The following is in response to an article on The Guardian submitted by a “depressed new dad”. The original source article “What I’m really thinking: the depressed new dad” can be found here.
Dear Depressed New Dad~
I feel your pain my friend. One thing I can assure you, is that you are not alone. There are many of us that have or are going through the depressed daddy morose. Dealing with the fear that arises from the change of our lives thrown into flux. The added pressure and responsibility, to provide, protect and being directly responsible for another life, not our own. The sleep deprivation that can lead us to near delirium. Topped off with the incessant crying and inability to hear our own thoughts, let alone have the mental fortitude to figure out what this needy little new born creature needs, based of a nuanced cry versus a fuss.
It can truly be quite daunting and completely overwhelming at times. We’ve all been there my friend, and I wholeheartedly understand the loving pain you’ve endured. It goes without saying this is stuff mommy’s have been dealing with since forever, and I think we are all in agreement, hats off to Moms! However, this is stuff daddies like yourself and I have also been dealing with all along. Times are changing now however, and daddies are even more ever-present now, than at any other moment in our cultures history. With women’s empowerment building, changes in gender roles, the economy, etc. There seems to be an overall shift in peoples mindset, globally. There is a much needed, growing fatherhood movement occurring. The daddy culture is in full force and there is a community out here for men like us.Which was one of my first saving grace’s, in my own personal daddy morose experiences. Sites and on-line communities like the one being created here at CultureofDad.com are popping up all over the place. Whether it’s with us, or with in-laws and personal buddies, turn to us, your fraternity to find the support and understanding for what you need.
Believe me, you aren’t the first and wont be the last to have scared themselves at the crazy random thoughts they’ve encountered at one point or another. Do not let them cause you to doubt your love and dedication to your child and family. Part of the human experience is the fact that we carry the capacity for light and dark, and the thoughts for both sides of the spectrum can shock us at times. What’s important is the actions we take in response to those moments. Those moments, like you choosing to be vulnerable, acknowledging your frailty and allowing this tiny, vulnerable being to break you down. Rather than bottling up frustrations, maintaining that steely masculine facade and potentially acting out those scary dark thoughts. The actions like seeking out help in advance of completely breaking down and losing it … those are the actions, the moments that expand and grow us as men. The things that take a level of strength not often talked about publicly, and what ultimately demonstrate you to be a good father and a good man. I hope that you can own this, as I am sure one day when your child looks back, he too will know it. In addition to not recognizing the old self you’ve described.
You aren’t alone in your struggles, and although we may not know each other physically, we are brothers in arms, in a vast fraternity. There is support here, knowledge and insight among your peers. Love among this family, seek us out as a starting point. Whether here with #CultOfDad, personally in your community or any of the many other platforms, know that there is help and support out here.
Source: The Guardian| What I’m really thinking: the depressed new dad