Is Dad Guilt Real?

Posted · Add Comment

Does a Dad experience Dad-Guilt similar to Mum-Guilt?

Mums are well known for experiencing ‘mum guilt’, but do we have a monopoly on guilt or do dads feel ‘dad guilt’? We are finding more dad’s do experience dad guilt. This is often due to the fact they are unable to spend the quality time with their children due to either work or separation.

Dad’s can also feel a sense of guilt when the baby is very young as they feel awkward and useless needing to leave much of the care to the mother.

Perhaps modern expectations of fathers make them feel they’re not living up to their role. What sort of guilt do they feel?

Dad’s want to be proactive in their children’s life however many struggle finding the opportunity to do this given their often increasing demands of work.

Dad’s want to coach their child’s sports team, watch every aspect of their school or sports performance, be there to help with homework, pick them up from school yet many are simply unable to do this due to the demands work places upon them.

They are often torn between providing a good life and income for the family against doing a job less demanding to spend more time with their children and partner.

Dad’s see their role slightly different from mum. Their feelings of guilt are somewhat different for often different type of reasons. Saying this, there remains a connection of missing out on the child’s milestones, not being available to attend every activity or event they participate in and not spending the time they wish they had with their precious child.

A mum places considerable value on time with her child in a nurturing role where dad’s often placed themselves in a supporting role. Both can affect the parent deeply.

A dad wants to be there as a support, teacher, coach, model; especially for their sons. To teach them their craft or trade, involve them in their world and be a proactive part of their child’s world. They still often leave the nurturing and basic needs to the mother. They simply see themselves differently to the mother’s role.

Dad’s often also feel their guilt as the child grows older while mums feel it daily in the emotional areas. Research tells us mothers feel twice as guilty as fathers when leaving their children to go to work. This maybe due to the fact the dads have to keep working throughout the pregnancy and arrival of baby. They are somewhat protected from the guilt mothers feel after spending months nurturing the baby before needing to severe the time when returning to work.

Dad’s can feel real heartache when separated from their children due to work travel or separation from the mother. More dads want to spend more time with their children. Many had not had this opportunity when they were a child due to dad working a lot or because it was less acceptable for dad to be a main carer.

You can read an article here that I consulted with Essential Child in regards to dad Guilt

Read more Blogs and Information for Dr Karen