The significance of mothers in parenting has been prioritized from the very beginning, but it is rarely realized that the role of the father is just as significant. Now fathers are not only encouraged to take part in parenting, they want to be a part of their children’s life as well. However, taking care of a child is no easy task, and the struggle increases the more children you have. While mothers may become emotionally distressed from the pressure of it all—giving birth, breastfeeding, bathing, entertaining, putting them to sleep, changing them, etc.—fathers experience the distress of their own.
As stated by MrDad.com, fathers can “experience stress because of sleep deprivation, change in routines and their own apprehensions about parenting”. Some fathers suffer panic attacks when thinking about all the work they have to do in regards to getting supplies for the children, finances, and taking care of the children by themselves. These attacks are brief yet dominating feelings of “dread and lightheadedness” and can also cause sweating, hyperventilation, and an increased sense of fear. Such attacks are common in new and single fathers and are resulted from too much stress and a lack of a proper way to relieve it.
What can be done?
The main source of help that an anxious father can get is through some sort of support group. This can be another father who is going through the same trials as you are or an actual organization that supports fathers specifically. Such an organization is Father and Child Trust, which aims to draw attention to the importance of fathers and provides useful parenting information to dads like how to handle certain father-child situations, how to healthily cope with divorce or loss, and how to grow relationships as a single father. Mothers can also take part as they treat both parents equally and share with them the useful knowledge that is gathered by experienced fathers.
Getting support is a recommended remedy for anxiety. It allows you to express yourself in a safe manner and it serves as an opportunity to connect with others. Doing this gives you the sense of relief as you realize you are not alone and that it is normal to feel stressed under the circumstances. According to MrDad.com, other concepts you will learn through support groups are:
It will get easier. Most phases of a child’s life are only temporary and they will generally grow out of them in a matter of months or a couple of years depending on the age of the child and the phase itself. Most fathers say that with babies, in particular, they get a routine down in about 18 months.
Some babies are more difficult to handle than others. If you are having a hard time with your child, it most likely will have nothing to do with your parenting skills, but rather with your child’s personality. With this in mind, you will be able to approach certain parenting situations with a more positive and realistic standpoint, which will help you go through it a lot easier.
Be aware of your emotions. Know when you about to tip over the edge. If you are about to lose your head, talk to someone immediately. Help can be found if you search for it.
Have another outlet if necessary. If anxiety or panic attacks still occur, consider speaking with a professional. BetterHelp is an ideal place to vent to a certified psychiatrist (using their e-counseling platform) on your preferred schedule. They can assist with you personally, with couples, or in family sessions.