love – Patience – Tolerance

International father’s mental health day

As men it is our role to provide stability under our roofs. And it’s not an easy job. I suffered badly when my daughters came home from the hospital. Sleep deprivation chipped away at my sanity. I was saved only by meditation.

But I knew I had a job to do. My wife was breastfeeding the triplets and the less stress she experienced the better the milk flow. I was also aware that my stepdaughter was going through her own massive adjustment. It was an all round pressure cooker at home and I felt it my job to keep the lid on.

During the pregnancy and after the birth all the focus was on mother and babies. I was asked once, throughout that whole period, ‘how was I coping?’ As dad’s we get put on the back-burner. There was no support or help for me as a first time dad. I had no idea what I was getting into. I just knew I had to support my family.

There were times I felt like I was on the outside looking in. There were times I got home from work exhausted and just sat in my car in tears because I knew that when I walked through the door there was no rest. I was like the living dead, praying for a decent sleep.

It was when I began to feel resentful at my situation that I knew I was on the brink of a mental health collapse. Resentment had crept in and I was full of frustration and bubbling anger under the surface. I was depressed and beaten down.

Meditation was the key to my saving grace. I had to let go of my anger. I needed to realise that how tough it was at the time, that it would get easier when the girls went through the night. Things would improve. I just had to tough it out. Thankfully I found support in a Facebook group. It was my only support but it became vital in those early days.

I would definitely say that there needs to be more in place for new dad’s. I consider myself somewhat lucky that I pulled through that first year in one piece. Thankfully I overcame my resentments early on. And as a result my depression lifted and my mental health improved. But many are not so lucky and family units break down because of the pressure men feel.

If you are reading this and struggling, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. There’s no shame in it. It’s better that you find your feet and in turn your family pulls through. If you are open to meditation il leave the link here to the practice that got me through.

Stay safe and good luck dad. You have the greatest job ahead of you, and the rewards are priceless.

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