Maren & I became parents for the first time in February 2018. Hugo is an absolute dream child, who turns our lives and our everyday life upside down. We love life in threes as a small family. Nevertheless, a baby also brings a lot of responsibility and completely new challenges with himself. With just under a year's experience as a dad, a small résumé can now be drawn. How does stress affect the be parents in everyday life?
Everyday life of a small family
Since Hugo has been with us, our everyday family life has changed fundamentally. As a couple of two, you have much more freedom. With a baby is much more Communication of need and the The focus is always on the addition to the family. With all this, the stress factor is not absent. Especially when you become parents for the first time. Everything is new for the time being and experience is missingthat you get with the second or third child.
We have decided on the "classic" division of roles. Maren is on parental leave for a year while I continue to work. So she spends most of the day with Hugo and is therefore exposed to a different stress potential than me. Different because she is responsible for Hugo and has to cope with all the daily challenges with baby more or less alone. My stress potential lies in the fact that I am far away. In the back of your mind there are always worriesthat something's happening and Maren needs my help.
The stress potential from the mom perspective
A normal working day, when I am at work, can be very exhausting & stressful with child. Depending on the age, the baby/infant needs more care. A baby naturally challenges the parents and wants to discover its world together. Even going to the toilet is almost only possible when the baby is in the playpen. Likewise are the daily housework a completely new challenge.
Just go to the basement and do the laundry is not so easy anymore. Clean out the dishwasher while the baby is fascinated to climb into it, a tightrope act. You spend the whole day crawling after your baby. Catching it. Comforting it. Comforting him.
Furthermore, the tasks that are taken for granted are also part of potential stress potential. One phase that every baby probably goes through is the phase of not being able to be changed. Or Maren has a date and is ready to leave the apartment. That's when they spit on the sweater again or the diaper's full. It takes a lot of calmness and calmness to not get into stress in such situations.
The stress potential from the daddy's perspective
At first glance, an outsider might ask what kind of stress the working dad has. As soon as the dad leaves home, he doesn't notice the parental stress at home anymore. In my experience, that is far from the case. As I have already briefly indicated above, this is where the stress potential begins. Knowing that I'm not allowed to experience the whole day with Hugo makes me sad and angry at the same time.
I imagine how much of his development I miss every day. Of course I take these thoughts with me to work. It stresses me out not to be around them. Not being around in case something happens. My wife in difficult or stressful situations on her part unhelpful.
Accordingly, I hurry to get home to my family as soon as possible after work. After all, the time with Hugo is rather short here, too. We have about 2-3 hours to play together until he goes to bed. This is also quite stressful when constantly looks at the clock and sees how the time runs.
Accepting parental stress and transforming it into a positive experience
Our generation is from digital transformation driven and accordingly the everyday life turns fast. Only occasionally can we escape this with a holiday. I am trying to find a balanced Work-life balance ...to investigate. I love my job and that it gives me a chance to give Hugo something
Even more I love my Family and the time spent together. This is in my eyes priceless and not to be outweighed by money. Accordingly, I try, also because it is possible for me, a mediocrity of work, Home Office and family time.
At the same time the Communication between Maren and me of great importance to avoid parental stress. We support each other, each can take over the tasks of the other.
My experience tip from the dad perspective: Gives your partner a break. So I take over the complete father role in the evenings/on weekends and enable Maren to blow through it or to go out for a drink or a meal with friends. In the same way she creates space for my interests from time to time. So the inevitable Reduce parental stress very well or change it into a positive one.
This article is a guest contribution from Richard Wenner
I am the author of the father-son blog and blog about life with a child from a daddy's perspective. The blog was created shortly after Hugo's birth. More or less as a crazy idea together with a colleague, it has become my heart project. I see our blog as a family blog for (expectant) dads & moms.
The focus is on my experiences of the father of his, (product)-Tests of children's toysour family trips as well as exciting interviews with parents we meet on our way. Another focus is the two categories FAQ and technical terms. These are intended as a first point of contact, especially for expectant fathers who are dealing with the topics of becoming a father, being a father, pregnancy & Birth ...in contact with each other.