My wife and I will be expecting our first child later this month, and needless to say, we are both incredibly excited! She’s been uncomfortable lately, though, and understandably so; her sleep’s also been troubled, and as such mine has as well. We’re also in full-on “nesting” mode, which means I need to train myself to put my stuff away, and stop leaving it all over the place (one of my more annoying habits).
So to summarize, I’ve been feeling excited, tired and a bit overwhelmed. But there’s been something else lurking back there in my mind for the better part of this past year, something which has contributed to me feeling restless, alert and anxious.
Not a fear of fatherhood, though, but a fear of how my new role will affect my work, and how I cope with the workplace.
Now, granted I’ve selected a rather unique career path: I will soon be leaving my full-time job, in order to devote 100% of my attention to my NYC corporate team building company – so many of my fears of the impact fatherhood would have on me in the traditional workplace environment have petered out. However, before I decided to take this route, I had plenty of fears which I don’t think are uncommon among other dads-to-be, with regards to the office:
- How will being a father affect my ability to work?
- How much time will be required of me at home?
- How badly will sleep depravation affect my work?
- Will I be late for work a lot? Will I have to come home early a lot?
- Will my boss and co-workers treat me differently? How so?
- Will having a child make me more or less l likely to advance at my job?
- Will I become more or less independent? How about team-centric?
- How will the new practical challenges of fatherhood affect my creativity?
- Will I become resentful of work, or (far worse) of my baby?
Again, I think that these types of fears among new dads are entirely natural, so I didn’t let myself become consumed by them. What’s also helped, though, has been talking candidly about these fears with my wife and family – in the end, it turns out that most of these anxieties I was carrying around were way worse – and far more intractable – in my mind than in reality.
Are you a dad-to-be who’s afraid of how your new role will affect your workplace performance? What kind of fears have you experienced? How have you coped?