12 Things That Stress Out Dads

141137622_b9bb09ab3cBeing a dad is hard work and stressful. According to a Yankelovich Health & Wellness study, dads are most stressed out by the following twelve items:

  1. Planning one’s financial future
  2. Job/Career
  3. Keeping family safe
  4. Worrying about children’s success
  5. Health-care costs
  6. Aggressive drivers
  7. Influence of peers on children
  8. Balancing work and family
  9. Quality of your child’s diet
  10. Your state of health
  11. Housework
  12. Running errands

While I agree with some of the items on this list, I have compiled my personal list of 12 Things That Stress Out Mocha Dad (in no particular order):

  1. Having Enough Time to Do Everything – There is so much to do in a day: Work, church, children’s activities, exercise, blog, spend time with friends and family, etc. Sometimes it feels as if I am taking care of one thing at the expense of another. Time management is definitely an area I need to work on.
  2. Traveling for Work – I’m on the road about two weeks out of every month. Many times, my trips are spur of the moment so I have little time to plan. Although I enjoy visiting new places, I hate the chaos of airports, eating alone in restaurants, sleeping in hotels and being away from my family for extended periods of time. The latest spate of plane crashes has only increased my stress in this area.
  3. My Family’s Financial Future – Although I feel comfortable with my current financial state, I know that things could change overnight. When I started my first job, I figured I’d work for 20 years and retire. Well, I’ve been at my job for 15 years now and I don’t have nearly enough money to retire. I refuse to look at my 401K statements because I know my investments have been devastated. I’m thankful that my wife and have been frugal over the years. Our dedication to saving does provide some comfort during these uncertain economic times.
  4. Raising Two Black Boys – Being a black male in America is not easy. I know what it’s like to have people fear you, to have police officers pull you over for no reason, and to be the victim of black on black violence. When I see news stories such as the one where the Oakland BART Police officer murdered a young black male who was on the ground and handcuffed, I cringe. My sons, N, and X are dear to me and I don’t want them to have to experience these things.
  5. My Family’s Health – In another post, I wrote about an 11-year-old boy at my church named Blake who has a rare form of cancer. This diagnosis is every parent’s worst nightmare. Parents want their kids to be healthy, strong, and vibrant well into their adult years. I’m no different. I also worry about my wife’s health. People on both sides of her family have died from cancer. Her annual mammograms always make me anxious. I don’t know what I would do without her.
  6. My Health – Since I was a kid, I’ve had an irrational fear that I would die before I turned 40. Well, I only have a few months to go and I don’t plan to succumb so easily. Last year, I made a conscious decision to lose weight and eat better. I feel better than I ever have, but hypochondria do creep in every now and then. I’ve scheduled checkups because I’ve thought I had a brain tumor, testicular cancer, hepatitis and gout. Of course, I had none of these ailments, but I’ll continue to get my checkups just to be sure.
  7. Maintaining a Healthy Marriage – Marriage is hard work. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. It’s very easy to feel over scheduled and under connected. I strive to make my wife my priority, but life often has other plans for me (See #1 and #2 on my list). My wife and I have been married for eleven years, and I look forward to many more. Things will get stressful over the years, but the good times we have together make it all worth it.
  8. Job/Career – My job duties require me to develop plans and procedures that will prevent people from suffering injuries and illnesses on construction sites. I’m responsible for 8000-10000 people in the US, Canada, Mexico, Poland, and Russia. As you can imagine, my Blackberry is never silent.
  9. Family’s Safety – I especially worry about my family’s safety when I travel for work. I’d hate for something terrible to happen when I’m separated by hundreds of miles.
  10. My Children’s Education – Have you seen the cost of college tuition? It seems nearly impossible for the average family to afford. I can only hope that all three of my children get full scholarships.
  11. Houston’s Traffic – According to Forbes magazine, Houston is #5 on the list of cities with the worst traffic. The traffic in Houston is spirit-crushing. I feel as if I’ve spent years of my life parked on Houston highways and streets. I couldn’t handle the stress of living in cities such as L.A., San Francisco, D.C. or Atlanta.
  12. The Teenage Years – Okay, my kids aren’t teenagers yet. I have five years before my oldest is 13, but it’s looming in the distance like a specter. She already pouts and walks around with a funky mood. I imagine things will only get worse when she reaches the teenage years.

Stay Strong,

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Question: What stresses you out?

About author

Frederick J. Goodall

Frederick J. Goodall is the founder of Mocha Dad - a parenting website focused on fatherhood. He is passionate about parenting and helping men to be great dads, husbands, and role models. You can contact him at or on Twitter at

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