Why Dads Can Feel Sad And Lonely Too

Dads need to be considered, as the thought of them being sad or lonely is not a nice prospect.

It is Men’s Health Awareness Month and the perfect time to celebrate men and everything that they do. We often read a lot about women and their mental health issues but what we don’t hear enough about is how men have a lot of things that can stress them out too. Especially when they become Dad.

We live in an extremely busy world with so many things expected of us, yet a lot of women will reach out, meet pals and say when they are feeling overwhelmed. While this isn’t the case for everyone, in the general sense women are a lot better at saying they are not OK. But can we honestly say the same for men?

It is sad to consider that men suffer in silence or that they don’t admit it when they are struggling with their mental health. We know that men are more likely to take their own lives and we can only consider this as an effect of men’s inability to look for help when they need it regarding their mental health.

Why Dads Can Feel Sad And Lonely Too
Loneliness is a huge thing for dads who may not be able to meet pals in a coffee shop

When men become dads for the first time there is a lot of
attention on firstly, the new baby but also the mother. This is perfectly understandable as we understand the mother’s major part in bringing a baby into the world. But we shouldn’t forget a father’s role either. Men can suffer from a lot of stress when they become new dads just like mums, yet we tend to pay more attention to the mum for obvious reasons.

There is no right and wrong with this but if we are honest with ourselves, we know that when we visit new parents, we usually pay a lot more attention to the mums. But should we not ask the new
dads how they are doing too?

New mums and dads find a lot of comfort in each other but when a new baby arrives, a mum’s focus is on her child and a new dad will not want to worry their partner with their stress or anxiety. Men should be able to ask friends or family for the support they need. This is where we need to step in and offer that support just like we do with mums.

Loneliness is a huge thing for dads who may not be able to meet pals in a coffee shop and it is fair to say a lot of men’s socializing happens in the pubs. This again causes some issues as it isn’t a healthy atmosphere for honest chats. The pub is great, but men need to find a way to see friends away from bars and instead meet for lunch, join clubs and get hobbies that take them out of the house.

If a mum and a dad can support each other they should be able to find a way to make sure each of them has time to talk and be themselves. Dads need to be considered, as the thought of them being sad or lonely is not a nice prospect.

And it isn’t just about new dads either as more experienced dads get lonely too and feel the pressures just as mums do. The weight of paying bills, being a good father and a good husband can be a real pressure zone depending on their situation.

It’s only right that when we look at mental health and consider how our female pals are feeling that we become more aware that men need to be considered too as there are some fantastic dads out there, but they may be feeling sad or lonely at times.

As it is Men’s Health Awareness month, we should celebrate all men and dads by encouraging them to talk about their feelings – if they are (or are not) feeling OK and get them the help/support they need.

It’s simple really, we just need to ask, ‘are you ok?’ and go from there.

Emma Hayes

Emma Hayes is a busy mum to two girls aged 17 and 11 and is married to her childhood sweetheart.

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