Seeing the development of them becoming their own person and growing into an individual, you just sit back sometimes and get a tear in your eye.
– Felix, father of four
You’ve got such a fantastic set of things that are going to happen to you – like the first time your baby smiles at you, the first steps and the first words when they talk to you.
– Barry, father of two
How being a dad is different from being a mum
As you get into being a dad, you might find that your way of being a parent is very different from your partner’s.
Dads tend to be more physically active with their babies and have different ways of bonding, nurturing and caring for their children. This is great. When you care for your child, you do so in ways only a dad can.
Doing things differently from your partner can be a source of tension or disagreement for some couples. It’s a good idea to negotiate your roles and share expectations about what’s important to you. You might want to talk about how you’re going to manage differences in how you do things.
Working these things out can take time and patience, but it will help keep your relationship strong.
Fatherhood is not motherhood. And it’s really important to go, ‘I’m different from mum, I’m not the same as her, I’m not going to do things the same as her’. We’re pushing in the same direction, but we’re just pushing a little differently. We both want good outcomes for the kids.
– Ricardo, father of two
Things you can do
- Think about what’s most important to you about being a family, and talk about it with your partner. This could help you make a confident, happy start to family life.
- Read our 10 tips for making a great start to fatherhood.
- If you find you’re getting upset or angry with your partner or other people, it’s a good idea to ask for help. You could see your GP. Or call MensLine on 1300 789 978 - it’s a free and confidential service that can put you in touch with a counsellor.