Finding my feet as a first-time dad

Siyabonga Kubeka
Junior Accountant
April 17, 2023
Share this post

It's funny how this time last year, I wouldn't have guessed that I would be given such a beautiful and precious gift. 

A few weeks ago, a miracle happened: my son. Coming to terms with my new title of father, these are some of the lessons I am learning as a new dad and accountant at Accensis: 

Don't feel guilty about still living your life

While going through hundreds of blogs about being a young father and a professional to prep myself for the new role and responsibilities, i realised that becoming a father brings a bucket load of emotions: joy, delight and pride but also fear, anxiety and helplessness.

With all those feelings, new dads often feel concerned about falling behind or losing pace with their work and other duties.

I am guilty of these as certain routines with colleagues. Going to grab lunch together or a social event we may feel diminishes the priority of fatherhood. It stokes the fears that the responsibilities at home are undermining opportunities at work for which they should be balanced.

Prospect of a new changed future the old vs the new 

Like the moon, I've always believed that life generally comes to us in phases.

In my own research into life stages, I found that they involve three phases: The first is what I call the "bittersweet goodbye,". In this phase, we mourn the person we were and the life we left behind before becoming a dad.

The second is the "humbling middle," for which we shed certain habits, mindsets, beliefs and lifestyles and begin anew with different sets of priorities. We take on new challenges and adjust to the new norm. 

The third is acceptance. This is where we accept ourselves and reintroduce ourselves. Free yourself from expectations about your identity, relationship with your partner, and even your job. 

To normalise a work-life balance as a new dad, talk about being a dad at work. 

Balancing these two worlds is less about creating total separation between your work and personal life and more about reconciling the two and ensuring your employer understands this balance. 

Let your work peers in on your life as a new dad, so when you suddenly need to tend to a screaming baby on a Zoom call, they get it. 

Talking about being a working dad can help your co-workers see that your responsibilities have changed as a human being.

Likewise, it's essential to talk about work at home. Creating complete separation to achieve work-life balance can make it more of a challenge for your partner to support you when you need it. Talk about your work responsibilities. Discuss your meeting schedule, deadlines, due dates, and project goals with your partner. 

Schedule time when you need to plug in and offer to help when you have less. 

In this new normal, new or old fathers must take advantage of today's technology.

Now more than ever, tech has allowed new dads who can't be with their families to connect and stay connected from any distance.

Enjoy every precious moment as much as possible, create traditions, and keep some favourite old ones. And most of all, record your memories together like videos and lots and lots of pictures as they grow very fast, and you can send them a small album of your time together.

Transitioning to fatherhood is an emotional experience. We must take time to ease into the role.