Guest Post by Clint Moar
In this post I give my real life examples, some signs that men may show, the specific struggles that men deal with, how to get out of the funk and two big takeaways. Let’s get the disclaimer out of the way first…
I am not a doctor or health professional, I’m just a dad and these are my opinions so you should really consult with an MD if you’re in need. This is not the topic that “tough guy” dads often discuss, but they should.
BREAK THE TABOO.
Is there such a thing as Male Post Partum? If there is, I’ve experienced it and have some tips that may help the new dads in your life. At the time of this writing, my daughters are 2 and 6 years old. I have not yet done any reading or research on any conditions for men struggling with stress after having children. What I know for sure is that my wife had Post Partum (PP) after our #2 and needed some medication to help. I don’t believe it was very extreme with her but was probably more than just the “Baby Blues.” I also know it was a hot topic in her many Facebook mom groups. When we got together in person with our friends, there were always discussions amongst the women.
The moms themselves were either:
- Had suffered, or
- Knew other moms who had suffered with PP
But the discussion was never about the guys and their stress!
WHAT ABOUT DAD?
This is not about taking the importance away from the moms but I’d like to have a conversation about the struggles of us dads. I noticed myself becoming more depressed after our second daughter. Granted, I had more issues to deal other then her birth (which was interesting to say the least, you can read about it here but the stresses became much stronger as the first year continued. Now, I’m not going to get all emotional and tell you how I cried uncontrollably out-of-the-blue and for no reason because I’m a guy and we deal with our issues our own way. We don’t talk about them and stay emotionless.
But the stresses are very real for men as well.
First of all, we have to deal with the estrogenized mom. Most guys are problem solvers and it’s impossible to solve a problem that isn’t rational (hence PP). I really wanted to be a great husband and father but my feelings told me that the model I portrayed just wasn’t living up to it.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF MALE POST PARTUM?
Luckily, in the big picture, my condition was quite minimal. With time I became increasingly irritable, angry, short tempered and rude. Other men may feel more severe symptoms that are related to the pressures after the birth of their child. Be aware of this and do not hesitate to intervene with professional help if needed.
WHAT ARE THE STRUGGLES FOR DADS?
Some components that dads struggle with are: Finances, Marriage, Fatherhood, Care giving, Loving, Providing and Breadwinning. The last two are my toughest ones. Before our first daughter, we had made some major changes. We got a line of credit on top of our mortgage, invested in a risky endeavor that crashed, I quit my job in construction and started my own business (which did not work out), then started a new career in Industrial Sales. Needless to say, I learned some lessons in self-employment, business and ventures, though the toll on my mind and soul was crushing.
Similar to the feeling a woman has to bear children, the core of a man’s being is to take care of his family.
HOW TO GET OUT OF THE FUNK?
I was not blind to my poor behavior so I quietly attempted to correct it albeit alone. We guys often try to resolve our issues single-handedly without help from peers or practitioners. It was clear that I just did not have the energy that I used to have so I assumed it had something to do with my sleep.
- Conducted my own extensive studies by timing and tracking my sleep cycles.
- Had blood tests done by my family doctor.
- Tried changing my diet with trials of Paleo, dairy-free, minimal to no booze.
- Continued self-improvement and self-education (during the evenings) to better my skills, career and income, although, after the workday I was extremely exhausted.
- Visit a Sleep Clinic and Psychiatrist to help my mind and body.
- Visit a marriage counselor with my wife.
- Have several male mentors to chat with.
- Started to delve into Mediation and Mindfulness.
I do believe that psychology is a huge component.
TWO BIG TAKEWAYS
Presently, it has been Two years of feeling fatigue, disappointment and unfulfillment. I now know that the combination of many things has trained my mind to get used to “not being happy”. Things are much better with some medication, exercise and improved finances. It can be trained back.
The number one thing that has helped me was just getting the acknowledgment and validation from other dads that have gone through similar situations. We are all human and we not alone. I don’t want to dismiss the women who give birth and the ups-and-downs that they endure. Let’s not forget about the dad’s roller coaster ride.
About the Author:
Clint Moar is a blogger who writes about Fatherhood, Entrepreneurship and Intrapreneurship. He is a proud Multipotentialite and Introvert. A Canadian Prairie boy with a passion to Help Others Improve Today.
You can visit his blog at http://www.clintmoar.com
Follow on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/clintmoar
All social networks at https://about.me/clintmoar