It’s Hard To Be A Dad – Celebrate The Small Wins
One of the main reasons I started Dudes To Dads was to help other dads understand that what they are feeling is very common and that they are not alone in their journey. In the Dudes to Dads Podcast Episode 67 I brought some specific topics up that not only did I have difficulty dealing with, I often see dads struggling with the issues as well.
A lot of people struggle, including myself, with trying to figure life out. The crazy thing is that it seems the more you care about things, the more difficult your life “seems”. The time when your kids are young, from newborn to 3-4 is the hardest.
Of course it is always easy to compare yourself to others and what you see around you. This guy has more money, that guy seems to have a great marriage, that other guy always seems happy.
Remember, it’s not about what level of anything you achieved, but your self acceptance of that level. If you are always trying to attain perfection or even lofty goals, you may never achieve acceptance of where you are.
This doesn’t mean you can’t improve things but what if you took a different approach. What if you looked at the various components of your life and evaluated where you were in the past and where you are now.
I’ll give you an example for myself: with this Dudes To Dads podcast. If I never think of it as successful until we accomplish X (number of downloads, episodes, or whatever), I’m never going to be happy with it. Instead if I looked at where we were a year ago. We have created 52 podcasts over the course of a year, created a tremendous amount of content to help dads, and insanely increased our listener base. That’s pretty cool. I can be happy about that.
We touched on a few of the main areas that dads struggle with. These often cause emotional triggers and can really effect us:
1) Professionally – Our job or career. Are we doing our life’s purpose or are we doing this because it pays our bills? It’s really difficult if you aren’t doing something you enjoy. If you are an entrepreneur, it is even more difficult. you are out there making your own path. So what do you do? Ask yourself, what do other people often say you are good at? That’s probably what you should be doing. Even if you make less money, it may be worth exploring to be happy.
2) Financial – being a provider for your family is so stressful. Especially when you feel like you are never making enough money to provide a lifestyle that you want for your family. You may live paycheck to paycheck. There is Parkinson’s Law which is no matter how much you make, you’ll spend the entire amount and then a little more. There never seems to be enough. by English writer C. Northcote Parkinson. So what should you do? Begin learning what you can do to take control of your finances. Get professional help in this area.
3) Relationship – In episode 61 we talked about some of the fears of becoming a dad. Many of them revolve around the relationship: getting attention, intimacy. Sometimes you don’t have the energy to put towards your relationship. Or your spouse doesn’t have the energy. You start keeping relationship score. You hear a lot of people getting divorced and they have young kids. It isn’t the kids causing a divorce but certainly the elements that we are talking about are contributing factors. So what should you do? First, talk to your spouse. Communication is the single most important element in reducing the issues. If that doesn’t seem to work, consider getting a counselor.
4) Physical – There is a big correlation between depression and people not taking care of themselves whether it be over eating or lack of exercise. You just don’t feel good. When people are unhappy, they may consume things that aren’t good for them or become more sedentary. So what should you do? First figure out what the cause is. Then figure out what you are capable of doing. Start small. Maybe its go for a walk at night. You know yourself. You know how you are best motivated. Do you need an accountability partner? You just have to make the decision to do something.
We are concerned about dads and the struggles they face. Nobody gives us a roadmap on what to do when you become a dad. It’s not an easy time. If you needs help or have questions, please contact us.