My daughter is due in a month, and I want absolutely no part of being a dad
Sorry for the rambling post but I need to get my true thoughts out somewhere, because I can’t really talk to my family for fear of worrying them and I can’t talk to my friends or I will get judged. Yes, judge me all you want, I know all logic and reasoning tends to go out the window when children/parenting is involved so I expect to get called all sorts of things.
I am 22 and my girlfriend is 21. We have been dating since 19/18. She is an amazing person and I am lucky to have her. From the time I met her she told me that she could not have kids due to something something being on birth control at too young an age screwed up her reproductive system. I didn’t pry too much but she did assure me she could not get pregnant and if she did, she had such a low chance of safely carrying a baby to term that she would get an abortion just to be on the safe side.
Well, in July of 2022 we found out she was pregnant. She initially said she’d get an abortion but then walked back on it and said she wanted to keep it. She had been bothering me about having a child for months beforehand and I kept telling her that we are not ready (and we’re still not). So I really should’ve seen this coming but I was stupid and made a stupid mistake. She did ultimately concede to aborting the child but I saw how happy it made her so I told her it’s her choice and if she wanted to keep it I’d support her in it.
Throughout the whole pregnancy I have done the opposite of come to terms with it. I was initially somewhat optimistic (although freaked out) but in the past couple months, as the baby’s due date comes closer and the whole thing becomes more real my mental health has severely deteriorated and I have become much more pessimistic about the situation.
I am not a loving or caring person. I only care about myself and few people around me. I am not violent or angry, I get along well with people, my girlfriend loves me because I am gentle and reasonable with her but it is the case that I just do not give a single damn about any other living being and I don’t want to be responsible for raising one. I have always hated children, I vowed to be childfree from the age of about 12. No part of having a smelly, loud, annoying, energetic, needy, dependent living creature relying on me for survival appeals to me in the slightest. I choose not to own pets because I can’t even take care of them, remembering to feed a goldfish once a day or whatever is quite literally too much for me.
During her pregnancy my girlfriend has been the happiest I’ve ever seen her, but just before she got pregnant was probably the worst couple months of our relationship where we were constantly fighting about something. I am scared that the strain of being a parent is going to plunge our relationship back into that state or worse and the child will pay for it. I work a job that has me away from home for long periods of time and I am worried that she will say I am not home enough for the child. I have worked towards this job since I was 14, it has been basically the only thing on my mind in the last 8 years and I have zero plans to give it up and find something closer to home so I can look after the child. I only got my trade certification three months ago and started making really good money. I am upset that what would have been an amazing few years of traveling, not stressing about money, and building a great life together has been demolished by a child that I never asked for.
She is optimistic, overly so, she has helped out with her friends’ kids here and there and as such thinks that raising them is a complete walk in the park. She has all these grand ideas of how every other parent just has it wrong and she has THE KEY to making a baby stop crying or [insert common parenting issue here]. I’m glad she’s optimistic and happy but I am very concerned that as soon as she is faced with being a parent for real she’s going to realize it’s not all sunshine and rainbows and end up worse off than before.
The worst part is that I’ve found men are expected to drop everything to be a dad. Let me just say I have no plans to leave her, I will stay in her and my daughter’s life and financially support them, and when I’m home on my days off from work I will chip in with parenting duties. But men in my situation are expected to do just as much if not more work than the women, shouldering the responsibility of providing for the family AND spending every waking moment with their child outside of work. Any man that wants to come home and relax is labelled a deadbeat, loser, piece of shit etc. And the worst part is that we have no say in it, the mother can abort the child or give up for adoption but a father makes a mistake and pays for the rest of his life for it whether he wants to or not.
I didn’t kill anyone, I didn’t harm anyone, I didn’t steal anything. I have made a mistake by virtue of being young and stupid. I don’t believe I deserve to pay for the rest of my life for it.
I’m sure the child will come out, life will continue, the world will keep turning and our issues will be worked through and she will grow up happy and healthy with two good parents who want the best for her. But I am upset that this child has stolen the best years of my life from me. I no longer have my youth, I can’t do spontaneous things with my friends, I can’t work my ass off away without somebody begging me to come home, I can’t devote all my energy and time and attention to me or my own interests anymore. I can’t have a picturesque relationship with my girlfriend where we can go travel and have fun and just be young people without something tying us down. My brother and his wife are both in their 30s, very high earners with no kids and their life looks amazing. Now that I have just reached the point where that will be possible I have this annoying, screaming, plan-ruining imp in my care.
In writing this post I am finding I’m barely even able to put my thoughts into words. I keep talking about traveling and stuff but it’s just so much more that will change, my entire life as I know it will and I’m just not ready for it. It’s not something I asked for, it’s not something I want, it’s not something I deserve and it’s not something my child deserves.
What’s even worse is that my deteriorating mental health is taking a toll on my girlfriend. I’m trying to be optimistic to her, I’m trying to hide my thoughts but I just cannot be fake with people. I can’t look the woman I love in the face and lie through my teeth about how excited I am for this baby. I am dreading it so very much that I can’t even pretend to be happy about it just to make life easier for her. I hate it and I hate myself for it, she doesn’t deserve to have to carry a child while looking after her boyfriend but I just can’t make myself be happy about it and every day it gets worse. I’ve tried all the things that I used to do to make myself happy and none of it works anymore. I realize after typing that sentence that it sounds like I do drugs or something but no I’m talking about spending time in nature, playing video games I enjoy, etc. It all just feels so empty now because every other thought I have is about the baby and how much I am dreading having to be a father.
I’m not sure how I can end this properly so yeah, there’s my thoughts, if you want to judge me for being a shitty human being go for it, if you want to make assumptions about my personal life or how I treat people go for it, if you have any advice go for it, thanks for reading. I’ll be impressed if anyone made it this far.