Here at Dad.info HQ we read with interest the BBC’s story (13th September 2019) about new Dad, Dave Edwards who at 33 became father to a beautiful new born boy who was “born screaming and didn’t stop for 12 months” Read the article here .
We have all been there. Everyone cooing over our beautiful newborn who somehow is behaving like a cherub while Grandma and friends are visiting and then like a magic trick turns back into a screaming ball of fury as soon as the visitors have gone.
The NCT have completed research which suggests that 1/3 of Dads are worried about their mental health because they aren’t sleeping and are worried about money.
So what is going on for Dads?
Ian Soars is Dad.Info’s CEO and father of three including twins. He can speak from hard won experience about balancing career with parenting. Ian thinks “It is time we started looking at how important both parents are to children and although this article focuses on Dads, (because it is newsworthy!) post partum mental health challenges have been real for women for a long time. However, perhaps now more than ever the traditional work/home role separations are becoming blurred enough to make this not just about new mums but about parents and how they engage with their children. Because at the end of the day, when parents suffer, children suffer doubly so.”
Dad.Info is run by Fegans, a children’s charity which works with 400 children every week. So Ian unfortunately also knows what happens to children when family life is disrupted.
“Over a third of referrals to Fegans’ children’s counselling services cite family conflict and break down as the primary cause. Our culture makes it incredibly hard for parents to provide a stable emotional home for children to thrive.”
Ian and Fegans have done lots of work thinking about what would fix society for parents. The fixes are simple but Ian knows they would require courage to implement.
At Dad.Info and Fegans we want to see:
1. Flexible working for woman and men.
2. An end to career ending stigma on part time hours
3. Better and equal access to maternity/paternity leave
4. Fast mental health support for those who need it.
The way we see it is that the key is that this isn’t just for some parents…but for ALL our children.
What do you think the solution might be?
Come over and chat in our forum