Being a Dad can be tough!
There is no question of that.
Juggling the responsibilities of working/being the primary carer, spending time as a family together and making time for ourselves can be an ever moving target.
However there are many steps we can take to inject creativity and fulfilment into our own parenting experience.
One thing that can help to enhance our experience as a Dad and to reduce anxiety, worry, depression and stress is to build our support network and spend time with other Dads.
Research has shown that peer support for Dad’s can have many benefits around improving our mental health, well-being and confidence.
There is something very powerful about interacting with like-minded individuals who are in a similar situation.
Through conversation and discussion with other Dads around the latest challenges we are facing, we can realise that we are not the only ones who find certain things a struggle.
Never has the old saying ‘A problem shared, is a problem halved’ been so true when it comes to being a Dad.
This realisation can help to reduce the feeling of failure and being inadequate and help to reaffirm that being a Dad is tough and that we are only human.
Through spending time with other Dads we can learn from each other in how we approach and deal with different situations.
These could be a challenge at work, a problem at home with our partner or finding out about the latest gadget or app that will make our life easier.
We can gain the realisation that we are doing just fine and banish the feelings of guilt, fear and being inadequate.
There are lot’s of ways we can meet other Dads and spend time with them which include:
- Dad focused toddler and children’s groups – search the local press and web to see whether there are any Dad focused toddler and children’s groups to attend. These are a great way to meet other conscientious and like minded Dads
- Volunteer as a helper, leader or instructor at one of our children’s extra curricular activities – whether this is a football team, cub scout pack or martial art group this is a great way to meet other ‘Hands on Dads’ to make friends with
- Do children’s activities with other Dads – this is a great way to spend time with our kids and other Dads by attending children’s activities. This could be going swimming together, going to the Forest or simply a trip to the park. Not only do we get to spend time with our children but they also have the opportunity to play with other children and we have the opportunity for some adult conversation too – who said we can’t multi task!
- Build in regular time to spend with other Dads away from the kids – this could be playing sport together, going for a drink or even a walk. Making time for uninterrupted conversation with fellow Dads enables us to discuss things on our mind and receive advice.
- Join online forums and groups – another way to interact with other Dads, especially if life is very busy, is to join online forums and groups to interact with like-minded individuals.
Have you built a solid support network around you as a parent?
What other ways in addition to the above do you spend time with other parents?
As always it would be great to hear from you with your comments below 🙂
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