The Isolated Father Syndrome and What to Do
Have you ever heard of the isolated father syndrome? If not, keep reading to find out what it is and how to overcome it.
The moment you were yearning for finally arrived: your baby was born. As a father, you dreamed about this moment so many times. However, sometimes the reality is a little different than what you imagined.
You may start to feel invisible, without recognition and somewhat isolated. You may be suffering from what we could call isolated father syndrome.
But don’t despair. If you take our advice into account then you’ll be able to overcome it in a short period of time.
Causes of isolated father syndrome
The commotion of the hospital is over. They were chaotic moments, and without too much time to enjoy your newborn child. You, your partner and your baby are now at home.
At last you’ll be able to enjoy more time with your child. At last you’ll be able to start to create that bond that you always longed for.
However, you may have to wait a while to be able to do this. It may still not be possible for different reasons.
The visitors don’t stop coming. Of course, they want to meet the new family member too. Everyone takes him into their arms, and shows their concern for the mother.
You’re attending to visitors, going to and fro, and you don’t get a break. No one even seems to realize that you’ve just become a father too. They don’t realize that you also need some time alone with your baby.
It’s logical that the mother takes the most credit, since she put in all the effort and carried out the hardest work. But you were also there, doing everything you possibly could to make the pregnancy go as well as possible.
You were there to provide the support that your partner needed all the time.
Practical steps to overcome isolated father syndrome
You too want to have time with your baby and speak to her lovingly. You’re just yearning for some moments to lay her on your chest, just so that she can recognize your heartbeat.
You would love to lull your baby to sleep and lie with her, but it just never seems to happen.
The reasons that prevent that can be:
- People don’t stop coming to your house.
- The mother is sensitive and cannot detach herself from the child.
- Your relatives tell you how to pick her up and hold her, and when and why not to do it in certain situations.
- You have so much to do that your parental plans are pushed to the background.
How to avoid isolated father syndrome
If you feel like you may be suffering from isolated father syndrome, then you need to take control of the situation.
These days there are so many ways of communicating with your family to let them know the best times to visit. Both you and your partner will be exhausted, and more visits involve more work.
Create a WhatsApp group, send photos of the newborn baby and the mother. That way everyone will feel at ease and know that everything is OK.
“The isolated father syndrome arises when you feel that nobody recognizes your efforts and your part in this whole affair. You feel invisible and impotent, taking care of everything without anyone noticing.”
You could also organize a special time for everyone to go and see the baby, once or twice a week. This way you’ll stop them coming hour after hour and preventing you from having the time you need with your new child. It’s never their intention to interrupt, but you need your time too.
Another good idea is to assign tasks. You’ll hear them say frequently, “Anything you need, just tell me.” Well, take them up on that! Tell them what you need.
It may be going to buy diapers or preparing something to eat. It may be to keep your partner company while you’re settling your child down to sleep. Just do whatever you need to do to help lessen your burden.
Keep up the communication with your partner
We know you don’t want to worry your partner with how you’re feeling, and that’s very considerate of you. However, so that you don’t feel like an isolated father, she needs to understand that you too need some time with your baby.
Very soon you’ll have to return to your daily work obligations, and the time to create a bond with your child will be reduced even more. For that reason, you must express your needs as a father.
Share tasks. Obviously you can’t breastfeed, but you can change the diaper or clothes, for example. You can also help put the baby back to sleep when she wakes up at night.
Once the mother recovers from giving birth, she can get on with other things while you take care of the baby.
Your little one has heard your voice while in the womb. You’ve whispered in her ear so that she can recognize you. You’ll soon see that you’ll easily be able to create that bond that you’re longing for.
You’ll soon be able to spend hours holding and hugging your child. You just need time and a little patience. Take your rightful place and don’t expect others to do it for you.
Finally, don’t get frustrated and make sure you enjoy this beautiful stage of your lives together.