In our series of ‘New Dads’ post we delve into some of the most popular things men think about, or want to know more about when becoming a dad. From changing nappies to feeding we have tried to provide some support for men to feel more comfortable navigating parenthood. This post is about how to cope with new dad worries.
When you first discover you are going to be a dad all sorts of things go through your mind. No matter what kind of person you are you will most probably find something that you are not confident or comfortable to deal with. This is natural. Every dad goes through this and continues to go through it as their kids get older. Whatever your worry is, you will be able to cope with it even if that means finding support.
Things New Dads Often Worry About
Here is a list of some of the biggest worries that affect new dads and dads to be.
- Will I be able to support my family?
- What if something is wrong with the baby?
- Will I be a good dad?
- How expensive is having a baby?
- How do you change a nappy?
- Do I want to have children with this person?
- How do I stop my baby from crying?
- Does this mean I won’t see my friends anymore?
- How will I survive without sleep?
- What if it’s a girl?
- I don’t think I’m good with kids
- How Do I bathe My Baby?
Of course there are hundreds more worries that go through people’s heads and we’re sorry if your specific worry isn’t up here. Just know most can be dealt with in the same way. The fact that you are even reading this post means you’re in a good place. You are actively searching for help and looking for answers.
Ways of Coping with New Dad Worries
Talk about your worries – I personally think this is the best way to start dealing with worries. It’s also often the hardest thing in this list to get men to do. However, just voicing your worries to another person can provide a different view. It can also help to feel like a weight has been lifted. The saying ‘A problem shared is a problem halved’ is a saying for good reason. Above all you’ll be surprised how many people want to help.
Exercise and eat well – It may sound silly but exercise and healthy eating play a major part in our wellbeing and anxiousness. Regular physical activity can increase our self-esteem and can reduce stress and anxiety. In addition, sugar, water, alcohol, caffeine can all affect how much we worry so keeping an eye on levels consumed is a great step towards reduced anxiousness.
Accept you can’t control everything – The world is not a perfect place. We all have to deal with situations that are not ideal. That said it’s not the best use of our time is worrying about things that may never happen. It’s more sensible to deal with those ups and downs as and when they happen.
Allow specific Time – When we are worried about something it’s easy for thoughts to spill into other areas of our life. Ultimately causing distraction from other tasks and focuses. Assigning a specific time, whether that’s 30mins after dinner, or 20mins on the way to work, and sticking to it, will limit the excess time we may spend worrying and encourage swift processing of plans of action. Which brings us to our next new dad worries hack.
Make a plan – One way that men in particular like to deal with problems is to solve them. Making a plan to solve an issue or worry can go a long way to eliminating that worry. If you know how you are going to deal with a problem you spend less time worrying about it. That said some problems may never arise so don’t go planning for every little eventuality. Weigh up your most likely scenarios and be ready to adapt and plan as you go along.
Try not to let it affect your sleep – This can be a tough one because the very nature of worry lends itself to sleeplessness. There are many ways to combat it. Trying some Relaxation Exercises might help you find a way to nod off. Getting into a pattern with your sleep is also known to help. Sticking to a routine and going to bed at the same time each night isn’t just good for our kids! It’s known to help adults get a good nights sleep too. And following other steps above like using exercise and talking about your worries could help you drift off for a sound nights sleep.
Listen to Tim Talk About His New Dad Worries
Tim is a member of the Dadvengers community and father of 2 girls. Listen as he recounts how he felt when he found out he was gonna be a father. You’ll notice that it’s not all sweetness and light. Just like any other dad he had concerns but what’s key here is that he worked through those concerns.
This video is part of a series that Dadvengers produced in collaboration with Best Beginnings to sit on the Baby Buddy app.
More Help for New Dads
If you enjoyed reading this blog post or if would like more support as a new father we have a few of suggestions.
- Firstly You might want to check out the other posts in our New Dads Support series. The series is still very new but it’s growing all the time and will become a useful and informative hub for New dads.
- Secondly you should try the Baby Buddy App. Designed for new parents, it gives dad specific prompts on a daily basis up until your child 1st birthday. For more detailed information read ‘What is Baby Buddy 2.0‘. Or download the app now and start using it. It should help alleviate some of those new dad worries.
- Finally if you are in the North of England make sure you check out Dad Matters. They work with soon to be dads and new dads with children under 2, and cover a wide range of topics. From attachment to postnatal depression and mental heath.
Have a Listen to the Dadvengers Podcast
Currently in Season 3 the Dadvengers Podcast is a great way to be inspired by the experiences of other dads. Hosted by Dadvengers founder Nigel Clarke each episode hears a well known dad talk about his journey. The ups and downs, the highs and the lows. Showing us that we all go through the same things, and all we can do as fathers is be the best we can be. We hope you enjoy listening.