I love being a dad. It is one of the best and hardest things I’ve ever done. Being a father brings responsibilities. It also means that there is pressure on me to do my best.
Being my best means there are things that must be done:
- Providing for the family
- Setting an example of how to work hard
- Teaching right and wrong
- Taking time to connect and talk with each child
- Maintaining a strong marriage
And the list could keep going!
It is also important that I continue to learn and grow. I’ve learned that it is vital to develop routines and habits so that I don’t get overwhelmed. That is why I have created an AM routine, a PM routine and other habits like reading books.
Likewise, centering my life around God helps me to understand my place as a father. I know there is a higher power who wants me to succeed. He wants to guide me on my journey as a father. One reference I use is “The Family: A Proclamation To the World.” I believe this proclamation is divinely inspired for our day. In it we find the following:
Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed. —The Family, A Proclamation to the World
The proclamation is a guideline, not only for finding happiness in family life but how to deal with the pressures of being a father. For one thing, it tells me that I’m not in this alone. Cheryl and I are equal partners. We share the responsibilities of the home.
It also says that I need to show love and be righteous in my home while providing for my family. Some people might see that as being a weight on them. For me, it’s liberating. I have a goal to strive for. I may not be perfect in that area, but if I’m working towards achieving it, then I know that I am on track and God will support my efforts.
My six tips to reducing dad stress:
- Create routines – when routines become automatic, I can save energy for more important responsibilities
- Have fun – laughing keeps my family happy, it also helps us to remain calm
- When needed, take a deep breath – there are times we get frustrated, taking a moment to breathe helps us to address issues without emotional bias
- Don’t react, relax- If we immediately react to a situation we can cause more harm than good
- Don’t allow work or financial frustrations to come home with you – work can be frustrating, but bringing that frustration home will only add to the pressures we feel. Relieve the frustration before interacting with family
- Take time for self – whether it’s a favorite hobby, sport, or just downtime, taking time for yourself helps you re-center and re-focus on those things that are most important
It’s not easy being a dad. If we as fathers can frame our thinking towards being uplifting instead of being weighed down with stress, then we can concentrate on being better fathers.
What pressures do you find as a father? What do you do to relieve that pressure?