Five Ways to Help Ease the Stress Felt By New Fathers
Becoming a father, as well as being a hugely rewarding experience that is incomparable to any other, is also an event that brings with it a huge amount of stress and anxiety, and sadly, even in 2022, these are issues that men find it very hard to discuss with others.
This is something of a perfect storm. Not only are new fathers presented with life-changing circumstances that they are ill-prepared for, but they are commonly also unlikely to talk about the stresses they feel either with family and friends or a professional who may be able to ease their concerns.
Fathers are becoming far more involved in child-rearing, which is a hugely beneficial societal change that has become increasingly apparent in the past decade or two. This means that the help that new dads need is more readily available, just so long as they have the courage to ask for it.
As a guide to help you, especially in the early months of fatherhood, here are a few tips that we hope will help you to keep stress down to a manageable minimum.
Talk It Out
If you are not comfortable with the idea of visiting a therapist, there is the option, and it’s become very popular, of conducting these sessions online. Since the coronavirus pandemic, online therapy sessions have gone through the roof, and what started out as a means to an end (in other words, clients had no choice other than to have their meetings virtually) has become an option that has continued to grow.
When it comes to the best online therapy sites, you’d do well to undertake some level of research to find the best providers out there.
There is also the, perhaps more organic option, of talking to friends about how you feel and how you are coping with the new normal. If you discuss this with other fathers in your circle, you’d be surprised just how much helpful insights you will get, and perhaps, more importantly, you’ll have the chance to vent and talk about what may be rattling around your mind.
Connect With Your Baby
Becoming as active a part in your baby’s first months is a great way to help balance out the stress that comes along with being a new parent. If you spend as much quality time as possible with your new baby, you are better placed to understand the reasons for any ‘sacrifice’ you as a family are making.
It may not be easy to make the time to be an active part of your baby’s early years, but it’s hugely important for both father and baby to do so as much as is feasible. This might mean spending time with your baby before you go to work or you putting them to bed.
Share Financial Headaches
One of the biggest issues when it comes to stress felt by fathers comes in the form of financial constraints that having a baby inevitably creates. Perhaps you or your partner have taken time off on maternity or paternity leave, and that’s left you with less money coming in, in which case you shouldn’t worry about these matters alone.
Don’t shut this topic out of your conversations as a family. It’s best to be honest, and upfront and then work out how best to plan effectively. The subject of finances can be a difficult one to discuss, but it’s better than the alternative, and that’s to ignore the problem and hope that it goes away or magically resolves itself. Neither of these will happen.
Sit down with your partner and work out how to make the most of the money you have coming in; and that way, you can better organize your lives and the expenses you incur in a way that doesn’t lead to needless stress.
So much of what happens in relation to your newborn baby is new to you. But it’s also new to your partner, so why not get stuck in and try to help as much as you can? Be part of all the facets of bringing up your baby, and in doing so, you’ll become more worldly wise, and then when it comes to distributing these roles on a more regular basis, you’ll know exactly what to expect.
For instance, knowing how and when to change a nappy is important, even if it’s not something you’ll necessarily be doing all the time. Similarly, feeding your baby may not be a role you take on all day and every day, but you still need to know how to go about doing the job when it’s needed.
Being involved will help to de-stress you because you will be less anxious about all the potential travails that await. It’s also great for bonding with your child and makes you feel more useful.
Do Your Research
One of the most stressful times for a new father is the period leading up to the impending birth. It can feel as if something unmanageable is on the horizon, a new life that’s creeping up on you and one you feel completely unprepared for.
So why not plan ahead? Take the time to do your research. There is no shortage of reading to be done and resources to find what information you can about bringing up a baby, and you can consider it something of a project to get behind.
Fathers tend to be very analytical when it comes to new situations, and there is a need to find answers to questions, so what better way to ease your stress than to be mentally prepared for everything?
Obviously, there is a world of difference between planning ahead and actually dealing with life as a new father, but by doing the research, you will at least not feel so clueless about what’s going on.