Welcome to your ‘new normal’. There’s a lot to think about when you’re a new dad. As you adjust to fatherhood, you need to look after your baby, yourself and your relationship. Becoming a dad can give you a huge sense of meaning and purpose, but this can also be overwhelming.
Couples often talk about feeling closer in the days after the birth and a shared excitement about the baby they’ve created. However, when this ‘babymoon’ period wears off and your ‘new normal’ sets in – exhaustion, broken sleep and chores that are hard to put off – most couples find their stress levels go up.
It’s a time of major adjustment in all sort of ways – your identity, responsibilities, routines and relationships are all changing. You may discover that you and your partner have different ideas about family life or parenting. Both of you probably feel like you’re the one making all the concessions, and this can lead to an increase in arguments and tension. In the early days, the key is to stay positive and support each other as you learn how to parent together. Talking with your partner is the best way to deal with these changes and look after your relationship.
Steve ‘Commando’ Willis
"When I first became a parent at 22, I was still young and very much about myself. Now I have four children and the dad I am today is worlds apart from what I was like back then. But what I always knew was that I wanted to do things differently to how I’d been parented. When I was growing up there was a lot of tension and anger in my house.
Being a dad to me is about showing love and affection, I’m always giving my kids hugs and kisses and telling how much I love them. I feel that’s something I lacked from an early age and it definitely had an impact on the more intimate aspects of my own life. That nurture and love is so important, but so is staying calm, being present in the moment and listening, really listening. It’s about not pretending to have all the answers, saying ‘I just don’t know’. It’s about reflecting and apologising if I have reacted or responded in way that I’m not happy with. I’m not perfect and we all make mistakes, but when I do, I try to talk to my kids about it
I’m 44 now and I am still learning. It’s very much like exercise and fitness, you can throw yourself at a physical challenge and slowly over time you start to build on it and before you know it, it’s part of who you are. It’s exactly the same as being a parent. You’re not going to have all the answers, every day it is about making a choice to be the parent you want to be.
That is why I work with Karitane, their purpose is to help and support parents and provide practical parenting strategies so they can see the beauty in life and enjoy being a parent. Karitane are experts."
Luke Benedictus: Karitane client and founder of The Father Hood
"We had two children in quick succession and my life quickly descended into slap stick chaos. It changed every aspect of my life, how I felt about my job, my relationship, everything. I didn’t expect that. When men get together we don’t connect as quickly as dads the way mums do, it’s a shame. We are all going through the same things but we go through them on our own, in isolation. When our boys were almost 2 years old and 6 months, neither of them sleeping, our GP suggested Karitane. We almost didn’t go but we were also desperate. What we found was a crack team of professional baby-whisperers who’ve navigated every childcare issue known to man. The experience changed our lives as parents, arming us with tactics, skills and strategies to make us more confident and competent parents.”
Becoming a Dad
Welcome to your ‘new normal’. There’s a lot to think about when you’re a new dad and as you adjust to fatherhood you need to look after your baby, yourself and your relationship. The role of being a dad is changing, dads are much more involved and this might be very different to your own childhood.Learn More
Dads Make a Difference
Mums and dads bring different things to the wellbeing of children. Dads are often more physical, flexible and have more of a give-and-take approach to play and interactions. While each parent will bring their own unique parenting style, there are some general truths that research backs up about the benefits that Dads bring to raising children.Learn More