6 Essential Self-Care Tips for New Fathers

As a soon-to-be father, the journey of parenthood is so exciting, yet overwhelming. I’ve spoken about it in this article previously. We are helping welcome a new life to the world, of course it’s going to be overwhelming! This is exactly why I want to touch on how important it is to take care of yourself FOR your children. It’s important for fathers to prioritize self-care at times to be the best version of themselves.

Understanding the Importance of Self-Care for New Fathers

While some people look at self-care as a selfish act, it’s actually the opposite. It’s an essential piece of being an effective father. You’re taking care of yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally to be able to handle the challenges of parenting with grace.

1. Prioritize Quality Sleep When You Can

Everyone knows this one, and it seems a bit self-explanatory. Sleep is important. It’s when our body gets to rebuild and recover.

It’s not secret that sleep deprivation just comes with the territory of parenthood. When you do have those moments, though, it’s important to take advantage of them and try to get the best sleep you can. Get into your comfortable pajamas, listen to some relaxing music, fluff your pillow, whatever works for you.

2. Cultivate Hobbies and Interests Outside of Fatherhood

While I’m not there just yet, I have heard from nearly every new father that it is extremely fulfilling. Having said that, though, it’s still important to do the things that made you happy and at peace BEFORE the child comes. Were you working out before baby came? Continue to do that! Did you enjoy fishing? Tinkering with a car in the garage? Building a website? Grilling food for your wife? Continue to do those things!

This doesn’t mean that you’re going to be careless, drop everything, and go. It’s done with a plan in place. Will your wife watch the baby for an hour or two while you do this? And do NOT forget, return the favor. Just like self care is important for you, it’s important for your wife as well. It’s a two way street.

3. Be Present

This one is important.

With so many more things distracting us now than there were 20 years ago, being present is becoming a difficult task for many people. Your attention is always being tugged at. It’s not just a TV show or a game once a week. It’s binge streaming an entire series or doom-scrolling on TikTok or IG. Learning to have control over those things is important.

When you have those moments with your baby, just soak them in. Whether it be rocking the baby to sleep, changing their diaper, or just looking into their eyes. Those are moments you’ll remember forever, but scrolling through social media will be forgotten in 5 minutes.

4. Embrace Physical Activity for Mental and Physical Health

This has to be one of the biggest things for me.

Physical activity isn’t only good for physical health, but mental health as well! While it may seem difficult to find the time to do any type of workout when the baby comes, just do what you can, when you can. Don’t have weights? Go on a walk. Do 100 bodyweight squats, and 200 pushups, and I guarantee you it’ll get the blood pumping!

It has made such an insane impact on my entire life, both physically and mentally. Starting my day with a workout has been one of the best habits I’ve ever picked up. The way it give me energy and makes me feel, makes it worth getting up out of a cozy bed early in the morning.

This is a habit I will continue in some capacity when the baby comes. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

5. Practice Gratitude for a Positive Mindset

Positivity goes a long way in any aspect of life. We’ll be surrounded by chaos, sleepless, and hungry, but it’s important to be able to see the blessing you’re living in. All of this for a baby? Some people have been trying to be where you’re at for YEARS and might not experience that reality. It’s hard, yes, but be grateful for it.

Make mental notes each day of things you’re grateful for. Maybe it’s your baby laughing, your wife for cooking a meal even though she’s tired, the fact that you have a roof over your head, and food on the table. We truly do have abundant lives, regardless of the circumstances.

6. Continue Dating Your Wife

Remember all the cute things you did when you started dating? Asking her out to dinner, dressing up, being spontaneous, laughing at stupid stuff? Continue doing those things! While it may be in a different capacity considering the addition of the baby, you can still do them! Make her a snack with stuff in the pantry, write her a cute note, dress up in “going out” outfits and make a bowl of mac and cheese, then watch The Office!

Just because your current circumstances have changed only means that you both have to adjust how you show love for one another. A strong and supportive relationship with your wife is huge when bringing a child into the world. As new parents, it’s easy to prioritize the needs of your baby above everything else

It’s important to remember, though, that your relationship is the foundation. If you and your wife are solid, then everything else will be solid.

Take Care of Your Mental and Physical Health For Your Family

Some days will be harder than others, you need to understand that. Don’t let it get you down, though. And DON’T let anyone make you feel like taking care of yourself is selfish, it’s not. You’re doing it for your family.

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