Totally Overwhelmed - Am I The Only One Feeling This Way?

lifestyle Feb 18, 2021
Totally Overwhelmed

As rewarding as the fatherhood journey is, it’s not without its set of challenges. After all, you also wear the hats of advisor, provider, and husband. These responsibilities and others can be overwhelming, putting strain on you as a father. 

You’re not the only one feeling this way. In fact, we can even say that being an overwhelmed father is part of the territory. Luckily, here’s some good news — we’re here to share some easy steps that have helped every tired dad I’ve spoken to. 

Read along to learn what you can do if you’re an exhausted or stressed father. First, let’s talk about some of those situations that can aggravate your experience as a stressed father. 

What Can Cause You To Be an Overwhelmed and Tired Dad

Feeling exhausted isn’t an isolated incident. It happens to every father, new or experienced. 

Why does this occur? We have found that it’s due to several factors either in isolation or piled atop each other. For the most part, “tired dad syndrome” happens for the following reasons. 

Poor Stress Management

Often, it’s actually not the crying kids or horseplaying toddlers that tip you over the edge. What may have happened prior — whether at work or with your spouse — may contribute to your stressors. If left unmanaged, your stress can influence how you feel when you deal with your kids and other responsibilities at home.  

Being a Perfectionist

It’s okay to hold yourself to certain standards, especially when it comes to parenting. However, when you begin to get too hung up on being “dad of the year,” you’ll react negatively to every parenting setback — and parenting setbacks do happen. 

Your negative emotions from challenges will add to your parenting stress. As we’ve mentioned earlier, stress can affect your role as a father, turning you from “rad dad” to “tired dad” really quickly. 

Overlooking How Fatherhood Can Be a Blessing

Elsewhere, I talked about men and miscarriage and how devastating the experience can be for dads. I’m telling you this because, sometimes, the stress of fatherhood comes from overlooking how blessed you are to be a father. When you recognize that it’s a privilege not everyone can have, you’ll appreciate your role and kids more. 

How You Can Overcome Being an Overwhelmed Father

The three scenarios mentioned earlier can give us clues about how you can get past being an exhausted dad. With that in mind, follow these three tips to becoming less overwhelmed as a father.  

It Starts With Stress Management

There are two aspects to stress management. First, there’s the aspect of minimizing stress. Minimizing stress is an essential practice for all fathers. Sadly, however, it takes a back seat amidst all the responsibilities of daily life. 

You can alleviate and manage stress in several ways. If your stress comes from anxiety, I have a video about several anxiety-managing techniques for fathers on the Dad University YouTube channel. 

By reducing stress, you’ll feel less exhausted from your role as a dad. You’ll also be less prone to illnesses associated with chronically high stress levels. In short, stress management is an investment that pays dividends. 

The other half of stress management involves catching yourself when you experience stress and negative thoughts. Let’s face it. Stress is an unavoidable part of life. You need to cultivate the skill of pausing and taking a breath before acting out of stressful thoughts or emotions. This skill takes practice, but it’s worth mastering. 

Manage Your Expectations

I’ve talked about how lofty expectations can kill us dads from the inside. Does this mean we should abandon being better dads? Absolutely not! 

What I am saying is that you must manage your expectations, especially if you’re a new father. Managing your expectations involves recognizing that you’re not going to be the perfect dad all the time. You should focus on being the best dad you can be daily instead of being perfect at all times. 

Being the best dad you can be will look different daily. For this reason, set achievable goals daily. It can be something as simple as picking your kid up on time or spending an hour with your kids and spouse. 

If you fall short, don’t beat yourself up. Tomorrow is another day, and your kids will remember the effort instead of the result. 

What’s important is the effort you place on being the best father you can be and celebrating wins no matter how seemingly small. 

Remember: Being a Dad Is a Blessing

Gratitude can be a powerful tool in combating feelings of overwhelm. I’m a big believer in practicing gratitude regularly. 

To do this, you can allocate a few minutes or even an hour of your day to reflect on the positive aspects of your life. Count your blessings, appreciate your family, and acknowledge your achievements as a father and spouse. 

Shifting your focus from stressors to the positives can significantly improve your mental well-being. 

Trust me. Not everyone can be a father. Most importantly, not everyone puts effort into being the best dads they can be — which is likely what you’re doing by reading this right now. 

You Got This, Dad! 

Remember, being an overwhelmed father is okay and expected. Luckily, with the right strategies and support, you can conquer these emotions and emerge as a stronger, more resilient father. 

If you need some help, know that there’s a fellow dad right here who’s ready to guide you every step of the way. 


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