Let’s face it: becoming a dad shakes the foundations of your life and handling the after-shocks isn’t easy. Sleep goes out the window, your relationship can feel strained, you lose all personal autonomy and suddenly face a tidal-wave of never-ending expenses (a new pram costs how much?). Navigating your way through this head-spinning transition can feel like an overwhelming challenge.
While you’re finding your feet (and you will), it’s important to have some moral support. That’s why a new British report is cause for concern.
A survey from the Movember Foundation revealed that one in five men actually lost close friends within a year of becoming a father.
The survey of 4000 men also found that a quarter of new dads said they felt isolated and three quarters admitted their stress levels spiked in the first year of fatherhood.
“Becoming a father can be one of life’s most rewarding experiences,” says Movember CEO Owen Sharp. “But until recently it hasn’t been acknowledged how challenging that transition can be for new dads, especially with regard to mental health.
“Our research shows that having close friends who are looking out for you can act as a buffer against these stresses. Spending time with friends allows you to recharge your batteries which is good for you and your family.”
The take-home: if your mate has just had a kid then make sure you give him a call. This is a time in his life when you really need to have his back.
If you’re a new dad yourself then don’t shy away from reaching out to your pals. In addition, find yourself a local dad’s group where you can trade war stories with men who’ll know exactly what you’re going through because they’re knee-deep in nappies and 4am wake-ups too. Check out Dads Group Inc to find your nearest one.