The Warrior Dad
Updated: Apr 7, 2022
Dealing with overwhelm as a father.
Do you feel overwhelmed with all your responsibilities as a father?
Do you feel like your dreams are "on hold" while focusing on your family?
As a men's coach, I come across these feelings all the time with my clients. These feelings are usually followed by extreme guilt because men tell themselves they shouldn't want more for their lives.
I work with them when they are at the stage where it all feels too much; they're exhausted, overwhelmed by loving their kids but feel like they're sacrificing their career or personal dreams.
This is what I call being a "warrior dad". This may sound like a title to be proud of, but what do warriors do? They fight battles! When they're not fighting, they're training for a fight.
In the perspective of the modern family man, warrior dads are battling through all the responsibilities they have, whether that be in their family life or their career. They don't stop for a breath as the enemy in their head will overwhelm them. They are prepared to sacrifice their bodies and well-being to win the battle...but the war never seems to end.
These guys are loving fathers, and they don't know how to manage all their responsibilities whilst searching for what they truly want to do with their life, whilst building their families. They want the best of both worlds but don't think it's possible, so they put on their armour, put their heads down and charge!
This truly matters to me because this was me six years ago when Jack, my first child, came into my life. I had been made redundant. I had crushing overwhelm from all the responsibilities I had as a parent. I sacrificed looking after myself and pursuing my dreams because I was fearful. The fear to provide and be a good dad was all-consuming, and I felt exhausted. I saw life in black and white, and it had lost its colour.
It feels heavy and exhausting, right?!
I want to share the steps I took to gain a different perspective on my situation:
1. Prioritise your time - When life gets into an overwhelming cycle, it's time to pump the brakes and go back to basics. Make time for the things that make us more resilient. Are you moving and sleeping enough? Are you making good food choices? Are you protecting time for yourself? More info on this subject can be found in this article.
2. Be vulnerable - A warrior never takes off his armour, right? Well, we're trying to be men, not warriors, so listen up! It's fundamental you share how you feel about the situation with your significant other or close friends. Talking about the situation allows us to stop, reflect and welcome new perspectives.
3. Teamwork - As men, we often tell ourselves it's our job to shoulder all burdens and solve all problems...when really what we're looking for is breathing room. Talking to your significant other or support network opens up the possibility for precisely that...support!
People that love you want to help, but you need to let them!
Again, allow yourself to be vulnerable and accept help; it's not a weakness; it strengthens the impact you have in the world as you'll be a better version of yourself.
4. Reflection time - Now that we're feeling more centred from revisiting the basics and having some support, it's time to turn the spotlight inward. Put aside some reflection time to look at what's missing from your life. It's a given that you will always be a loving dad, so what else do you want to cultivate alongside raising an awesome family?
5. Get a coach - Many of us struggle with step four as our inner critic tells us all the reasons why we can't do something. This is where getting a coach has a huge impact. I hired a coach at this point in my life, and it seemed like an uncomfortable investment. However, the return on investment from having a coach is priceless, and I continue to hire a coach every year.
Sometimes, dads need to be warriors, but we don't want to live in our armour or be on red alert...it's suffocating, draining and overwhelming.
I work with guys who are trying to balance being fantastic dads and looking to do great things with their vocations and personal lives.
Yes, you can be an incredible dad and do amazing things in the world, and I want to show you how. Click this link to schedule a 30-minute complimentary conversation around this, or check out my website for more info.
Here's to your journey!