Friday, 12 April 2013

From Pole Position to Spare Wheel in Nine Months

The day has finally arrived!  Seeing that pregnancy home kit telling you that you will be a father in the near future is extremely exciting, yet somehow unbelievably daunting.  Three's company, right?  You, the beautiful wife and a little one on the way - perhaps, but three can also be a crowd.  Many men face the difficulty that comes with moving from the centre of their partners world to the periphery in a very short space of time.  This isn't a deliberate ploy to distance themselves from you guys, but it is a reality that often goes unchecked and can hit one, unexpectedly, right between the eyes.  The birth of your child brings about new challenges and new realities - you are now the sole provider (until your spouse returns to work), you are the bellboy, the run-around-what-can-I-get-you-love guy.  This new existence can be an extremely challenging time for us men; and where's the stress relief; 'out of action' you may mumble to yourself.

We often hear about postnatal depression in mothers; the change in hormones & physiological changes, adjusting to the new life as a mother, but what about us - what about us men?  Yes, we may not be in touch with our paternal emotional selves, and we may not rush off to the nearest doctor to complain that our wives are tending to the newborn and have little time for us, but that does not exempt us from the emotional changes we may undergo - whether we are too manly to admit it or not!  In recent times, it is becoming more and more recognised that men too suffer from depression when becoming new fathers.  What, no more X-box, no more night's out with the lads, no more late morning lie-ins with the wife...easing romantically into the day (you know what I mean!)?

The pressures of fatherhood, increased responsibility, the added expense of having children (on top of those dreaded credit store-cards that continually buy new blouses, flowers for the table and that last minute gift on the way to your best mates 30th birthday), a noticeable change to your relationship with your partner as well as the lack of sleep are all concocted to lead you down a pathway of some pretty stressful times.  This depression in fathers often runs alongside the postnatal depression of one's own partner.  So where is the joy in fatherhood you may ask.  Get up, close your laptop, put down your tablet / phone, walk down the passage, and there, you are looking at it.  It's a tough job, but man it's worth it!

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