I’m really excited to share this post with you as I’m introducing a concept that certainly in my sixteen years of parenting, I have never come across before.
As you all know I regularly use the site as a foghorn to tell you all about services available out there to support you as mothers, but today’s post is unique….. as mothers you will all certainly benefit from it, but this one is for the Dads out there.
We all have our own very different experiences of the father child relationship. I have some close friends whose lives have really been shaped by relationships with their fathers that were far from picture perfect. I don’t think I need to be a child psychologist to say that a child will benefit greatly from having a brilliant father figure in their life – even if that figure isn’t in the traditional form of their biological dad.
However. many men find themselves as fathers and are shocked that the transition into the Dad they know they want to be, isn’t as seamless as they might have hoped and expected. Perhaps their Partners have taken to motherhood like a duck to water and they feel left behind, like there’s a missing part of the puzzle? Maybe their relationships with their own parents were far from ideal and this is affecting their ability to know what good parenting should look like. Perhaps they find that work is just too large a part of their life and that prioritising family isn’t easy or maybe they have had so many years of independence pre children that they can’t help but feel a little resentful of the time and attention their new families demand.
Up until now I’ve not been aware of a solution for this problem, so when I was introduced to Matt Hall of Organic Man who gave me the opportunity to gift one of his coaching programmes to a Dad who would benefit in exchange for an honest review, I jumped at the chance.
Matt describes Organic Man as a coaching programme designed to help good men become great Dads and I didn’t have to search too long to find a Dad who was keen for help to do just that.
Alex (whose name has been changed to protect his anonymity) underwent a coaching programme with Matt between December and January after struggling to transition to becoming a first time father. This is his take on the service offered at Organic Man.
‘As Men we are forces of nature aren’t we? We can handle anything that comes our way? This Dad lark is going to be easy isn’t it? – oh how wrong! I often found myself feeling overwhelmed as a parent and wishing I could be more natural. Unlike our better halves who seem to have this parental instinct and are happy to talk about ‘how to be a Mum’ with the girls over an extra hot, skinny, coconut milk latte, when the Dads get together [over a pint and a burger down the local] it’s all about work, cars, watches and how much sh1t was in the 4am nappy, isn’t it?
So, how do I become a great Dad? This was the unanswered question I found myself pondering but without any clue where to start, or who to talk to. Then I found Organic Man – if it does what it says on the tin then it really is the Ronseal for us Dads. I was slightly apprehensive at first, what if this is going to be some deep, soul searching therapy that requires me to open up. Not at all – Matt was instantly personable and empathetic – talking my language and able to help me quickly identify what is important to me as a Dad so that we could put a plan together. The exercises we went through were really insightful, not just for Dad world but also for husband and work world too.
Matt also held me accountable, this was important as it meant I didn’t find excuses and actually started changing how I was ‘being’ and the things I was ‘doing’ as Dad – per the agreed plan. This had an immediate positive effect – I was more relaxed when spending time with my daughter, we were bonding a lot more and I was even being chased after with that little voice shouting ‘Daddy Daddy’ – what a feeling!
Things continued to go from good to great as I found myself making time outside of my busy work schedule to spend time with my daughter and looking forward to the 1:1 time rather than feeling uneasy. The experience of working with Organic Man has literally been life changing, my only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner, but better late than never as they say.’
In addition to Alex’s review I also spoke to his wife once or twice during the programme who was really really excited by the challenges Alex had been set to practically develop his skills and confidence as a father.
So there you have it… a new and (I’m pretty sure) unique service available to all of you who are running the parenting gauntlet. We only get one shot to get this thing done right you know. If it’s not working quite as you’d hoped – reaching out for help is not failure – in fact it’s probably the biggest win you’re likely to make and certainly the best gift to your child.