Swedish Fathers Contemplate the Difficulties they Face in Parenthood
The aim was to explore what concerns Swedish fathers had about parenting difficulties at two months after the birth of their baby.
Self-report questionnaires were used and data were analyzed with mixed methods.
Thirty percent of the 827 fathers reported concerns about the difficulties of parenthood. The theme ‘Managing the demands of being a father’ emerged and was based on concerns about how to raise the baby, having enough money, health issues, lack of time and finding balance in the new family pattern. Financial worries, feeling less positive about expecting a baby, and self-reported poor emotional health were related to fathers who perceived parenthood as difficult.
Experienced fathers as well as new fathers expressed similar concerns about parenthood. Preparation classes for reassurance and skills coaching about child raising may provide important support for fathers. This is especially important for fathers who may have poor emotional health or who may not be feeling positive about expecting a baby. Policy-makers and health care providers should recognize that offering support for all fathers benefits not only men, but also their children, and their partners and can help encourage egalitarian practices at home and work.
Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare