Becoming a parent is certainly a big adjustment, with a newfound responsibility for another person, not to mention home life and schedules being turned upside-down.
With data from the Medibank Better Health Index1 finding more than 1 in 4 (26%) new fathers report suffering from stress, we asked current fathers to share their advice for expecting dads around how to manage the transition to parenthood — watch below to see what they said.
Here are 3 ways new dads can maintain their wellbeing and reduce stress following the birth of a child:
- Keep exercising: It’s common for your fitness regime to be the first thing to go, as caring for your new child becomes a round-the-clock exercise — often on top of the usual work pressures. However, a little bit of exercise each day can go a long way in maintaining physical and mental wellbeing. Chances are a lack of time is your biggest issue, so check out these 6 ways to sneak exercise into your workday, so that when the day is done, you can still hurry home to be with your baby.
- Confide in friends: Given this is a time of so many ‘firsts’, it’s worthwhile keeping in regular contact with friends who’ve had kids themselves and can relate to what you’re going through. The first few months especially can make for a challenging transition, and talking to friends who have been through it all before and getting their advice around managing this period might help lighten the load.
- Remember you’re a team: Whether you’re in a relationship or are a single father, remember that your family is a team and you’re in it together. If you’re in a relationship, you might find the nature of your relationship with your partner has shifted since the birth, as there’s now a new and very important priority in your lives. To maintain closeness, remember to keep communication lines open and try share the load between you where you can.
1 Data collected by Roy Morgan Research, Apr 2015 - May 2016