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How to be a Father, when I did not have one?

Community Member

Recently found out of I am going to be a father.

I didn't have a dad, well I did but he left when I was young (primary school) that has left a void I cant talk about and bury it deep down.

I grew up with just mum who showed me everything and taught me everything while supporting me being in and out of work.

I met a girl who is amazing and kind and loving who knows I have "issues" but is always there to support me. She is first generation aussie of greek background who loves me for me and I am forever grateful to have someone so humble and kind in my world.

Recently she told me she was pregnant and I am scared and unsure and what should I do? I cant be a father, I had no father, how can I ever be a father???

I mean its amazing she is pregnant but I am very scared of being a father. I know nothing of being a father. I have no one to ask or talk too about being a father, I feel very alone and scared. I dont want a child to grow up with that I had, feeling alone what I had.

I Don't know what to do. I am not scared of not having a house or not being able to support the child but what I am most scared of is being a father and a good role model I did not have.

I am scared. Should I run or stay? I dont want to run but its so hard. I feel ashamed and like I am not a man. How can I ever provide for someone so small and helpless. What skills can I ever share that will be worthwhile? I am just a nobody with no skills who can offer nothing.

I feel alone and closed off. I dont know what to do. What should I do? Where should I go? Who can help me?

4 Replies 4

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hey there

Firstly, congratulations. You know, I hear you asking what you can possibly offer a child in this world, but I see it quite clearly in your post - the desire to be a good father. I think that’s the most desirable attribute of all. It’s certainly not easy to parent, and really, none of us know what we’re doing. But all the practical stuff, there’s plenty of help out there for that. There’s also parenting classes. And when your child is older - anything you don’t know, you can learn together.

Have you expressed your concerns to your partner? Or do you have anyone else you trust to talk to? Another option for you would be some counselling. There really is plenty of help out there. I understand your fears, and they’re quite valid. But I also think that can be considered a positive on which to build.

What do you think? Katy

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi A.Nobody,

To be a father, all you need to be is there for them and to try (even when you don’t feel like it). You didn’t have a father, and that has left you with lifelong issues and robbed you of the happiness that you should be feeling right now regarding having your first child. You described what your mother did for you, and to be honest it’s no different for a father, both of you together just need to meet their needs. Your girl sounds lovely and amazing and she will support you through this, and you need to do the same for her in return. You will figure it out together. Just try and be the father that you always wanted, that’s always a good place to start xx

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello A.Nobody, you mustn't fear of becoming a dad, it will slowly grow with you and if you love your girlfriend as much as she loves you then that's all you need.

Remember if you had a dad then how you would be brought up is completely different to how kids are raised these days and if he was still with you, then perhaps what he would tell your kids you might not agree with.

It may be challenging when the baby is born but you learn to adapt to what needs to be done or the alternative is that the baby may be perfect, sleep well, eat all its tucker and learn to know what's right and what's wrong very quickly.

As she develops in her pregnancy, there's nothing better than feeling the baby move its legs inside your girlfriend's tummy, that's when the real excitement begins.

You will be fine.


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi AN, the warmest welcome to you 🙂

You're already showing signs of being an amazing dad...

  • How many traditional dads are shut down to guidance/opinion from others? Here you are as an open minded seeker
  • How many traditional dads are insensitive when it comes to sensing what is needed for their child and their partner? You're already sensing the needs of your child, questioning how you can provide for someone so small and helpless, questioning what skills you can share that will be worthwhile. You're also sensitive enough to sense the true nature of your partner. She sounds like a truly beautiful person
  • There are so many traditional dads out there dictating 'This is the way it is! You'll do as you're told! Don't question me!' Can you imagine yourself not being so traditional? Can you see yourself as being more reasonable, seeking reasons for why your child feels the way they do? Will you not be a dictator but be a skillful negotiator instead? Will you give your child the opportunity to stay wonderful, encouraging them to continue wondering and questioning all things questionable? Will you pass on skills you obviously have, the skill of seeking reason, the skill of sensitivity, the skill of wonder and questioning productively?

I can see you being an incredible non traditional dad. Be careful, traditional dads will question you quite a bit. Don't pay too much attention to them if their parenting 'skills' are highly questionable. You know those kind of comments 'You're kid's too sensitive, you need to toughen them up'. As a mum, I actually encourage my kids to be super sensitive. As I say to them 'If you're sensitive enough, you'll be able to sense or get a feel for if your in a conversation with an a-hole (excuse the language). How you manage them is a whole other issue'.

While I've a somewhat traditional dad and my 18yo daughter and 16yo son have a fairly traditional dad, all 3 of us would have preferred a non traditional father in some ways. Have you considered you will perhaps become the kind of dad most people would love to have in their life?

If your partner has a strong sense of direction, you could consider her as one of your 'go to' people. I can recall when our kids were babies saying to my husband 'Here's the bottle, feed the baby', a bonding exercise. He was fearful yet came to enjoy it.

I've found parenting's something you tend to feel your way through. Not all feelings are easy/clear at times, such as now. You're a thoughtful sensitive man.