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Finding out that you are going to be a father
by Horsefeathers. November 2nd 2012, 10:09 AM

Finding out that you are going to be a father
By Lyndsee (Heartlines.)

You just found out you're going to be a father. Your emotions are all over the place; you might be shocked, happy, anxious, or upset. You have a lot of questions: "How are we going to afford this child?" "Do we keep it?" "Is it mine?" These are all natural emotions to feel and questions to have. The way in which one reacts or feels can depend on the person, the relationship with the mother, things going on in one's personal life, and age/maturity. The overall aim of this article is to ultimately put your mind at ease and educate you.

It's important to establish your relationship and communicate with the mother. Are you two a couple? Are you just friends? Did you have sex one night at a party? This will help both of you know where you stand. Even if the relationship is strained, you still need to try your best to communicate. Remember that you are both going through this together, and the best support will come from each other. It's important to be a good source of emotional support for the mother, as women who are pregnant can be affected by hormones and stress. It isn't uncommon for the father to walk out of the mother's and child's lives. This can be for many reasons. Finding out you're going to be a parent can be very scary. People generally think that the problem goes away if you run from it. Walking out on the mother eliminates your ability to have a say in how your child is raised. The mother has the potential to make a choice that doesn't correlate with your beliefs. Once you are both together, you need to decide what you're going to do with your child. You both have a say in the fate of the infant, so discuss together what your options are. However, in the end the mother has the final say. During the decision-making process, respectfully address your concerns and needs. Your options consist of adoption (closed, or open), abortion, or parenting. You don't have to make this decision right away, as there are a lot of different factors that can play into a decision this big. Through all this, you need to make sure youíre constantly in contact with the mother. You two are a team, and need to work as such.

Before making the decision to parent or not, think about the life that you are living now. Do you have a job? If so, does it pay well? Do you think that you could afford to raise a child? Oftentimes, teenagers and young adults don't have high-paying jobs and already struggle to pay bills as it is. Raising a child will make money even tighter. Are you in college right now, or planning to go to college? If you plan on going to college, you will have to learn how to manage your time and money around a child. Many people feel as though this would be impossible. If you manage your time and provide care to your child, although it may be difficult, it is not impossible to raise a child in college. Even though you go to school and have a job, you also probably have a social life. This can mean partying with friends on the weekend, or simply getting together with a few close friends and watching movies. Think about the effect it would have on your social life, should you decide to parent. These are sacrifices that need to be made in order to meet the needs of a child. You and the mother have to decide if a baby is worth those sacrifices. That isn't to say that you can't work, go to school, or have fun as a parent - it just means that it might be a bit more difficult. You have to think about child care. Is there someone to watch the baby while you're doing all of these things? These are all questions that you need to ask yourself and be realistic about.

Even though you're in communication with the mother, and this is your responsibility, it's okay to seek advice from a close friend and/or relative. Oftentimes, an outsider's opinion can be extremely helpful, especially in situations like these. If you're having a hard time making the decision to parent, consult with someone you're close to. Remember that while it's great to have the support of others, the decision rests solely with you and the mother. Don't let anyone influence your decision in a negative or counterproductive way. It might be helpful to sit with your parent or guardian and discuss all the options available to you and the factors that play into decision-making. Initially telling your parents that you're having a child can be really tough. The way in which they react can vary greatly. They'll likely be in shock. They may be excited to be a grandparent. They may be mad, or even sad. Regardless of their reaction, that doesn't stop them from loving you. They care about you and want the best for you. Let them help you, and once the shock wears off, they'll be more open toward being supportive.

Remember that you are not alone! Check the area you live in for support classes/groups that pertain to your decision. If you can't find any groups around you, check for online groups. Good places to look are churches, Planned Parenthood, local clinics, and schools. You can also check online, as well. If you're still having trouble finding support, make an appointment with a counselor. They can direct you toward relevant resources. Whatever decision you and your partner decide to make is completely fine. If you decide to parent, thatís fine. If you decide to abort or give your child up for adoption, thatís also okay. This is a very personal decision, and there is no wrong answer. Whatever you choose to decide, be willing and ready to face the responsibility and emotions that follow.

Last edited by Horsefeathers.; November 2nd 2012 at 10:18 AM.
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