Nov 12, 2021Liked by Kevin Maguire

I just subscribed to The New Fatherhood (having received the newsletter for a while now). This post had me in tears almost from the getgo. There are so many things I recognized in myself and my relationship with my son.

I was diagnosed with paternal post-natal depression about 6 months after my son was born (June 2020)- having been in denial about it for a while I just found myself crying a lot. Up until reading this I have struggled to find anyone dealing with the same thing - or at least refusing to talk about it. All the Dads I met through NCT seemed fine and loving fatherhood, my few friends who have children couldn't stop effusing about how much they loved it. It just pulls you further and further into the hole.

I came out of therapy back in June, but have just had to restart it again. It's so good to know that others go through the same thing as it's so easy to fall into the mindset that there is something fundamentally wrong with me.

Thank you for sharing it Kevin.

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Oct 28, 2021Liked by Kevin Maguire

Thank you for sharing. I just signed up for this newsletter and saw this article. I suffered the exact same way. It took 2 years to the date of her birth to begin to come out of my depression. Today, she is 7 years old; her and I have an amazing relationship. I couldn't imagine my life without her. Dads who are suffering, this will pass, this will get better. Hang in there, the positive will shine though, there is light at the end of this tunnel.

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May 29, 2021Liked by Kevin Maguire

I’ve been a subscriber for a while but it’s taken until today to read this post.. it’s been in my bookmarks but I felt I needed a ‘good day’ before I could face it. Turns out of course that sharing and reading similar experiences is fortifying and encouraging and reassuring. Thank you.

I read somewhere once that “the opposite of addiction is community and service.” Sometimes hiding from my mental health or hiding from parenthood feels like an addictive pull. So I think you’ve done an amazing thing creating a community and being of service to it, and letting others (like me) do the same.

Thanks so much for sharing.

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A brave and vulnerable piece. I'm not a dad (yet). But I am 100 percent terrified that, when that time comes, I won't be able to connect with my kid/s. I think it's a byproduct of being an only child and struggling with my own version of self-isolation. But reading this piece eases that fear and even makes me excited for the next step. Thank you, Kevin. Great stuff.

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This is so powerful. I really appreciate you sharing your story, Kevin. It resonated with me, as it clearly has resonated with so many other dads who have been conditioned to 'act tough' through all the tough times. Just found your newsletter, looking forward to reading more, and will definitely be passing it along to some friends!

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Mar 1, 2021Liked by Kevin Maguire

Thanks for writing this, it's deeply insightful. I felt this after both mine were born. I didn't realise what it was at the time. There was no indication in any of the books or classes that this would be something that existed for me and none of my mates had ever said that they felt anything like this either - classic baggage from an upbringing where we weren't allowed to unwrap emotions, I suspect. Your story is important and I hope lots of people hear what you have to say. It was just by luck that I found someone I could talk to, I don't know what I would have been like if I didn't have that one place!

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Feb 26, 2021Liked by Kevin Maguire

Also jumping on the post love. This blog has been the first place I've been able to find any discussions that I can really relate to, and understand some of my feelings. Thank you.

My son turned 1 two days ago and I love him dearly...but it's been anything but fun all the time, or easy. My unrealistic expectations of what I wanted fatherhood to be vs what fatherhood ended up being, + COVID threw me into a such a place of discomfort that I really felt like I didn't even understand myself anymore. I felt trapped, and inherently sad which doesn't align with my usual self. All of this elevated by the constant questions "Isn't parenting great? You must have loved you paternity leave with him?" which it hasn't been and wasn't. The stigma in not enjoying every second you spend with your child has been immensely pressuring, and the current climate has made it harder to find 1:1 support from family and friends.

I also got swallowed (more than normal) by video games (The Witcher 3) and hadn't really understood why until I read this post and things started to click around control and freedom/not feeling trapped. I've also found solace in therapy, meditation, and surfing when possible (my yoga.) It's really great to find a safe place to read other's experiences. It really does bring me so much comfort.

Thanks again

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Feb 24, 2021Liked by Kevin Maguire

ok I'm not a dad, but I love this and I love you for sharing it. And I think you're amazing. And I feel so lucky to be your bud. And thank you for being openly you, and sharing your experiences. And, and... and...❤️ 😭

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Feb 23, 2021Liked by Kevin Maguire

I really really appreciate your post.

It really takes guts to „drop your pants“ as we say in Germany and show what really grinds your gears.

On my part I can say that I also battled with mental health at the time of my daughter’s birth. Not sure if it could be considered a post-partal depression since for me it started six weeks prior to my daughter’s birth.

I remember how I was driving back home from the clinic where my wife had to stay because of preeclampsia. She was told she had to stay in the hospital until birth, leaving me all alone at home. At the way back I started thinking about the meaning of life and all this and why we’re here and what happens after we are no longer and so on. All the philosophical questions suitable for a discussion night with your friends over a few beers.

But this was different. I felt like dropping into a huge dark void of hopelessness and despair concerning all the important questions of life. I came home and felt my heart racing. I was panting, out of breath. I realized :” fuck something is out of control “

Since I am definitely a little philosopher, however with a very rational and scientific subconsciousness, all my thoughts revolved around the thoughts: “life is meaningless, and after death there is only the eternal dark void of nothingness waiting for us” and those thoughts kept me up many nights after this day. I couldn’t care for my wife, had troubles feeling any joy at all and every thought quickly went dark and downhill.

