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Dads - Where Oh Where Has Your Old Life Gone?


After decades of sharing parenting advice, we agree that one piece of wisdom is always true: Change is the only constant in life! As a dad, your life is not just about finding your own happiness anymore - it’s about balancing your well-being with the happiness of every other family member.

So when you ask the question, “Will I ever get my old life back?” the answer will always be the same: Your life is constantly new, always evolving, because your responsibilities as a parent and partner make each day and year a new adventure. And as you, your partner and your children grow, you will be changing one another. That evolution has no end point, even when your children are grown and have children of their own. Just ask your own parents.

Helping Your New Life Look a Little Bit Like Your Old One

So your life will never be the same as it was before you had a child. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can't still do some of the things you loved before you became a dad.

Here’s how to accomplish that goal: Focus on the activities that were most important to you before your baby was born, and with some creative scheduling, begin to work them back into your new life as a dad.

As your child grows, he can join you in some of your favorite pastimes - whether that means visiting a museum or taking a bike ride. You can load him in the stroller and (if it's allowed) take him to the gym with you; he may love watching the activity there and be content for a while. You can also take your baby to a ball game, but don't expect to stay for all nine innings unless he goes to sleep. Putting your child in a backpack-style child carrier will allow you to take those hikes you loved, and the extra weight will build the muscles you will need to pick him up when he’s a sturdy toddler! Want to meet a friend for coffee? Your little one may find the smells and sounds of the coffee shop as stimulating as your favorite latte is for you.

The key to satisfaction in your life as a dad is embracing change as a key to unlocking unlimited possibilities. Focus on the miracle of today, of the moment, of “now,” rather than on what you think you lost when you gave up your child-free status. You will become more resilient and capable of coping - and you'll also be much better at going with the flow.

This information is not a substitute for personal medical, psychiatric or psychological advice.

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