Dad Chat – Isablog

Here’s the next instalment of my Dad Chat series. This time it’s from Isablog. The focus of this blog is around parenting, family life, being a Dad and mental health. I’ve read a number of posts from this Dad and he’s featured a number of times on my Dad Posts of the Week feature (check it out here).

The answer to question six is so true as having a baby is a huge shift in your relationship.

You’ll find links to his great blog at the bottom of the interview.

Please read on, enjoy, and check out his blog and social media.

1. Tell us about yourself and your family

Dad Chat Isablog
Here’s Ross and his family

I’m Ross, and I’m a 27 year old man with one 18 month old daughter called Isabelle, two dachshunds, two bunnies and one wife called Rachel. We live in what most people might call the South Wales valleys and when I’m not at home I work as a postman.

I started blogging in August of 2017 after suffering with postnatal depression when our daughter was born. I hadn’t really seen many men speaking out about it, so I thought I would add my voice to the seemingly quiet crowd. These days I still talk quite often about mental health, but the postnatal depression days are very much behind me.

2. Have you always wanted to be a Dad?

Well we’ve had the name Isabelle picked out since 2008, and she was born in 2017, so you could say I’ve wanted to be a dad for quite a while. I’m not sure why, but I always felt I would make a decent dad. I guess only time will tell whether that will actually be true though.

3. What’s the best thing about being a Dad?

I suppose I’ve never truly sat down and thought about what’s the best thing about being a dad. I could say that it’s amazing being a huge part of the development of a person. Literally being there to watch them grow from birth until independence is something that really is a privilege. Prior to becoming a dad I used to suffer with depression quite a lot. Having real responsibility gives my life a purpose and often helps prevent me from slipping further. I genuinely don’t know what I’d be doing with my life if I wasn’t a dad.

4. What’s the most challenging thing about being a Dad?

The whole process is a massive challenge, but then all the best things in life come with a struggle. I think the early days as a dad, or parent in general, is quite challenging. But that’s only because of sleep deprivation. A newborn baby is actually pretty easy if you could get some sleep.

Parenting is just a relentless, draining, rewarding experience with so many ups and downs on a daily basis. Being that responsible for another person is inevitably going to be a challenge, but at the same time, you know that you wouldn’t change it for the world.

At this stage in our parenting journey though I think the whole thing is rather easy if I’m honest. Especially when there’s two of us here. I think the real fun will start when baby number two comes along.

5. If you became a Dad again would you do anything differently? If so, what?

I’m not sure I’d physically do anything differently. But in terms of my mental approach I would. Part of the reason I suffered with postnatal depression was down to the fact I was expecting far too much out of becoming a dad for the first time. I was waiting for this rush of emotions, this overwhelming feeling of love, and when none of that came I sunk into a depression. Of course it’s more complicated than that, but that expectation didn’t help.

I think I’d just be more accepting of what was going on. Accept the fact that my daughter is going to prefer my wife at first as she’s the one with the boobs. Other than that, I’m not sure there’s much I’d change. I managed to spend loads of time with her as a baby so there’s no regret from over working. I just wish I was better mentally, but then that’s not necessarily in my full control.

6. What advice would you give to new dads?

You just have to embrace it. Understand that your life has changed and you can’t always do what you used to be able to, but that’s ok. Also, don’t be afraid to admit that you’re struggling. Talk to your partner about everything that you’re feeling, if you don’t feel bonded to your baby then tell them that. Keeping that constant, honest dialogue with my wife helped me a great deal. You’re in this together as parents so the closer you can be as a couple the easier this journey really is.

7. Social media links…

Thanks for taking part in my Dad Chat series Ross! There’s a lot of good advice here for dads. The answer to question five is really interesting, plus in questions six – it’s important to talk as having a baby is one of the biggest changes you will ever see in your life.

Look out for another interview next week.

For previous interviews check out my ‘Guest Posts‘ category.

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