Steph is on a baby-related newsletter, and occasionally redirects them to me so I can get the facts. (This week, my baby is about the size of an avocado.) On one of these recent emails, they had a link to an article called Seven fears expectant fathers face. I can definitely feel the “security fears” (e.g. “Will I be able to protect and provide for my family?”).
I don’t mean to mock anyone here, but there’s one that really sticks out to me that I can’t identify with: “paternity fears.” The article says, “About half the new and expectant dads I interviewed eventually came around to admitting they had fleeting thoughts that they weren’t really the baby’s father.” I kept waiting for them to drop the punchline with, “The other half admitted to fathering the first half’s kids.” But no, men really fear this, I guess. It never even occurred to me to fear this.
But since announcing the baby’s existence recently, I’ve had some light shed on this fear. Two different guys I know each asked “Who’s the father?” when they heard the announcement. I know they were just making a joke (in poor taste, I might add, so don’t say this to your friends when you find out they’re expecting a baby). No women said it, just two guys. It struck me that they’re probably some of the ones who would actually posses this fear in the first place. When they asked this question, they were probably just voicing their own internal fears without knowing it.
I never realized how psychological having a baby would be. And it probably just gets deeper and stranger from here. Interesting stuff!