Pregnancy will lead to major changes in a woman’s life. For a woman, carrying a life inside of herself can be scary, wonderful and full of surprises which means her emotions can feel like a roller coaster at times. After the child is born she’ll be confronted with taking care of a newborn and the huge responsibilities that involves.
The mother’s time is spent mostly nurturing the child in various ways that keep most mothers so busy they feel they don’t have time for anyone else, including themselves. There’s a sacrifice involved when it comes to having children. Pregnancy can definitely be overwhelming, especially for first-time mothers, but it can also be overwhelming for dads.
Since pregnancy is mostly centered around the baby and the mother, sometimes the father’s emotions and issues are ignored.
Men oftentimes will experience a roller coaster ride of emotions themselves. A husband can feel just as overwhelmed or neglected or simply unprepared for what the life of a dad brings to his life and even his relationship. Husbands usually have the responsibility of taking care of the family and this can be overwhelming as their family grows.
Men worry about the usual things, do they have enough money? Is their job stable? And then other issues creep up on them too, like the feeling of being left out or taking second place in the mother’s and child’s life. All this can make husbands feel unworthy. We decided to talk to 15 different men who shared with us some of the reasons why men run after the announcement of pregnancy or the arrival of a baby.
15 Fear Of Being A Bad Father
A father is said to shape the life of a child and be the role model that kids look up to. It is said that a father shows his daughter how men should be which is then responsible for the type of men she dates and even marries later in life. He is also the major model for his son showing him how a man should behave.
The fear of not living up to all of this has been known to send men running. When faced with the prospect of fatherhood, Bill says he was scared. He never knew his father while growing up and had very few male role models around him while he was young. He did not know the first thing about being a father and did not see how he was going to be able to a good parent not to mention role model.
The only thoughts that kept popping up in his head was he would mess up the child which only convinced him further that he was better off gone.
14 Not Feeling Like He's Good Enough
“When my son was born, I was at a low point in my life and had a lot of personal issues going on. He was so small and perfect and I was dealing with one problem after another that I just felt inadequate. I thought that if I stayed I would just end up messing it up like I had everything else and opted to leave,” Mike says.
Providing for a child and raising him or her means that you give your best and put your best foot forward even when you might not be feeling up to it. This can be hard to do if you are battling with feelings that you are not good enough or worthy of being a parent. These feelings could be a result from past mistakes and experiences and can make someone retreat with the mindset that it is for the best.
13 Fear Of The Commitment
Not all pregnancies are the result of a happy relationship between two people who are committed or married. Instead most are the outcome of casual encounters or new relationships that are just beginning. This can make the idea of becoming a parent quite daunting.
“When Jill told me she was expecting, I was surprised we had only gone out a couple of times. I was not looking for a serious relationship and had actually never been in one at the time. The idea of having a kid just seemed like a very big commitment that I had never even made before and it scared me. "
"That fear became overwhelming when she decided to take the pregnancy to term and I disappeared from her life even before she got the baby,” Bob narrates with his head hanging low. The fact is being a parent is a task that demands dedication and commitment and some men feel that they are not able to do this.
12 He Fears All That Responsibility
When Kevin’s girlfriend got impregnated he was 19 years old and had just started college. He loved Jacky and wanted to be there for her but could not see how they could manage with a baby.
“I had just started taking care of myself and had learnt how to do my own laundry and could even see or fathom how we were to raise a little baby. The responsibility looked too big and despite how much I loved Jacky I was still a kid in a lot of ways,” he says.
Every parent will tell you that having a baby is no joke. It involves years and years of responsibilities and work to bring up a child until they are a fully grown adult who can take care of themselves. It is job that one does for the rest of his or her life. This fact can be scary to some men who might not think they can handle this.
11 Because He's In A Bad Relationship
“I had been together with Susie for 2 years on and off. We had more downs than ups and everyone in my life could not understand why I kept going back. The relationship had so many problems and we kept fighting more than anything else. Then one day, she told me she was pregnant. I just could not see how our messed up relationship would work with a baby in the mix,” explains Chris.
In cases where the couple has had a bad relationship, throughout the time they have been together, the birth of a child may help the eyes of one of the party. This lets them see how that the relationship might be unhealthy for the baby and cause an environment that is bad for the baby to grow up in. in such situations, the only way to break the pattern is for them to is to leave.
10 He Lacks The Maturity To Stay
Ben was 21 when he learnt that he was going to be a father and he could not see how that would work. Now in his forties, he says he was too young at that time to do what was needed and expected of him. He put himself first and wanted to continue with his life of partying with friends and live his life without responsibilities.
He distanced himself from the girl who at the time was carrying his child pretending nothing had changed. Guys who might be younger or not fully mature might not be able to handle the responsibility and demands that comes with fatherhood. This lack of maturity encourages them to make the choice to leave instead of taking care of their children as they do not want to grow up.
Most of these guys will choose to continue with their lives going out with friends living with nothing tying them down instead of accepting their responsibility like an adult.
9 He Has Conflicting Emotions
“After Monica broke the news that she was pregnant, I could not think straight. I could not concentrate at work and kept wondering how it was going to turn out. There were so many aspects and things to consider and it all seemed too big and too much."
"For months I just walked around in a daze. At first I did not know what she expected from me and the oncoming baby was too daunting. I was not sure how to pass the news to my parents whose house I still lived in and how I would explain it all,” Mathew explains.