When talking to other dads (all of them older than me, since I’m the only dad at my age in my group of friends) most of them were like “suck it up, you have a wife to care for!”. Which wasn’t very good advice for my situation.

After consulting many of my friends, a therapist and a psychiatrist I learned that this episode was a mixture of having a light form of ocd, an addiction for philosophical questions and an adjustment disorder.

1.5 years later I definitely feel better. Still feeling anxiety creeping up on me sometimes but it’s manageable.

Very grateful for you Kevin and all the other dads on here opening up. In fact it’s the first time opening up to a group of strangers for me also.

It’s very helpful to read all the fights that other dads had been through and came out on top.

This community is great and reading it definitely takes a lot of pressure off a young dad who is sometimes a bit overwhelmed by his new job.

Hugs to all of you out there. We’re in this together

FYI I have learnt to accept the unknown and “impossible to comprehend” as the true nature of why we are here and why this is happening and what happens after this happening and so on. I have somewhat made peace with the Universe and stopped trying to decipher it. But more to that when we sometimes meet up in person over a few beers.

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Great, great post here. This needs to be the crown jewel of the blog.

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Feb 23, 2021Liked by Kevin Maguire

Thanks for writing this, and for the whole newsletter. I can't remember if I said that before my last rant. I wish there had been something like this with both my two.

There's defintely a lot I can relate to in this piece. I'm not sure it was linked directly to either kids ... but kids have such a gravitational pull that everything inevitably becomes about them.

There were tough times with our daughter, but that was defintely linked to other stuff (the death of my dad, and us having a miscarriage - if you want another big topic that *defintely* doesn't get enough coverage there's a doozy).

It took over two years after our daughter was born before I had the lid taken off those emotions and I found myself literally howling in my mums living room. A bit like when they open the Ark and the demons all fly about. A pure, visceral, wrenching of emotions.

I defintely recognise the angry symptoms. I defintely had those massive really-pissed-off-at-everything-for-no-particular-reason vibes after our son was born ... but again that mixed in with stuff at work that was really getting me down. Kids are a big lens to emotions. Absolutely

I found it happening again last year, just being horrible to be around at times. Grumpy and snappy about nothing and everything. My motivation levels were in the toilet. I would say that I didn't get the addiction thing but, thinking about it, I put many, many, many hours into mindless YouTube viewing last year.

I can't pin that on screaming new borns. Last year was a lot. Obviously. But again work was causing me issues. Not in the same way as when my son was born. Possibly in a far more damaging way. It just stopped being interesting. I was coasting, stagnating and had been probably for a few years. I just hadn't noticed. It was leaking out of me like toxic waste.

I'm certain, now, that work is important to me and my mental well being. Not in the way you spoke about a couple of weeks ago. Not chasing promotions or working all the hours, not that sort of thing ... just that work has to provide my brain with the right stimulation and that it gives me some fulfilment. Something to mop up the toxic vibes.

It's good to write these things down. Even if I'm pschyoanlysing myself into a void!

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Feb 23, 2021Liked by Kevin Maguire

I understand how sharing this post could feel even more vulnerable than the others. I appreciate your strength in sharing this.

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Great share. Thanks Kevin! I was “lucky” to have struggled with depression and anxiety early in life so when I saw the signs appearing this past year I had some coping mechanisms I could use so I never hit full blown depressive episode it’s a real scary place and I’m glad you found a way to heal!

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Feb 23, 2021Liked by Kevin Maguire

Thanks for sharing Kevin. I’m 7 months in and not ok all the time. I really identify with the sense of burden - for me i have grief at the passing of my old life, the change in my relationship and the relentlessness of the daily toil. I go in waves so I have genuine joy and warmth much of the time - I do feel very connected to my daughter - But also swings where I’m moving through motions like a grind stone - heavy and without any sense of aliveness - defensive, withdrawn, angry, spiralling. I’m lucky to have friends I can talk to about it, and I can see how much of it relates to echos from my own childhood - and still...

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Feb 23, 2021Liked by Kevin Maguire

Thanks for sharing your experience and your insights with everyone Kevin. First of all, it's something not everyone can do and it requires courage and after reading your newsletter, dads who find themselves in a similar stance will surely get inspired and will use the courage they will take from your words.

While personally I haven't gone through same experience as you, I totally can relate with the fact that it's a tough journey and it can surely cause one to feel depressed and isolated. During the journey of fatherhood I also, from time to time, got those moments of anger surging through your body, that you wanna blow off some steam but I managed to control it. The most useful method that helped me was to do something silly when anger is about to captivate me (especially when I'm with my kid). This way I've seen that it goes away that instance and we both start laughing. This of course might not work all the time but during the mundane course of things, I've seen it helps me personally.

Also I'm pretty glad to see that you've managed to overcome this darkness but I've also noticed the help coming from your partner. This is something very crucial in parenting business since we're in this together with our partners and overcome the obstacles this way. Since it's this difficult sometimes, single parents are like saints in my eyes, very powerful people.

Thanks once again for sharing your experience, it will help a lot to a lot of people!

Cheers from Barcelona!


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