Do You Want to Become a Father?
Nov 08, 2023
How to Face Your Biggest Fears & Decide What’s Best For You.
"I always figured I’d become a father."
"Becoming a father seemed like the default, given the combined messages from my family and society."
"I was just waiting for the right time to become a father, but it hasn’t happened."
Do any of these sound familiar? I hear these sentiments all the time from the men I work with as a Parenthood Clarity Mentor. Like everyone I work with, men don’t want to sleepwalk into parenthood.
When you’re unsure about whether to become a father, you want to know what’s right for you. If you’re partnered, you likely want to get clear on what’s best for the relationship.
You may also have fallen victim to one of the biggest myths about deciding whether to become a father — that the issue would naturally resolve itself at some point.
In my 30+ years as a Parenthood Clarity Mentor, these are some of the most common fears I hear from men. Do they resonate with you?
You don’t want to be like your own father, who sacrificed so much to provide for the family — or, you believe you can’t live up to the great father you had
You fear losing your physical and financial freedom. You can’t imagine how a kid would fit into your life
You have FOMO (fear of missing out) on the rewards of fatherhood, but also fear missing out on your perceived freedom
Deep down, you’re worried your relationship may end over this issue, no matter what you decide
Thankfully, there’s a proven method to make sure your fears don’t drive your decision.
How to Begin The Parenthood Clarity Process
- Your first step is to accept that you don’t yet know whether you want to become a father, and you don’t deserve any blame for that.
Decide to not know on purpose. By deciding that you don’t know what you want, you put yourself in the most open position to receive new information. Even if you have an inkling of what you want, it’s best to keep it at bay for a period of time. What I tell people is that, if something is true, it will remain true.
- List your external influences and fears. Externals are all the outside factors that stem from your culture, family, and environment that feed into your ambivalence or anxiety about having children (or not having them).
- Place your list in a box or envelope, and put it away and out of sight.
Accept that these items are irrelevant for now. They might be relevant when it comes time to decide, but right now you are focused on discovering what you truly want.
- You’re now ready for some exercises that will help bring unconsidered beliefs and assumptions to the foreground. Consider these writing prompts: How has not being able to decide impacted your life? What has it cost you?
You can engage in some stream-of-consciousness writing – meaning, just write what comes to mind. Write freely about all that has gone well in your life and what hasn't gone well. What have you appreciated about your parents and what has been challenging?
Take what you’ve written, and allow yourself space and time to process what has come up for you. Clarity will develop little by little as you complete each step of the process…
In my Fatherhood Clarity Course, I guide you step-by-step through my proven method — to uncover your inner truth and discover what’s right for you. As you’ll discover, there’s no correct answer — there’s only your answer.
It’s hard to set aside the expectations and judgment of others during this process, but ultimately, the goal isn’t for others to feel good about your decision to become a father or to live child-free.
The goal is for you to feel good about your decision. You want your decision to come from an internal and authentic place, not as a reaction to outside forces. Only you can know what’s true for you.
You don’t have to go through this process alone — find out more about the Fatherhood Clarity Course here.