Fathers are parents too

Another Father’s day is here and for us, it’s the third one as a family. Wow, really?

This occasion (as well as many others) made me think about dads’ roles in the world of parenting.

Can’t help thinking as though dad’s role as such was often somewhat forgotten about… And what is even worse – as though it was normal this way! As if it was a mother alone who deserves all the credit.

Now, don’t get me wrong,  I am not taking anything away from strong mothers who also work or mothers who have an extremely difficult job of parenting roles (Absolutely amazing by the way! Never forget that).

I am also not some kind of supernatural species, or that ‘woman of every man’s dreams’ waiting for my husband every day with a smile on my face and warm dinner on a table, handing him a remote and letting him chill for an hour in front of the TV. In silence, without me talking to him – of course.

I too go crazy when he dares to say he needs to sit down after he gets home. (although he hasn’t mentioned it for a while now. Wonder why! ). Or – and this one is especially irritating as I am probably expected to be thankful for it – when he gets home and the first thing he does is start washing the dishes!

But despite all this, I know and am fully aware that it is not easy for him either.

That said, let’s try to put ourselves in our partner’s shoes for a while.

They go to work every day to help provide for the family. In a number of cases, they are the only ones bringing finance to the household which puts huge pressure on them. They know that if anything happens to them, it would put their whole family in an extremely distressing position.

If your world is both of you raising your children, then remember we do not lose by giving/acknowledging what fathers do.

They go to work every day and often come back home to the madness and a stressed wife. Often they don’t get any break until the kids are sound asleep, which – let’s be honest – can take a while to happen.

I am sure you will agree that this is not easy nor stressfree at all.

As much as I find motherhood role extremely challenging at times, I think we should give much more credit to fathers, especially to those who despite our ‘not always the most pleasant mood’ always keep supporting and helping us to make both our lives easier. Which is what we both need as a unit to meet the challenges of parenting.

Of course, there are fathers who don’t feel the need to be involved in parenting at all or not the same extent as others, but that’s a whole different story and this post is dedicated to those who do.

I often hear people compare father’s and mother’s roles, but I believe there’s no point trying to work out whose role is generally harder or easier. Neither of us has it easy, we both have challenges to deal with.

It’s definitely not right to think that fathers should not be involved in parenting duties, but at the same time, it is not right to think fathers have it easy and doesn’t go through any stress.

Fathers are equal parents and shouldn’t be treated like parenting invalids or like secondary figures in their kids’ lives. We need to show them they too have a place in the world of parenting.

Parenthood is hard for mothers and fathers, but once we recognize that we’re in it together, only then can we start building the right parenting model for our children.

So here’s to all dads out there  – we may don’t show it often, which is, to our defense, mainly caused by the lack of time or total absence of any energy, but please know that you are amazing and that we do appreciate your support much more than you ever know and that it means the world to us. Without you, things would be wat much harder and difficult. You no doubt make our lives way much easier and we honestly couldn’t wish for better dads for our children.

Love you always. x

Postnatal Depression – A man’s view

With Father’s day coming up, I want to point out to the subject of fathers and postnatal depression as I feel it is despite its significance often overlooked or even ignored.

Postpartum depression has typically been perceived as a problem limited to women with newborn babies and has not included men.

However, we cannot forget that fathers also experience significant changes with the arrival of their child. Fathers also have to adjust to an array of new and demanding roles and tasks during the early stages of parenthood.

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Emma’s story on PND and running marathon only 7 weeks after c-section

I had an entry into the 2006 London marathon but unfortunately suffered an injury so had to defer. I then realised that if I moved quickly there was a chance I could become pregnant with my second child and still be able to run in the 2007 marathon and not lose my deferred place.

I was incredibly fortunate that with both pregnancies I didn’t suffer with morning sickness or any pains. I managed to keep running through both pregnancies. With the second one, I managed a gentle 5 mile run in some light snow in the morning and then went into labour that evening.

Unfortunately, my daughter (like my son) has to be extracted immediately due to the monitors showing they were in distress so I had to have emergency sections for both.

