home ensuring our babies are well. I’m there as much as I can but it’ll never be enough. Just remember that your baby being a baby is temporary, therefore so is your sacrifice of not living the life you once had will fade as the baby gets older. I’ve lost most of my pre-kids friends, only work friends and a couple lifelong friends remain, but I never see them anymore. Life goes on, and I have no issue spending my free time with my babies, because one day they won’t be babies and will be busy with their own life.

    I went from 0 kids to marrying into 3, then having 3 more…I don’t know what I’m doing, I’m just trying to be a good dad and instill good virtues. I got this…you got this. Us dad’s most likely don’t know what the hell we are doing but we are here for our kids, and that makes us fucking awesome.

    Sorry this was a bit of a ramble, I’m in the midst of a long long overnight week at my job, I’m sleepy lol. Best of luck to you and your family bro.

  6. Rely on how people are treating this. If grandma is being safe and taking precautions, its probably alright. But the bottom line is, listen to your gut. My daughter is almost five, bored out of her mind and misses everyone, but most of her loved ones will not take this virus seriously. We do what we can to socialize her, video calls and the like. You will keep her safe, it’s built in to most dads. I have screwed up most things in my life, but I have always kept her safe.

  7. Probably echoing a lot of posts here but thinking and asking how to be a good dad is a good sign you are on the right path…

    Being a good Covid dad… well that will be dependent on where you live and the situation there in regards to the level of virus activity… but in short yes it will be up to you to make decisions that affect you brand new totally dependent little human… welcome to parenthood… Just keep on making decisions for the best interest of your little one… even if it means missing an outing here or there…

    Some general parenting ideas tho: set up a bank account for your kiddo and put away a few $ each month… also use it for when relatives want to give a gift but your house is too full of stuff…
    Definitely keep helping out with the house work and baby work and try to find time to spend with your SO as a couple…

  8. If you’re not thinking of these and asking this question, you’re not a good dad.

    It’s hard, but it’s a journey, you and your daughter are learning together. Take it one day at a time. Take care of yourself and your relationship with mum matters the most. That is the foundation of being a good functioning parent.

  9. My oldest will be 18 this December. I was 19 when I got her.

    I don’t know what I did and how I did it, and if I did it right, bit she made it this far, so I did some right, some wrong, and everything in between.

    Like I tell friends that seek advice. Just enjoy your time together, it will be over before you know it.

    Your responsibilities will grow with her. Now it’s food, diaper change, sleep. Soon it will be crawling, babbling, them standing, walking, and so on. Take it as it comes.

    Stay involved, spend as much time with her as you can. Make time for your partner, and definitely make time for yourself.

    Good luck!

  10. Teach her to do things that are considered manly like change a tire and how to fix things. Teach her what a man is. Make sure she’s not going to be into rhe weak men our society is raising. That way she’ll be self sufficient and avoid the pussified “men” of today

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