Author: Zak

A lot of what we are sold today relates to our well being and staying healthy, to help us manage stress better, build relationships or lose weight. We are told to purchase items, experiences or services because they will make life easier, help us unwind or give us something to look forward to. And because life is stressful with all of its responsibilities, we are always looking for an answer to what will make life easier, and what will get us through the day. It isn’t anybody’s fault that we think like this, it is part of the way the human brain thinks and how it protects us. When we look at the fight, flight and freeze response, our brains way of dealing with danger, it is geared towards avoiding stress and finding an easier way to do things. It has helped us stay alive for this long, as well as helping us develop new technologies over time to keep us safe and make life easier. However, we have all experienced at some point in our lives the feeling of stress, and some of us may have also experienced depression and anxiety. While there are many possible reasons and triggers for stress and mental health related illnesses, following these good mental health tips can not only help you get through each day, but may help you to be more resilient when things don’t go so well.

Any information included in this post is of a general nature and for informational purposes only. If you require support specific to your needs please seek support from your relevant health professional.

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Prior to my daughter being born, I was the type of guy that was happy to look at a baby and pull faces but if offered to hold them I would usually decline. Not because I was averse to them, but because I didn’t know how to hold them. They seemed so small and fragile, and I felt so clumsy that I thought it best for their safety (and my own) that I steer clear. Adding to this, I had thoughts of ‘what if I drop them?’, or ‘what if I break them?’ or ‘what if they squirm out of my hands?’, all fueling this fear of holding babies. So I stuck to my policy of ‘look, don’t touch’ and waited until they were at an age where they could walk and play before I started really engaging with them. Then once I knew my wife was pregnant, holding a baby was something I could only avoid for so long! I had to figure it out, or I would miss out on so much potential bonding time (plus have to deal with feeling guilty about not helping out as much as I could). Luckily for me, even with all the research I did, when the time came to hold my daughter it felt natural, and I almost just knew how to do it automatically. But that isn’t always everyones experience. So here are 3 common ways to hold your newborn and some tips to get you started. Remember, like any skill it takes preparation and practice, and mental resilience, to develop.

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Before you became a father, life had enough responsibilities already. You have your role at work and responsibilities there. You may have responsibilities with your own family that need to be attended to. If you complete volunteer work or even a sport/activity in your personal time you will have responsibilities there. Within your relationship you will have responsibilities to your partner. Plus on top of all of this are any financial responsibilities that are tied to these life areas. Juggling these responsibilities is busy enough as it is, but then once you enter fatherhood and become a parent, your responsibilities increase significantly and place pressure on all other areas of life. Learning how to be a dad is challenging enough within its own right, but learning how to add the responsibilities of fatherhood to your already full life, and keeping it all going, takes the difficulty level up a notch.

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You’ve just had a baby, you’re in the midst of diapers, feeds and feeling like a zombie. The last thing on your mind is imagining how you want life to look in five years. If you were like me, it was hard enough to see past the next day let alone what life would look like years from now. But this baby that you now have responsibility for is the exact reason why you need to think ahead. Not only because of the increased financial responsibility, but because at the center of every family are the parents, and it is important for us as parents to consider the life we want for ourselves, because this will help with our happiness, which in turn will help with your childs happiness. Though, it is probably best to wait out the first 3-6 months, you have enough on your plate!

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I used to be quite a hardcore gamer during my uni years. I was traditionally a PC gamer, but still enjoyed some console gaming every now and then. I mostly played role-playing games (RPG’s) like Elder Scrolls, Fallout and even Runescape (pretty excited they have released an app!), real time strategy (RTS) games like Starcraft, Warcraft and Age of Empires and turn based strategy games like Heroes of Might and Magic and Civilization. When I was with mates, generally we would play some fighting games like Tekken or Smash Bro’s.

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Becoming a parent is a life changing experience, and while for many it is an experience that brings a lot of joy and value into their lives, for many it brings on a lot of stress, frustration, worry and concern. And for some still, it can lead to mental health challenges. Postnatal depression is a term we often associate with mothers, who are experiencing symptoms of depression after giving birth. However, increasingly men are also experiencing depression once baby has arrived. While every parent’s experience is unique, there are some key themes that are common across fathers’ who experience postnatal depression, and some key signs and symptoms that we can keep an eye out for.

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Picking the right pram can be a mind boggling experience, and quite overwhelming initially. I remember going into the baby store for the first time, list in hand of things to look at, and the 3 most important things we had on our list were: Car seat, bassinet and pram. Once we got to the pram section, the first thing we noticed was the sheer amount of prams available, then we noticed the price tags! Then we noticed the additional add-ons for each pram which only increased the price tag! And being new parents we found ourselves confused at what features did we actually need, versus what is just a gimmick. We left the shop deciding that we probably need to research more, as well as figure out pram sizes and what would fit into our car.

Fast forward a lot of researching later, we ended up on the BabyBee website and ordered ourselves the BabyBee Rover. Having used it for a good year now, lets see how it has stood up to the test of time (and baby).

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If you are doing your research into baby prams and strollers, then you are going to come across the name Baby Jogger a few times in your search. Baby Jogger have a number of different prams out there depending on your need, but this review is going to look specifically at the Baby Jogger City Tour because it is a stroller that my wife and I purchased and have used for a good 6 months (at the time of writing this review). And while your intention of purchasing this pram is probably similar to ours (lightweight and travel friendly), be sure to read through this review to see if it is going to meet your needs.

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Nobody likes being sick, and we don’t like seeing others get sick either. When you’re at work and someone comes in coughing and sneezing, you steer clear and hope you don’t catch the bug. As a parent, my thoughts were always on ‘when will my daughter get sick’ and ‘how to prevent them from getting sick’, or ‘can newborns get sick?’ Especially when I started seeing other babies fall ill. After getting about 9 months in, my daughter had been illness free, and I was thinking to myself that she must have some superhuman immune system and we’ll be in the clear by her 1st birthday. And then, it happened.

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Fatherhood is a game changer. For some of us, it’s an amazing experience. I mean sure it has it’s moments (like toddler tantrums, constant cleaning, repeating yourself, arguments), but overall for many dads they wouldn’t change a thing. But for some fathers, they feel like they hate being a dad. They love their kids, but they hate being a parent. Often this frustration towards being a parent initially seems to be linked to the ‘losses’ that we can see when it comes to parenthood, like the loss of freedom or the loss of time, but more frequently if you dig a bit deeper, we can find underlying issues that make parenting that much harder for these dads.

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