Fatherhood comes with a lot of responsibilities, with the main goal being to protect your family and raise good kids with your partner. Yet, it also comes with a lot of benefits that will help you become a better version of yourself, two of which are increased happiness and a strong drive to lead a healthy lifestyle.
So what other benefits of fatherhood can you expect once your precious bundle arrives? Or if you’ve been a father for years, what perks could you have missed while you’re busy taking care of your duties?
If you take your responsibilities as a father and provider of your family, you would know that you cannot fulfill these responsibilities unless you’re healthy. Many men end up taking a physical exam once they become a father, with a survey showing that fatherhood is enough of a motivation for them to eat right, sleep better, exercise, and refrain from engaging in dangerous activities or situations.
Babywearing, carrying the baby stroller, pretending to be a horse for your kids to ride on or walking with your kids at the local park are common activities that dads often engage in, helping you develop a more active lifestyle.
According to a study in the National Institute of Mental Health, men in happy families are less prone to suffering from stress and the health issues that come with it. Happy dads are less likely to struggle with insomnia, chronic pain, fatigue or stomach problems than other men.
A Stanford University School of Medicine research showed that men with kids, particularly those with at least two, are 17 percent less likely to have a fatal heart disease than men with no kids. This is based on a study that monitored 135,000 married men. Although the study was not able to pinpoint exactly why men with kids are less vulnerable to stroke or heart attack, it could be due to the dads’ choice of a healthy lifestyle and the happiness brought about by the love and support of their family.
Reduced risk for clinical depression
Single men with no kids are more exposed to the risk of depression and suicide than men with kids.
Better coping skills
Dads often deal with stress better than men who aren’t, making this one of the best benefits of fatherhood. They are also more well-rounded in handling stress, with their skills not limited to the home front.
Improved nurturing skills
Men are often easily dismissed as self-absorbed creatures who only care about themelves, but a study by the Minnesota Fatherhood Initiative showed that fathers show more of their nurturing and caring side for others. And the beneficiaries are not only their kids and partners, but also their coworkers and friends.
Increased job satisfaction
A study shows that dads feel happy with their work and are more satisfied with their performance more than men who don’t have kids.
Stronger drive to stop smoking
Men who are struggling with a tobacco addiction are more motivated to quit the habit if they have kids. The fact that secondhand some makes babies colicky and fussy, exposes them respiratory problems and even SIDS are strong enough motivators to finally stop smoking.
According to a Swedish study of over 700,000 men, men who establish a stable home life with their partner and kids were less likely to experience premature death from any cause than divorced dads living alone or single men with no kids, one of the benefits of fatherhood you might not want t miss out on. Although living with a partner may prolong one’s life, the key to a longer life lies with the kids. This is because raising a child gives a man company, structure, and purpose.