The Journey of Fatherhood

The Journey of Fatherhood
In March 2023 the Cha in the City Open Group for Punjabi men met virtually to discuss the topic of Fatherhood. Here are some reflections from the brilliant team who facilitate and contribute towards those conversations.

The online forum for Punjabi Men’s Group returned this month and we welcomed new members as well as those returning. Although a smaller group than normal the discussions were fruitful.

This month the online forum topic for discussion was ‘The Journey of Fatherhood’ this was a broad topic for discussion with varying aspects to discuss including the experience of forum members.

As usual there were some questions to guide the breakout rooms to discuss the topic, although the questions are posed to support the discussions, the conversations often are led by the participants.

The questions this month that were offered included - What are the challenges and changes when you become a father? - How does the community support or challenge the role of being a new father? - How can becoming a father impact on your wellbeing? - What support is needed?

The conversations were broad and covered many aspects of the topic including discussing the impact on people’s mental wellbeing, as well as reflecting on participants own experiences. The discussion included a discussion around what is fatherhood and the definition beyond the biological identity and the role. The discussions within the group also acknowledged past experiences and the influence this has on our own journeys.

We also looked more broadly at the changes within both society as well as our community. Acknowledging that there has been changes over time in both areas. We talked about the role of fathers as both a perception and expectations within the Punjabi community.

The journey into fatherhood brings a lot changes for everyone and some very individual challenges were explored and the overall impact on mental wellbeing. This was also coupled with considerations for protecting our wellbeing during this time of change and what could help, this conversation was both exploratory as well as an opportunity to share experiences and knowledge.

The topic allowed for many differing contributions from those who participated, and the quality of the discussion is very much delivered by the diversity of participants.

The forums are a great safe place to explore issues that have an impact either directly or indirectly to our wellbeing. Participating in the facilitated spaces are a great opportunity to share and hear about a range of subjects, and we are always keen to hear from participants about subjects for future forums.

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