Learning to take the rough with the smooth

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    • #20860

      My partner is expecting our first child in the summer and as a first time dad just about everything about the pregnancy so far has been a learning curve and, as some others have said on the forum, unexpectedly challenging at times.

      Like most others, I am very aware of the absolutely colossal amount of effort and energy – physical and emotional – she is putting in to essentially growing our child – something for which I am and will always be eternally grateful and yet cannot directly help with or take the burden of. All I can really do is help take other pressures off her, take strain in other areas of our life and reduce the amount she has to do.

      However, for my part I am finding the biggest challenge to be coping with the hormonal ups and downs – learning to foresee the potential hurdles, even when it is impossible to do so, and understand specific things that can be an annoyance or trigger. I am naturally very inclined to want to ‘help’ I have an innate desire to ensure others are comfortable, happy, settled and taken care of before relaxing myself. This, of course, is heightened greatly during the pregnancy. I know that hormones by their nature can be unpredictable and do not blame my partner at all, but it can be tiring and emotionally draining trying to roll with the punches, absorb the criticisms or ‘bites’ and retain the positivity. It does have a bearing on my mental state when I am frequently reacting or responding to a sudden change in mood.

      I often find that I simply cannot *do* anything or help in any way – occasionally, this actually seems to make her annoyed more than appreciative of my efforts.

      I know that the absolute priority is the baby and my partner, however it feels like it is also important to maintain my own mental health and wellbeing in order to provide the soundest and strongest support for them both going forward. Does anyone else encounter this ‘can’t win’ feeling, and how best to rationalise it so that I don’t just come across like I am making it ‘about me and my feelings’? I am really, really excited to be a dad and can’t wait for the baby to arrive, but I want to try and make the pregnancy enjoyable and exciting and reduce the amount of residual negativity that can float around due to the above.

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