When you become a parent, you take on a whole new label. It’s harder for Dad’s at the start, as the attention is all on Mum and how she is recovering from the traumas of childbirth. However, you still go from being Joe Bloggs on the street who loved a pint on a Friday night and a lay in at the weekends, to Dad: nappy changer with the useless nipples!
When you are a Dad, you get busy. You not only are sharing the duties in the house and with the kids but you’re still likely to be the primary breadwinner. That means you’re spending half your time in the house helping with the family and the other half at the office slogging it out. It can really feel like you have no time left in the day for yourself and your own needs. The thing is, while you’ve taken on the role of a new father, you’re still a person, too. You still have wants and needs outside of your children and outside the office, and while that is your primary goal in life – to see your family happy – what about you?
Self-care is so important as a father, as you have to be able to look after the kids and be present for your partner as much as possible so that you can live a healthy family life. Postnatal depression is a factor not just for women, but for men, too. You can read more about that here; it’s important to get educated on the issues that affect Dad’s as well as mothers. You don’t need to be a tough guy and hold it all together at all times, you have feelings that are as valid as anyone else’s. When it comes to self-care, it can be hard to know where to begin, so check out our tips below:
- Open Up. Being able to talk to people around you about how you feel rather than hold it all in is important for your mental health. You won’t be able to talk to the kids about everything you may be feeling, especially when it comes to feeling overwhelmed. But, talk to your friends and your family. Talk to your spouse. Anyone who can make you feel relaxed and at peace.
- Ask For Help. Some men have a pride thing going where the idea of asking for help isn’t showing enough manly behaviour. Time to stop! When you’re too busy to stop and realise you’re drowning, you need to ask for help. Pride doesn’t even factor if life is starting to affect you.
- Remember Hygiene. The time in the day goes so fast when you have children and a job that it’s easy to forget your own personal care. Reviews of the best safety razor blades can be found here for a close shave that can make you feel amazing. Taking the time to have a hot shower every morning or evening, even for ten minutes, can mean time to reinvigorate and revitalise. Personal care time should take precedence for your own confidence, so make the time!
- Take Time Off. Your work will always be there, your family will grow whether you’re at home or not. You need to take regular time off. Even one day a month at the side of a weekend can give you quality time with the family with enough regularity that you don’t feel detached from them.
- Exercise. Taking care of yourself isn’t just about mental health, but about physical health, too. It’s a natural mood-lifter, it gives you time away from both work and home that is just focused on you. It gives you an outlet for any frustrations you may be feeling, as well as being great for your fitness. If you haven’t got the time to head to the gym, why not exercise with the whole family and go for a bike ride? Combining family time with a workout can really make you feel well-rounded.
The role of a father has a lot of pressure involved and it’s up to you to ensure that you keep as balanced as you can. You can have all the support in the world around you but if you don’t speak up and ask for help when you need it, no one will know you’re struggling. Get to know other Dad’s via forums and parenting groups if you can, as you can then meet people in the same position you are and make new friends!