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New to Fatherhood, Overwhelmed and Exhausted

Anathemation
Community Member

Hello All,

I'm a first time dad, my daughter was born just over a week ago.

Now I'm no stranger to anxiety, I have it and for the most part had it conquered. Long-story-short is that I had a rough childhood and worked through PTSD, depression and anxiety through medication and psychologist therapy.

So 9 months ago my partner of 2 years told me she was pregnant, and while we were in less than stable circumstances we decided, after much back and forth, to keep the child.

The pregnancy in itself was quit good, I found work and my partner finished university and it was quite a stress free time right up until after the birth. Even the birth itself was a calm and exciting event, everything was great with the daughter. She and my partner are happy and healthy.

So here is the crux, I am feeling bogglingly overwhelmed by the change. I feel anxious being at home due to not really being able to eliviate my partners stress in feeding around the clock. When I leave home for work I feel a crushing separation, like I'm going to miss something or something will go wrong.

For the past 3 days I've been bawling my eyes out at random times, just because I feel like I am being hit by everything all at once.

So I guess I'm here to see if there is a light at the end of this anxious tunnel and if anybody else has tackled fatherhood like this. As well as gain any helpful survival tactics to get through this time.

I'm glad to be here and to meet you all. 🙂

13 Replies 13

Sophie_M
Moderator
Moderator
Hi Anathemation,

Welcome to the forums and congratulations on the new arrival!  While you're waiting for some replies from our community, please feel free to have a browse through our Dadvice website below - there's a lot of information and videos there you may find helpful:

Welcome to Dadvice - because babies change everything

Thank you, Sophie_M!

I'll have a gander through Dadvice, sounds like it'll have some great tips and perspectives 🙂

tim55
Community Member

Congratulations Anathemation,

First up let me say I admire you and your partner's decision to go ahead with the pregnancy.

There is light at the end of the tunnel, my children are just about all self sufficient now and are wonderful people to be around. I'm sure you will feel the same about your daughter.

The funny thing is that there is no single guaranteed method for raising a child. So I suggest to you a couple of things in no particular order.

Love your partner, and love your daughter. You are providing for them by going to work, but come home and do whatever you can for them. Cherish your partner and your daughter, they are both a gift.

Be kind to yourselves. Most parents had little idea when they first started out, you will learn.

Babies can be really fragile, but they are incredibly robust as well. Take care but be confident.

Probably not of a great deal of use, but some thoughts.

Tim

Thanks, Tim!

It's reassuring to hear that there will be better times ahead. You're right about the no guaranteed method to raise a child, I often feel I'm swimming in the dark, but its

Thanks, Tim!

It's reassuring to hear that there will be better times ahead. You're right about the no guaranteed method to raise a child, I often feel I'm swimming in the dark, but its good to know it gets easier as she grows up.

I cherish my partner and child dearly, they are often what keeps me going at the moment 🙂

(Also sorry fpr the double post, my phone can be finicky)

My pleasure Anatemation,

You are in for a journey of joy and sadness. But mostly joy, cling to your partner and daughter, they will keep you going.

Don't worry about the double post.

Do you have any handy support around, like some Grand parents, or Aunt/Uncles. In time you and your partner are going to need some time for yourselves or some practical help like a meal dropped off or help with some cleaning. If somebody offers, take it up.

Tim

For sure, I'll keep our little family together with love 🙂

As for family I have quite a large support base: My Parents, my brothers, some friends too. Its a little isolating with friends since I'm the only one in the cliche with a child now.

Anathemation
Community Member

So i think I should post an update on feeling to try and articulate what is happening with my anxiety.

Last night was a flurry of cluster feeds, so closer towards morning I let my daughter sleep on my chest and relax for an hour and it was honestly one of the most relaxing things I've done in the past week.

However through the morning I've found I've been having bouts of uneasiness, I feel like I'm losing a sense of self and not really enjoying anything at all that I normally would. I have to work soon and I'm concerned I'm running myself into the ground.

My experience with anxiety is that the unpredictability of young children can be very hard to handle. Mine are older now but the times when I was focused on them and what was happening right at that moment instead of looking an hour, a day, a month into the future was easiest. Acknowledge to yourself how huge this is too, it is a massive shift when you start parenting and it is normal to have doubts and fears. If they are becoming overwhelming then chat to your GP and do not be afraid to ask people for help.