“Unlike mums who quite naturally gather and find their own communities of support, fathers may not do that so naturally.” – father of a young child
The statement shared above by a young father Joel Ong, 33, seems to accurately reflect the situation that many dads face.
As men may struggle more with being vulnerable to others, they may have the tendency to keep their troubles to themselves rather than actively reaching out to connect or find help.
This goes especially for introverted fathers, like Joel himself. He explained, “I am a rather introverted person by nature – so when parenthood came around, I didn’t know who to turn to, and who could relate to my everyday struggles.”
A recent survey conducted by Focus on the Family Singapore of 350 fathers found that dads are getting more involved in child-rearing at home. During the recent Phase 2 (Heightened Alert), more than half of the fathers said that they had grown closer to their children. More than two in five dads have also increased their involvement at home.
These are all positive signs that we should acknowledge, but the struggles a new dad faces are real. When the going gets tough, who do fathers turn to? And how can they get more practical or emotional support?
“I don’t believe that parents were meant to go through this journey alone.”
Here are 5 strategies that will help you P.R.E.S.S on:
Dads, we hope these tips empower you to PRESS ON. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed or exhausted after welcoming a new child into the world. While you may want to be a hands-on and involved father, conflicting pressures may sometimes arise from work or other areas of life.
If you find yourself in this position, don’t hesitate to reach out to someone just to chat or get some practical help. You never know but one day you might be a source of support to a fellow father who’s feeling lonely or overwhelmed too.
© 2021 Focus on the Family Singapore. All rights reserved.
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