Becoming a dad – what to expect according to 6 dads

The enormous rush of love and emotions but also nagging doubts and revelatory changes of heart – Meet six dads who share their thoughts and experiences of what it's like becoming a dad. And what to expect.

Pierre: “I wasn’t good enough and I struggled”

BABYBJÖRN Magazine – Becoming a dad - what to expect: dad Pierre admits how inadequate he felt as a new dad.
When Olivia arrived Pierre was fully prepared for those difficult early days. It was a different story when Lukas was born 3 years ago.
Photo: BabyBjörn

“The early days were a nightmare. Lukas cried constantly and there wasn’t a lot I could do to comfort him. He just wanted his mom. I wasn’t good enough and I struggled to deal with that feeling. I was willing to help and do anything – yet somehow I fell short of what my child needed. I’ve never felt so inadequate.”

Read Pierre’s story: “I’ve never felt so inadequate.”

Pierre Weintraub is 29 and dad to Olivia, 7 weeks, and Lukas, 3. At home in Gothenburg, Sweden, he juggles his role as a dad with that of club manager, DJ, sneaker collector and salesman.

Joshua: “I knew I had it within me”

BABYBJÖRN Magazine – Dadstories: dad Joshua recalls the birth of his daughter.
Josh and his wife did nine pregnancy tests before they could bring themselves to believe it.
Photo: BabyBjörn

“Those first 20 minutes of her life, when it was only me and her, will remain with me forever. She was fully relying on me and somehow I knew I had it within me. I had no choice but to be a good dad.”

Read Joshua’s story: “I just wanted other guys to share that experience with.”

Joshua Harris is 31 and dad to Darcy, 8 months. He lives in Birmingham, UK, and works as a producer. He’s a self-confessed foodie and vlogs as The DadHe.

Kim: “Even though it’s an ordeal, we want to try again”

BABYBJÖRN Magazine – Dadstories: dad Kim tells us about IVF treatment and becoming a parent.
Charlie’s laugh has given dad Kim a strength he never knew he had.
Photo: BabyBjörn

“We’d been trying to get pregnant for two years. It was difficult. Dealing with all the questions and comments. People had no idea what we were going through. I called my mom after our first IVF attempt to tell her we might be expecting within a month. We both cried. She’d gone through a similar experience before she adopted me.”

Now we’ve seen a heart beating. Charlie’s going to be a big brother in August.

“I had no contact with my dad at all during my teenage years. Yet some of my fondest memories are of times I spent with him. Now he has dementia. He’s never met Charlie. It’s been on my mind a lot lately. It never used to bother me that I’m adopted. But my only blood tie is to Charlie. I’m starting a new family now.”

“Even though it’s an ordeal, we want to try again. We froze more eggs during our IVF treatment. And now we’ve seen a heart beating. Charlie’s going to be a big brother in August.”

Kim Nordin is 33 and dad to Charlie, 9 months. He lives in Upplands Väsby, Sweden, and works as a baggage handler at Arlanda Airport. He’s also an avid AIK soccer club supporter.

Mikael: “We may not stop at three”

BABYBJÖRN Magazine – Dadstories: dad Mikael has three kids but isn’t ruling out more.
“As one of three siblings, you’re never lonely.”
Photo: BabyBjörn

“Nothing prepares you for the feeling of becoming a dad. Those first tentative cries really tug at your heart strings.”

I have three kids under the age of five. You bet it’s tough!

“I have three kids under the age of five. You bet it’s tough! But being a dad is my proudest achievement. We never discussed if we were going to have kids; the only issue was how many. Now we’ll just have to see – we may not stop at three.”

“My mom died when I was 20. She’d been a single mother to my brother and me for two decades. I think I take after her. I see a lot of her in my own parenting style.”

Mikael Niva is 35 and dad to Vinter, 6 months, Vegas, 3, and Diesel, 5. He lives in Tyresö outside Stockholm. An interface designer and forest enthusiast, he occasionally longs to go back home to fish in the Upper Torne River in Northern Sweden.

Stefan: “He brought a sense of calm to the family”

BABYBJÖRN Magazine – Dadstories: dad Stefan describes what it’s like to have a baby when your other children are much older.
Leo idolizes his big brothers Tim and Albert.
Photo: BabyBjörn

“I felt this whole baby business was done and dusted. I already had three kids and a stepson. But then Leo came along. In some way, he acts as the glue that binds all seven of us together.”

I felt this whole baby business was done and dusted.

“My kids and I have been through some difficult experiences. Leo’s arrival brought a sense of calm to the family. He’s not just Sussie’s and my baby. He’s the whole family’s baby.”

“I didn’t have a real father figure during my childhood. I still feel a bit sad about that. But it’s made me who I am. I know what kind of dad I want to be. And I’ve seen what I don’t want to be.”

Stefan Granlund is 41 and dad to Leo, 7 months. His other children are Linnéa, 16, Linus, 15, Tim, 12, and stepson Albert, 11. He lives in Stockholm, is an operations manager at a real estate company, rides a motorbike and lists TV and film extra as his hobby.

William: “The most challenging months of my life”

“I wasn’t even sure I wanted to be a dad. I had a kind of love-hate relationship towards the whole parenting thing. That huge responsibility.”

I never thought I’d be able to face having another kid.

“The first months with a baby were the most challenging of my entire life. To be totally honest, I never thought I’d be able to face having another kid. But now Lou has a baby brother. The love I feel for my kids is beyond all words.”

“My own dad cried when I told him he was going to be a granddad. I’ve never seen him display that level of emotion. We’ve grown much closer to each other. He worked a lot during my childhood. I think he regrets that now.”

William Lindblad is 32 and dad to Fred, 4 weeks, and Lou, 3½ years. He works as an HR coordinator in Stockholm, and catches up with friends and goes to soccer matches whenever he can.

Text: Katarina Gröndahl

What was becoming a dad like for you? Share your story on Instagram – tag with #dadstories