Okay, so you’ve been through the pressures and stress of a pregnancy. You have dealt with your partner’s emotional and physical changes and faced your own fears and concerns around this life changing event.
You’ve fixed up the new nursery and brought everything you think you may need. Maybe you got some extra hours in at work to help you financially and feel you are as prepared as you’ll ever be for the arrival of a new addition to your life.
Then baby arrives and Bang! Your in the trenches of early fatherhood, feeling exhausted and questioning your every move. Mum is 100 percent involved with baby to the point where you feel at times like the spare part. Yet there is always jobs to be done and ways to support her through the new emotional upheaval she’s going through now babies arrived. It could be months before your partner’s hormones calm down.
As a dad it can be a lonely time. With all the focus on mum, don’t be surprised if no one asks you how you are doing. It’s not personal, you are expected to be strong for the family without complaints. You work hard all day and your work carries on when you get home. Even if it’s only to relieve your partner who has been stuck in with baby all day. Which is tough going in itself.
Be prepared to live with the temptation to resent your situation. It doesn’t make you a bad father for feeling this way. Those of us who have been on the front line of fatherhood know too well the emotional wringer of the early days and months. It’s tough for everyone at home.
Also, be prepared to be consumed, and know that it is normal. The road will narrow for a while whilst your life changes to adapt to life with newborns. But If you can put the principles of love and tolerance at the centre of your home it will be easier to navigate the new challenges you face.
Be willing, especially if you are a first time parent to simply follow mums lead. The less stressed she is the more in tune with her intuition she’ll be. Support her and trust her that she knows what baby needs.
Team work is everything. You may have to live without pat’s on the back or recognition for your effort while mum takes all the credit, just dont resent it when this happens. As long as you are doing all you can to support your family you are stepping up to the plate, recognition isn’t that important.
Connect with other dads on fb groups or in your home communities. We all get hit with the pressures of our roles at times. And it’s good to be able to share and get advice and support from other dads. It’s important that we stick together through what can be a lonely time. Early parenting is tough going. We all suffer to an extent. It’s normal to do so.
Good luck dad and keep on trudging. Just do your best and know that at times your best is enough. And you are not alone.