Confusion about what steps or decisions to make plus the fear that comes with taking a step into the unknown and the inevitable changes that will come make men like Mathew run instead of staying as they cannot see the light at the end of tunnel.
8 There's Financial Constraints
Henry was just out of school looking for a job when his girlfriend of 3 years announced the news that she was expecting. He was afraid but did not say anything to her for fear of starting a fight.
“I could barely pay my rent and feed myself and was now expected to provide for a baby,” he says. When he tried convincing his girlfriend to get an abortion explaining that they could not make it she was adamant. As the months went by he started feeling stressed which affected everything else and only made him pull away.
When faced with parenthood, many men first think how they will be able to provide for their kids which automatically puts pressure on those who might not be financially stable. This pressure to be providers and to take of finances then makes those who are not able to put food on the table feel inadequate and stressed which pushes some to run.
7 It's All Unexpected
Fatherhood and the responsibilities that come with the role cannot entered into lightly. Unexpected news of fatherhood can make anyone’s head spin this is more so if the parties had used some sort of protection and contraceptives. This can make the man scared of the overwhelming reality that is all so near which makes him run.
With that in mind you can only imagine Ken’s reaction when the news that he was a father was sprung on him. “I was at work when I received the news that I was already a father”, Ken told us, “At first I thought it was a joke a friend was playing on me but then it turned out to be true. I didn’t even know Mary was pregnant as we had not talked for so long. My daughter was already three months old. I have never been that surprised and all I could think was ‘I can’t do this.”
6 He Has Personal Emotional Baggage
“Growing up, I went through a lot of abuse from my step dad and later on from my mother’s boyfriends. This has given me a lot of emotional problems that I am slowly trying to solve with the help of a professional. When I became a father I was not getting help at the time and had a lot of problems which would at times manifest in rage outbursts. I was in no position to become a parent and did not even visit once the child was born,“ Fred told us.
Men who might have suffered from any sort of abuse growing up tend to have emotional problems which could also manifest with alcohol or physical or emotional abuse. Even with treatment and therapy some of these men may not feel they are not able to take care of children or might not have the ability to parent.
5 Being Pushed Away By The Mother
When Dave and his wife got divorced, things between them were anything but cordial. She had discovered that he had cheated on her and she was angry. They had been together for 15 years and had three kids together. Dave explains that the battle and anger his ex-wife had against him made it impossible for him to even see his kids who were 14, 10 and a newborn at the time.
She did everything in her power to make sure that he was around them and even stated that he was a bad influence on them. With his schedule at work there were very few chances that he could spend time with them and it was only made worse when Sheryl up and moved out of the state.
Some mothers who might believe that their children’s fathers are not fit to be fathers go out of their and push the men out of the children’s lives to the point where they leave.
4 He's Not Ready To Settle Down
“When Kathy told me she was expecting I remember feeling scared. I was barely ready for a serious relationship and could not even think of being a parent and settling down. Everyone expected me to propose or move in with the baby’s mother and I felt I was not ready."
"I expressed my feelings but everyone just told me it’s a normal part of the process and all I could feel was that no one was understanding my position. I started feeling alone and by the time the baby was born I had somehow faded in the background,“ Mark said.
A large number of men feel that they are not yet ready to settle down and the prospect of a baby makes them feel pressured to settle down and in some cases even marry. This pressure that they feel puts a weight on their shoulders with many leaving to alleviate it.
3 Wants To Look For A Better Partner
“Lucy and I had dated on and off for a year when I learnt she was pregnant. Things had never been serious between us and although I had always planned on having a family later on down the line I didn’t think Lucy was the one to do it with. I suggested that we should terminate but she was against it and I felt there was nothing else I could do. I made the decision to leave,” explains John.
Some men may want to have a family later on down the line but not specifically with the woman who might be pregnant. This is especially true for situations where the two were not involved in a relationship to begin with. The man may feel that he did not want this and that the woman in question is not the suitable partner to raise a child with and start a family and opt to run instead.
2 He Feels Trapped
When Curtis learnt that the girl he had gone on one date with was expecting his child, he was anything but excited. Feelings of fear, being unsure of the future bombarded him. He started feeling as though he had no options and when he asked her to terminate the pregnancy and she refused he felt started feeling suffocated and decided not to get involved and took his leave.
He could not see a way out and just went with the only way he knew how to. A lot of men have confessed to feeling trapped when the relationship was not serious or they had no plans of ever becoming parents and now find themselves confronted with the prospects of being a father. The feeling of being trapped then makes them switch to flight and fight mode which results in many fleeing.
1 He Fears Being Replaced
“After my son was born, I started feeling left out and couldn’t get my wife to even give me a second of her time. She was always busy with the baby and never had time for me. We had been married for 5 years and had a very happy marriage but now it was as if I was replaced completely by the baby. I then started beating myself up for feeling this way as he was my son and eventually couldn’t take and just left,” says Jimmy.
In many instances, men are excluded from participating rearing and upbringing. Since they do not automatically have the bond with the baby as a mother does due to the connection during pregnancy, some men may feel like an outsider. These feelings may be heightened by the time his wife or girlfriend has to spend with the baby making him feel replaced in her affections. This can make the man look for affection or emotional comfort elsewhere.