They are the men willing to go where their dads feared to tread.
They have learnt the hard way that you can’t fit a baby seat without reading the instructions. They have considered the environment, but gone disposable anyway. They can wipe noses, tears and bums in a single swipe.
While there is much love, joy and humour in becoming a parent, new dads can do it tough and often without professional support. So beyondblue has launched a new web series, Dadvice.org.au, with funding from the Movember Foundation, to help stressed-out dads.
Dadvice features 12 brand new fathers sharing the joys and sleep-deprived disasters of their babies’ first weeks of life in a series of dad video diaries hosted by comedian Ben Lomas.
beyondblue Chairman The Hon. Jeff Kennett AC says research commissioned by the organisation in 2015 found new dads were more reluctant than their partners to seek assistance if they felt overwhelmed by parenthood.
“We know new mums have a very challenging time,” said Mr Kennett. “But we sometimes forget that dads are in the thick of it too.
“This series is saying to new dads that you’re not alone if you’re finding parenthood tougher than you expected and there are things you can do to look after yourself.
“Becoming a dad brings all kinds of changes to your life. The advice on the website is practical and designed to help dads manage the day-to-day reality of fatherhood.”
Paul Villanti, Executive Director of the Movember Foundation, said the organisation is passionate about supporting new dads as they transition into their new role and adjust to a huge life change.
“Thanks to funds raised by the Movember community, we’re able to invest in projects to support men through significant times of change in their lives, like becoming a father. Through the launch of Dadvice, we’re giving blokes practical tips and advice to navigate the tricky terrain of parenthood,” said Mr Villanti.
Dadvice.org.au, includes recommendations on how new dads can deal with:
- Sleep deprivation and the effect on your working life and general health;
- Pressure on your relationship with your partner;
- Falling out of touch with your mates;
- Routines and time to yourself being turned upside down.
There is also a fortnightly email program with advice tailored to their baby’s development and useful links to online resources and professional support.
As part of the development of Dadvice.org.au, beyondblue hosted a stand-up night in Melbourne where comedians Dave O’Neil and Lawrence Mooney mined their personal experiences for “comedaddy” gold and some (not-so-reassuring) words from Sammy J.
Behind the creation of Dadvice.org.au, is new beyondblue research that found:
- Over 1 in 2 (56%) feel having to be “the rock” for the family causes a lot of stress and anxiety;
- Nearly 1 in 2 (48%) is overwhelmed by the sacrifices they make for their family;
- Nearly 4 in 5 (76%) feel even when they’re stressed or down they have to ‘suck it up’ and just get on with it;
- Over 1 in 3 (36%) did not know both mums and dads can experience postnatal depression;
- Over 2 in 5 (42%) would feel embarrassed about seeking professional help;
- ·2 in 5 (40%) would not tell anyone if they were experiencing depression.
Are you a new dad who can’t get any sleep, can’t engage at work and is so furiously multi-tasking you’ve forgotten your own name? @beyondblue has just launched an Australia-first online campaign (with support from @Movember Foundation Australia) to support new dads: www.dadvice.org.au. It’s a web series following 12 new dads on their journey into fatherhood with a dad stress test, practical advice and helpful links.
#Dadvice by @beyondblue & @MovemberAus is a new web series that follows real dads on their journey into fatherhood: www.dadvice.org.au