It’s impossible to be totally prepared to have a baby. You can get all the right things — car seat, nursery, stroller and the rest of it. But you can never be fully prepared for the physical and emotional experience of being a new parent until you’re actually a new parent. I know this because I’m about to be one. My wife is pregnant with our first and, by the time you’re reading this, it’s likely that our baby will be home with us. And, as ready as I am, I’m not ready.
This is why the Dads-to-be class was such a welcome way to spend a weeknight. I’ll be honest, it wasn’t my idea. My wife works in early childhood education and is also the planner of our family. I was registered for the class months in advance, and long before that I was politely informed that I would be attending.
Thank goodness for my wife.
We had taken the two-night Labor and Delivery class prior to the Dads-to-be class. The Labor and Delivery class left me feeling a lot more prepared for my wife’s labor and delivery, as well as our first few days home with our new baby. It was full of practical information and helpful takeaways. I expected the Dads-to-be class to offer more of the same. I was wrong.
The Dads-to-be class is much more informal, and a welcome change of pace. I sat with fellow soon-to-be fathers in a circle and discussed our concerns, fears and hopes. This discussion was guided by a new father and a more experienced dad who both answered questions and provided reassurance for the daunting task we were all about to take on.
During the 90-minute class no one was required to share, but everyone ended up doing so. I think that speaks to the comforting environment created by both the class structure and the other men who attended. There was a comforting sense of inclusion and belonging in that room, and it was a very worthwhile experience.
For dads-to-be who may be reading this, I would recommend that you take the couples class first. This will help you get a solid informational foundation first. I’d also recommend getting there early so that you have time to navigate your way to the classroom without being in a rush.
All told, I’m very glad I took the Dads-to-be class, and I recommend it to all future fathers.