Due to cultural gender stereotypes, the role of dads has often been neglected in parenthood in Asia. The society has painted dad as someone who works and pays for bills, and mom stays home with the kids. Back in the days, this may be true. But in recent years, parenting has changed and we see dads take on more responsibilities in child-rearing. From bathing the kids to cooking, dads are equally capable of doing them all.
Children look up to dads as their hero and role model. That's why your mental wellbeing is vital and plays an impactful role on children's behaviour. Here's how to improve your wellbeing as a dad.
1. Have 'me' time
Balancing work and family can be overwhelming. It is important to allocate once a week to have some quiet time for yourself. Respect and understanding is the key to a happy family. Discuss with your partner and decide on a mutually agreed day for you to have that 'me' time to avoid any unwanted misunderstandings and stress in the family. Take up that hobby you always wanted to try (coffee/tea brewing, photography, gardening, etc) or just going to a cafe for a read or doing sports, whichever that works for you.
2. Take a short walk
Take a short 10-15 minutes to walk with your family after dinner. Not only will it helps with digestion, but it is also a good stress reliever.
3. A break from the norm
Sometimes it is okay to step out of your routine. Instead of washing the dishes after dinner, you can turn on the music and have a dance-off with your family. Instead of rushing your kids with homework and chores, you can take some time off to just sit and chit chat with them. Remember, life is not about schedules and datelines - is about connection and engagement with the ones we love.
4. Be social and reach out
We are all social beings. That's why every now and then, go meet with your friends or family, to connect over lunch or dinner. If you're feeling overwhelmed and stress, it is okay to reach out for support and help. Don't be afraid to talk to your partner, friends or family about your feelings.
5. Be mindful and positive
Wellbeing is not just physical health, but also emotional and mental health too.
Keep a positive state of mind, and focus on the present moment. You can engage in relaxing and calming activities like meditation or listening to soft music before you go to bed.
Parental Wellbeing Checklist
Do I feel happy and grateful for my life and my family?
Do I have time to do the things I enjoy?
Do I have someone I can talk to about my feelings or problems?
Do I have time to relax and be calm?
Do I make time for laughs and fun with my family?
Do I get enough sleep and exercise regularly?
Do I get to have quiet time to myself?