Reddit can be a strange and unusual place, can't it? It's full of rants and a fair share of dirty secrets, but it also provides a platform for users to show solidarity and an immense amount of kindness to relative strangers strangers. Enter throawaydad88888, who recently turned to Reddit to ask, "Has anyone ever felt regret of being a dad?" and was met with a slew of responses from other dads who reveal how they really feel about sex and marriage postpartum. Many other dads who commented have felt the same unsettling, doubtful feelings, and, as a result, wanted to encourage this struggling new dad. Their main message? It does, indeed, get easier. You just have to be willing to fight for it.
One of the most cutting lines in throawaydad88888's post was a very bare moment, on which he confesses the following:
"I miss my past life. I miss our past relationship. I miss my wife, and I feel she is no longer who she used to be, now is her mum."
I think we, as new parents now responsible for other human beings, all felt or thought some version of the aforementioned thought. Becoming a dad or mom represents a total shift in priorities, and that shift can be difficult to grow accustomed to seemingly over night. And while, yes, new parenthood looks differently for different people, I would say we all experience a set of unique difficulties, one way or the other.
The overall take from the dads of Reddit is that postpartum life is tough, but it does get better so long as you don't throw in the towel. And nearly all of these Reddit dads agree: when your kid can say "dada," that's a turning point!
Everyone Needs To Give It More Time
Commenter godlychaos makes a very valid point: 6-month-old babies are pretty boring little creatures. And for some fathers, the real fun part comes when their kids can play and talk and be more interactive. But what's even more lovely about this comment is the encouragement to continue to talk about what are really important feelings, rather than bottle them up inside.
Sleep Should Help Most Things
Truer words have never been spoken. Sleep should and does typically help, and when you're sleep deprived for months on end, the world definitely starts to feel like it's falling apart. Finding a way to recover some sleep and get some restorative rest can help your relationship and your enjoyment as a parent.
Everyone Should Consider Co-Sleeping
Nothing like some blunt honesty from norquistador, leading with the acknowledgement that the first few months with a new baby aren't the easiest. But he continues to encourage throawaydad88888 to find ways to increase everyone's sleep, including co-sleeping:
"My advice is to take a look at everyone's sleeping habits and see what progress can be made there."
Interestingly, he explained that his wife was nervous about sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), so they bought a co-sleeper bassinet for the bed.
Invest In Some Childcare
I wish someone had screamed "get a babysitter" over and over again until my partner and I eventually decided so, you know, get a babysitter. I acutely remember holding my 2-month-old daughter, realizing that in two months my partner and I hadn't been able to spend an ounce of time together. I agree with gwints that having childcare help makes all the difference.
Learn About High Energy Kids
This commenter had an interesting take, encouraging throawaydad88888 to read up on high energy kids and the special ways to deal with them, in case his child is similar and has special needs. He also advises parents, "Choose one or two things that you would like to do as a couple and as individuals (from your past life) and work them into your routine." Great advice for any couple struggling to adjust to life as new parents.
Men Get Postpartum Depression, Too
And according to Rhine1906, society keeps men from expressing those feelings, which is probably a fairly accurate description of the gender norms involved. It's definitely important to speak with a professional, or at least your health care provider, if you are feeling deeply negative about your situation as a parent.
Everyone Should Seek Out Advice
Fifthrendition commented with a little pep talk, encouraging throawaydad88888 to continue to talk about his feelings and to fight for his marriage, which is useful and thoughtful advice for anyone in a relationship with a new baby.
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