Many new dads feel they need to be their family’s ‘rock’. This can often mean shouldering the pressure that comes with being a dad on their own, without any support from those around them.
You might think your partner has enough to deal with, and be reluctant to share your pain and stress with them. Or you might fear being seen as weak or that you’re somehow ‘failing’ in your new role as a dad.
It’s not selfish to look after yourself. In fact, it’s one of the best things you can do for your family. A happy, healthy dad helps your baby grow and your partner feel more supported.
If you’re really struggling…
Just like your physical health, sometimes your mental health needs a bit of extra care and attention.
Tune in to how you’re feeling and how this is impacting on your life. Find someone you can talk to honestly about how your new role is affecting you – this may be your partner, friend, family member, community Elder, or a counsellor.
It’s OK to ask for support – you don’t have to deal with everything on your own. And if a belief that you should be able to handle things by yourself is stopping you from reaching out, it’s time to ask yourself – honestly – if this approach is working for you, or whether you need to share the load a bit.
This might mean getting more practical help from the extended family, contacting a professional for advice on a sleeping or feeding issue, or talking with your employer about work demands.