PND, the “baby blues” that’s just for mums, right?
Worlds worst dad?
“How is everything?”“How’s the baby?”“Isn’t it amazing being a parent?”
“Everything is great, were so happy”“Fawn is perfect”“It feels amazing to be a dad, I can’t tell you how much I love it!”
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As time went on, resentment crept in. Resentment of this person I was sharing my house with. Who I had to look after but struggled to feel anything more than a sense of duty for.
I got myself caught in a vicious cycle. I didn’t feel connected with Fawn so I didn’t want to spend time with her. On my way home from work I would hope to get stuck in traffic so I wouldn’t have to feign affection towards her. On the nights I got home early there was always an excuse as to why I couldn’t cuddle her.
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I know now that the more I avoided her, the harder it actually was to make a connection with her. And even today as I sit here and write this I feel ashamed.
Time to talk
My Wife had asked me what was going on multiple times and I gave her the same fabricated story I gave everyone else. She was the one person who could see through it and she knew I was drifting further and further away.
I remember vividly the day I told her everything. We were stood in the kitchen and she wouldn’t let it go. I was terrified. Absolutely terrified. What would she think of me? How would she react when I tell her that I don’t think I love our child?
With support, unwavering support.
I literally felt like the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders. For the first time, I told someone exactly how I felt. My lack of connection with our daughter and my fear that this would never change. She didn’t recoil in horror or judge me. She was amazing. We talked it over and set out a plan. I spent more and more time with Fawn, interacting, making sure I got up with her on my own in the morning and taking her out for some Daddy Daughter time on a Sunday etc.
Braking that vicious cycle was the best thing I could have done.
It didn’t happen overnight but that first step. as hard as it was, it lead to the next step, then the next and took me to where I am today. To a place where I can say, I truly, deeply, madly LOVE my daughter!
Breaking the stigma of PND for men
This was my story. It wasn’t sugar coated. I was as honest as I could be and tried to articulate how I felt as best I could. And I think it is so important that others do the same.
One of the biggest reasons I put off admitting how I felt for so long was because I thought I was alone. Men suffering from PND just wasn’t on my radar. I, like most others didn’t think it happened to men.
The truth is the total opposite and I think more needs to be done about this so that others know they are not alone.
We need to break down the walls surrounding this issue and start the conversation.
My only hope is that someone, somewhere sitting at home struggling as a new Dad reads this post and realises that they are not on their own.
And it does get better….