Things Men Worry About as New Dads but Are Afraid To Say!
Becoming a dad is wonderful, but it can also be scary. Not only does it signal an end to your life as a couple but also the responsibility it brings can seem daunting. You may begin to doubt your ability to be a good provider or start to feel a bit down from lack of sleep and the stress of having your life turned upside down. You could also feel sidelined as your other half becomes consumed with her role as a mum.
The first thing to realise is that all these feelings are completely normal. Almost everyone goes through something similar when first becoming a parent. Talking to your own dad or a pal who has been in the same position can be reassuring. You will discover that you are not alone and that such feelings seldom last. This reassurance goes a long way towards helping you move on. Whatever you do, do not try to be strong or keep your feelings to yourself.
Research shows that men can also suffer from a form of postnatal depression. If you start to feel constantly anxious, teary, or have trouble sleeping, talk to a nurse or doctor about your options. Aside from medication or herbal treatments like St John’s Wort, counselling and even practical help around the house can all help to banish the ‘baby blues.’ The best cure, though, is being consumed with the business of parenting. There is nothing quite the same as hands-on experience. A few cuddles will build up your confidence and make you smile again.
It is also worth realising that sleep deprivation can reduce anyone to a quivering wreck. Taking turns sharing night time feeds and occasionally sleeping on the couch, especially before a big work meeting the next day, can make all this a bit more manageable.
Hire a babysitter occasionally so that both of you can enjoy a date night out or some extra shut-eye at a hotel. This sort of escape will keep you both sane and help you stay connected as a couple. If three feels like a crowd, try getting more involved in the day-to-day parenting. Helping a bit more round the house or changing the occasional nappy will soon make you feel more included, and your other half more appreciative.
If you are at all concerned about your finances, especially if you are about to lose a salary to a stay-at-home spouse, you may want to sit down together and work out a new budget for household expenditure. Having a plan in place can go a long way toward making you feel more in control of the purse strings. If, after going through your finances, you are still not sure how you will come out every month, it may be worth talking to an independent financial advisor about how you can reduce your outgoings. While you are planning, you may want to consider getting a will drawn up as well. Taking care of every eventuality is another way of being a good provider.