New Dad Stress

How does a 3-year-old handle stress? By throwing what my daughters used to call a "hissy fit," screaming, pounding, throwing a tantrum.

Kids that age are learning new things at supersonic speed, and that's a stressful way to live.

First-time fathers also have to learn new things at supersonic speed. But we don't get the "luxury" of throwing a hissy fit when there's an infant in our lives.


You will feel stressed. So be aware of what you must do as you father your child, now that you're no longer a child yourself. Actively seek and find constructive and nonviolent ways to deal with stress, frustration, exhaustion, fear, and pain.

For example, go for a walk or to the gym. Call or visit a friend for a break I your routine and to talk about what’s going on. Create a regularly scheduled time for you and your partner to calmly discuss what’s happening; think of it as a family meeting, if that helps. Take a “time out” to step away from the stress, even if it’s just a few minutes of breathing deeply or walking around the back yard. Learn to recognize the warning signs of stress and frustration.

Don't be afraid to ask for help—even professional help—to get you there. This greatly reduces the chance that you will replay a cycle that would hurt your precious baby.

Even better, you will soon find that breaking the cycle makes it easier to fully experience and enjoy the pride, excitement, affection, joy, and unconditional love your child will bring into your life. Trust me, there's no greater feeling in the world.

Adapted from Idiot's Guides: Pregnancy for Dads by Joe Kelly, copyright 2014 Alpha Books and used by permission.

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