19 Apr What a Dude will experience at the Rockville Women’s Center
It’s not easy going to a women’s center when you are a dude. As a guy, what are you going to do or say at a women’s center?
It has that same awkward feeling as shopping in a women’s boutique. So, let’s first acknowledge the awkwardness but more importantly, your courage. You are courageous for accompanying your partner to the center in an emotional and difficult situation. You’re here because she may be pregnant and you want to show that you care for her. It shows maturity to be present for the welfare of your partner and your potential son or daughter. Once at RWC, the good news is that you needn’t sit alone and silent in the lobby. Fortunately, at RWC we have male advocates that can talk about how you feel and answer practical questions about an unexpected pregnancy.
So what are some of the common concerns and questions men have when they come to the center?
There is often a denial of the circumstance.
Is my partner really pregnant? Is this really my child? These are legitimate and often heard questions. At RWC, we can confirm a pregnancy and even provide an ultrasound pinpointing how far along the pregnancy has advanced. Occasionally, it is a false alarm and she is not pregnant. If a man feels unsure about being the father, it is reasonable to seek a paternity test, which the center does not provide but we may be able to get some information for you.
The most common concern for men is “How will I afford a child?”
Financial issues and the ability to provide are real concerns. We do refer out for financial issues at RWC. Overall, as men, we often find a way when there is a necessity. Just talking to another guy about finances can be a relief and may engender ideas and paths not thought of before.
My partner’s health and wellbeing
The protective fathers we see at the center are concerned for the health and wellbeing of their partner and unborn child. Therefore, there are practical questions about the stages of pregnancy, housing for the family, and the physical needs of a newborn. We can refer out for medical related issues. Also at RWC, we provide assistance with diapers and clothes and follow up for two years.
Our relationship status and how a baby can change that
Men do like to talk about their relationship with their partner. We often discuss how they met their partner, what they like about her, and their vision of a future with her. Discussing how they trust the partner opens up a dialog about the pregnancy. The best thing for the relationship is meaningful discussion and respect.
Will I be able to play with my child
A common hope for men is the thought of playing with their child. Be it soccer or baseball or painting. We encourage discussing the positive and joyful parts of being a dad.
One other important experience for men at RWC is a discussion of the man’s spiritual life. An open examination of faith often helps men to choose the best path forward. We respect free will at RWC and encourage a thoughtful examination of conscience. It’s not enough to know what to do but why we do what we do. Often times our male clients like their advocates to pray with them, in which we are glad to participate.
Hopefully, this short blog gives a roadmap of what men can expect at RWC. The bottom line is that the male advocates at RWC are on your team in a respectful and dignified way. We are here to listen and think things through with you.