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What are the benefits of talking?

Do you feel overwhelmed by your thoughts and/or feelings?

I believe it won’t be anything new for you when I advise you to talk about it. Especially when these thoughts/feelings can significantly impact your mental health. Especially when you are a new mum dealing with feelings of sadness, failure, overwhelm, loneliness, isolation… Talking is undoubtedly the best thing you can do.

The reason is simple. Talking can literally save you.

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Mothers’ day – joy or distress?

With the Mother’s day approaching, I cannot help thinking back to my first Mother’s day as a mum.

Our boys were about 11 months and I had just started to get back on track after a devastating experience of postnatal depression.

I remember being really excited about having to experience my first Mother’s day as a mum, however, the real experience wasn’t (as a lot of my other first experiences with motherhood) as special as I imagined it to be.

If you read my story, you know it took me a few months to develop a real bond with my children. My first year as a mother was the hardest year of my life and I cannot even start to explain how it feels when you are expected to be happy when all you want is to cry and turn back time.

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Daily script of a new mum

If you are an expecting first-time mum, the contents of this post will probably take you by surprise (perhaps even shock you), but please bear in mind that the last thing I want to do is to freak you out.

All I want is to get you more prepared for what is to come.

Why would I want that?

Tell the truth, if you are more prepared, the less shocked you are when the time comes. And the less shocked you are, the better chance you have to avoid postnatal mental issues and other problems many first-time mums experience.

For, believe me, in most cases the reason for new mums suffering from postnatal mental problems is unrealistic expectations of motherhood and a shock that comes with the arrival of a baby.

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A mother’s shocking and inspiring story that will stay with you forever

I came across her one evening after having a very bad day with the boys while engaged in with a FB group. The moment I read her story, my eyes filled with tears. It was not only the story itself that caught my attention. It was also the strength and bravery I felt from her words. Instantly I forgot about everything that had bothered me before and sensed an indescribable rush of gratitude. I knew I would need to speak to this lady and share her powerful story with you.

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Don’t let your child tear your relationship apart

Have you realised lately that you have not been talking to your partner about anything but the daily life? Did you use to have lots of fun together and now you cannot remember last time you had a laugh? Have you found yourself stuck in a place you promised yourself you would never be?
Trust me, it is not just you. Many couples slide into a certain monotony after they become parents. And then it is only up them whether they allow this monotony to challenge their relationship or to slowly kill it. 
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Early versus later stages of motherhood. Which is easier?

I often get the question, especially from new mums, asking what it is like for me to be a mum compared to the beginning. Well, to be totally honest, nothing in this world compares to the nightmare you go through at the beginning.

When I became a mum, I could not understand other mums when they said that it is all worth it. What on earth can be worth this torture? I used to think. However, today I totally understand.

As I mentioned a million times before, becoming a mum is a shock. Your life changes from one day to another and suddenly you hold in your arms a crying baby who totally depends on you. It is like as if someone locked you with an elephant in a room and threw the keys away (assuming you have zero knowledge about elephants). I am sure you agree that this would be a massive load for any kind of living being. 

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Don’t judge me unless you have walked in my shoes

I have recently come across an interview with the psychologist on the subject of maternity, which made me think about many things.

The article was talking about ‘cry out’ method (controlled crying method) and its negative impact on childhood psychological development. One particular sentence was of great interest to me. ‘Only a heartless parent can let a child cry out’, stated there in black and white. If I do not take into account the fact that some psychologists support or recommend this method, I was astonished by the boldness of this statement.

I see a similar attitude in many other things. It’s as though people forget sometimes that there are two sides to everything. Let’s take breastfeeding. ‘The right mother breastfeeds her baby’, ‘Do everything for you to breastfeed’, ‘Do not give up, your baby needs breastfeeding the most’ and so on. From each direction, we are cluttered by the phenomenon of breastfeeding and its magical effect on our child’s life. Every new mother, therefore, feels she has to breastfeed and if she does not, she is not a good mother.

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