Andy, 34, partner to Heather and father to one-year-old Kai
There were a lot of worries I couldn’t shift after Kai was born, mainly around not taking to first-time fatherhood like I thought I would. I struggled to change and bathe Kai, couldn’t soothe him like Heather and just felt maybe we didn’t have a connection.
I since know this is common with dads, and would encourage anyone to talk to their partners about it. Heather was great when I finally admitted how I was feeling and suggested we made more time for just me and Kai. It really helped – I just got on with things when I was by myself with him, and it was definitely important bonding time too.
Niall, 37, partner to Jon and father to 18-month-old Benji
One of the things I was nervous about was how my cycling club and social life would be impacted by fatherhood, although obviously I didn’t want to mention it as I thought it seemed petty and shallow.
However, when Benji was 8 months I went on one of my club rides for the first time since he was born and honestly, I came back a different man - I was rejuvenated, more positive and knew this was something I needed to stick to for my own wellbeing.
I discussed with Jon and we agreed that we’d make sure I’d ride regularly and would make plans with friends at least once a month, and he would have his own time for his own interests too. Just because you’re a parent, doesn’t mean the old you has to disappear. Keeping a handle on my pre-dad life has made me a happier man and therefore, a better father.
Ashraf, 27, partner to Lisa and father to one-year-old Paige
The original plan was for Lisa to return to work part-time after we had Paige but she hated her job so we decided she wouldn’t go back. However, quite quickly I became really nervous about being sole provider, particularly as I’m self-employed.
In all honesty, it has been hard but while I’m in charge of earning, Lisa has been amazing in taking responsibility for cut backs in the household running, which has really helped. We make sure weekends are as relaxed and family-filled as possible, as I don’t see Paige as much as I’d like during the week, and most importantly - we talk about any money worries all the time, and then work around it.
Being a dad comes with a huge responsibility, a new ‘hat’ to wear and - of course - a swathe of terrible jokes. So, if you have any concerns along the way speak up! You might be surprised just how much it helps…