No matter what age your kids are, stress management for dads is tough. From managing the day-to-day lives of your kids to maintaining a healthy relationship with your partner, the responsibilities of fatherhood are never-ending.
But while becoming a father undoubtedly increases your stress levels, it’s also an incredibly rewarding and enjoyable experience.
To help ensure that your experience as a dad is more rewarding and enjoyable than stressful, let’s take a look at a few ideas for stress management for dads.
1Don’t Give Up on Your Hobbies
When we make the decision to get married, some level of sacrifice needs to be made in our day-to-day lives to maintain a healthy relationship. And when we have kids, those sacrifices only continue to increase.
But while some sacrifices need to be made, it’s critical that both we and our partners maintain hobbies that help us relax and maintain our sanity.
My hobby and passion has always been coaching baseball. My wife, on the other hand, loves to do yoga with friends. We both understand that building in time every week to maintain our hobbies is necessary for our mental health.
And while both of us have made sacrifices around some of our other interests, we do everything in our power to build our weekly schedules around allowing the other person to have “kid-free” time to maintain our favorite hobby.
As time has gone on, we’ve each had the opportunity to begin including our children in our hobbies (which helps us grow closer to our kids while also taking a load off the person).
2Commit to Transparent Communication
As you likely already know, communicating effectively is one of the toughest things to do as a parent and husband. However, our relationship with our partner needs to be the most transparent relationship in our lives. It’s essential for stress management for dads
Before my wife and I got married, we committed to banning secrets from our marriage (outside of gift giving of course). And while I’ll be the first to admit that this hasn’t been an easy commitment to keep, I’m more than convinced that it’s the foundation of every healthy relationship.
Much of the stress of being a father comes from that nagging “I have no idea what I’m doing” feeling that continually follows us around. But what we often don’t realize is that our partner often has this same feeling.
By committing to transparent communication, we’re also allowing ourselves to be vulnerable enough that we can talk through issues with our partners that prevent stressful situations from building up.
3Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
When you first become a dad, everything can seem unbelievably overwhelming. And while you an prepare all you’d like for what’s ahead, there’s no way to replicate what happens when you become a father and husband.
Before my first child was born, I read a handful of books on parenting. I also got plenty of advice from family and friends.
But what I quickly realized is that 99% of parenting advice is BS. And that’s not because people are intentionally offering bad advice, it’s because every kid and situation is different.
As a dad, you’ll screw plenty of things up. Don’t take yourself too seriously by thinking that everything needs to be perfect along the journey. The goal is to learn from the screwups and continue doing your best.
Because doing our best is all we can do.
4Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Professional Help
Whether due to pride or the feeling that we’ve failed if we take this step, seeking professional help is often frowned upon by fathers. However, seeking help from a family counselor can be a lifesaver.
We all go through periods of stress and anger that often put us in a position where we feel as if we can’t take it anymore.
When that stress gets so bad that it leads to fractured relationships or outbursts of anger, it may be time to find someone that can help reframe our mindset.
Working with a family counselor can help change our mindset about the struggles that we face in our day-to-day life. Better yet, they can help us develop personalized routines for handling stress that we may never discover on our own.
It’s important to realize that getting help from a professional doesn’t mean we’ve failed. Instead, by getting the help we need, we’re putting the health and happiness of our family above ourselves.
And that’s one of the most courageous things that we can do as a father and husband.
Sure, being a dad can be stressful. But, if we manage our stress correctly, we can enjoy fatherhood for the life-changing experience that it can and should be.
Hopefully, this list of ideas for stress management for dads helps you on your journey. They’ve certainly played a major role in managing my stress as a father.