INTRODUCING HIS GRIT MAGAZINE – My name is Charles Bradley and I am the proud and happy father of the 7-month-old Lily Bradley. Like any other new dad, I have spent the first month with my little Lily in utter ecstasy. I would imagine her twenty years from now and fill in those years with happy events and memories yet to be lived.
I am Father, Anxiously…
It wasn’t long before I found myself growing less comfortable with my new state of life. I started getting overwhelmed by the responsibilities that were chasing me; I had to juggle work, buy diapers, change diapers, wake up in the middle of the night, and above all, it hit me that my wife and I haven’t been spending any time together.
“Is this normal? Am I a bad father for feeling this way?” Questions like these would fill my head all day long, it honestly made me feel terribly guilty. This even made things worse, I grew more anxious and more overwhelmed with every passing day. I couldn’t build up the courage to talk to my wife about it because this was our first child together; a step we’ve been planning for four years. And here I am, with my 7-month-old first-born submerged in an overwhelming sense of anxiety and depression.
I resorted to the new fathers of the Internet, read articles, checked online forums, and turns out I’m not the only father suffering from paternal postnatal depression (PPND). Apparently, statistics show that 10 percent of fathers with their first newborns suffer from PPND.
Fortunately, I managed to retrieve an answer from the extensive reading and research I went through, I was assured that it certainly is normal for a new father to feel the way I was feeling. It’s a natural reaction to the sudden change that has occurred in the father’s life; imagine being responsible for a human being of your own flesh and blood. You start thinking about how you are obliged to financially provide an entire living for this human being until they’re twenty years old. You worry about your relationship with your wife, and whether you will ever regain those youthful romantic years. You start planning so far ahead into the future because you are now a provider, and you have to worry about all of that while living off four hours of sleep a night and waking up to get through your 9-to-5 job.
Parenting is Overwhelming
Well, guess what? It is overwhelming! And that’s okay.
PPND can be managed through multiple easy steps. First, you need to communicate with your partner; express yourself, tell them how you feel and let that pain off your chest. Don’t be so hard on yourself, spend some quality time with yourself, pause everything, and take a break to off-load. Slow and easy wins the race! And if you still find yourself struggling, you can always contact a mental healthcare specialist for help. So, don’t worry and let me answer the questions in your head for you:
Yes, it’s normal and no, you’re not a bad father for feeling this way.
Ladies, now you know how some of us men feel. Tell the men in your life to follow His Grit Magazine. They may also write us on firstname.lastname@example.org if they also have honest views on ANY life aspects.