You’ve heard it at least once or twice prior to having children, that becoming a father would be a difficult transition. As much as you’ll love and adore your children the changes that come with parenting will come as a surprise. Parenting and stress go hand in hand, but it can’t be that bad… right? It typically isn’t until after you’ve had your first child that you realize exactly what they meant. Certainly, you aren’t trying to abandon ship but, you’ve got to admit, a vacation in some far-off place sounds nice. If you’ve found fatherhood to be different and at times stressful, these tips should help you out.
Some Stress Comes with the Territory
Let’s start by saying this, there isn’t a father in this world who doesn’t stress. Whether it’s about the ability to be a good dad or wondering how you’ll provide for them, there will always be something to stress about. Unfortunately, there are some men who struggle with the burden and turn to vices that can include drugs, alcohol, sex, or gambling as a means of coping.
This, of course, is never the answer. If you’ve reached a point where you’re so stressed about being there for those you love, that you’ve started abusing substances do what you can to get back on track. Read inspirational drug addiction quotes, talk to your doctor, go to a therapist, or talk with your partner as being healthy physically and mentally is the first step in being a better dad.
If you thought transitioning from a bachelor to a husband or committed boyfriend was hard, add children to the dynamic. Your time and attention are now spread amongst your children, spouse, and yourself. The relationship can become strained as the two of you learn to find a “flow” as parents.
Tip: Though in the beginning your children may occupy a great deal of your time, space, and energy it is imperative to your relationship that you find ways to keep the flame burning. Ask mom and dad to watch the kids so you can go out for date night, spend a few moments with your spouse after you’ve tucked them in for the night. In other words, simply find creative ways to keep showing your partner you love them.
Finances are another dynamic that changes with fatherhood. The larger your family is the more it costs to take care of them. Though your partner likely works as well to bring money into the household, as a man, you can’t help but feel “less than” when you can’t provide for your loved ones. This can manifest in many ways including stress, burnout, anger, frustration, and the like destroying your relationship and your family.
Tip: It goes without saying that the cost of living only continues to increase as time goes on. Raising children isn’t cheap, but it is possible. Start by creating a family budget and cutting back on unnecessary spending. There are also programs for families that can sometimes save you money on things you need like utilities, housing, food, healthcare, and more.
Lack of Control
As a father, no matter how well you try to nurture, mold and discipline your children, the truth is, you can’t control their actions. There are going to be things about your children that are completely out of your hands. You want them to make the right decisions and do the right thing, but ultimately, all you’ll be able to do is hope they’ll do right. It may become stressful to wonder how you’ll be perceived by how your children turn out, or how you’ll handle situations your kids bring to your attention, but in the end, there’s nothing you can do.
Tip: Let it go and let it flow. As a father, it is your job to provide a foundation for your children to grow from. You cannot control everything they’ll encounter or how they’ll behave in those moments. Just take a deep breath and trust in your children and the foundation you’ve set for them.
Don’t let becoming a dad stress you out. No one said that being a dad would be easy. The transition into this role will take some time, energy, and support, but once you get the hang of it, it will be one of the roles you’ll be the proudest of.