Don't leave dads in the lurch


One in five dads feels left out in the early weeks after their baby is born, increasing to one in three when they return to work. British dads find the loss of their spouse’s attention, everyone reaching out to the mum and missing major milestones on their return to work are key factors in their sense of insecurity. Interestingly those with daughters feel it the most.

More than 2000 dads took part in a survey by Asked how they felt initially following the birth of their child, many said they felt ‘proud’ (26 per cent) and ‘overjoyed’ (25 per cent), with one in five instantly feeling ‘overwhelmed’ (21 per cent). Nearly three-quarters confessed that they let their spouse do most of the work when it came to the newborn.

Most common reasons for feeling left out were:

  • My spouse’s attention is constantly on the baby (56 per cent).
  • It’s almost impossible to have some ‘us time’ (40 per cent).
  • People go out of the way to speak to my spouse, but not me (38 per cent).
  • I miss out on key stages and milestones (25 per cent).
  • My spouse and child are out having fun whilst I’m stuck at work (20 per cent).

Sadly, less than one third of dads say they’ve spoken to their partner about feeling left out, yet some have made jokes about it and others admit to downright jealousy. But the most common emotion – felt by more than one in three dads – was one of feeling ‘invisible’ and unable to help.

  • A new book by Dr Andy Cope, The Little Book of Being Brilliant (published by Wiley and available on Amazon), says that dads have roughly three minutes of conversation each day with their children, and sets out to redress the balance. It includes topics such as:
  • Why every dad needs to play.
  • How to be a brilliant dad.
  • Why it pays to make others happy.
  • Ten ways to create a happy family.
  • 3 ways to supercharge your arrival home from work.