Finding that special someone one wants to spend their life with is a remarkable thing that deserves commitment and dedication. If the person you wish to marry has children, expect an adjustment period for everyone involved. Becoming a step-parent can be challenging but highly rewarding as well. Patience, love, and understanding are always key when it comes to forming a new family and doing it well. When embarking on such a journey, it can be helpful to keep these three things in mind:
The Children Come First So Have Patience
You might want your new spouse’s attention to be focused on you, but if they have children, this won’t always be the case. Keep in mind that the kids were there first, had to suffer through their parents’ breakup, and continue having to adjust to a different family structure. It’s normal for your spouse to put their kids’ needs first. They need to feel that their connection to their parent is still solid and special. It could take a long time for your step-kids to form a bond with you, so try and spend some quality time with them.
The Other Parent Might Be Part of the Picture
Birthdays, graduations, soccer games, dance recitals, and many other events in the kids’ life will likely call for both biological parents and step-parents to be present. The sooner one accepts that the other parent will be part of the picture, the easier it will be. This person will always be part of your stepkids’ lives and your spouse’s past. Working towards a peaceful co-parenting solution is crucial.
The Responsibility Doesn’t End When the Kids Turn 18
Being a step-parent isn’t a short-term job. Marrying a person with children means making a lifelong commitment not only to that person but to the entire family. Although it may take some time to form a real bond when it does happen, it can be truly special. Your involvement with your stepchildren will continue well past the age of 18.
Expecting a baby is a beautiful time for both parents, who can do little else than highly anticipate their new bundle of joy. When their partner is pregnant, men begin wondering what it means to be a good birthing partner – will they be a good dad? How can they make sure of it?
It’s comforting to know that every father-to-be likely feels like this, and there are many who have shared valuable experience and advice through books they’ve written and published. Here are a few of the most highly recommend.
What to Expect from Books for New Dads
A book about fatherhood can help new and soon-to-be dads understand their role and responsibilities when it comes to providing their new bundle of joy with the care and attention they deserve. Depending on the book, it could offer helpful advice about child development, maintaining synergy with the significant other, and insight into how to recognize and process all the emotions that becoming a father brings.
Our top Choices
There are numerous fatherhood books out there to choose from, and many of them carry a lot of valuable information. However, some guidance is always helpful and the following choices are always a good starting point:
“Pregnancy for Dads-To-Be” – by Adam Carpenter
This book will help expecting fathers to learn about the baby’s development, before and after birth. It offers tips on how to support the mommy-to-be during pregnancy, and what lifestyle changes to expect once the baby arrives.
John C. Carr – “Becoming a Dad: The First 3 Years”
This is a great book for those who are feeling especially nervous about becoming a dad. The book offers guidance on how to process and balance those emotions, along with practical guides and milestones.
“Commando Dad” – by Neil Sinclair
Written by a real-life commando and a father, this book provides straightforward tips for dads who like clear and concise instructions.
There are many other books out there to choose from that vary in writing style and the message they focus on. Dads-to-be can take advantage of the wisdom and experiences shared by the writers as they prepare to venture into fatherhood.