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14th May 2024

Carl Mullan opens up about the complexities of fatherhood

Sophie Collins

Carl Mullan

Carl Mullan is breaking the silence and giving voice to the seldom-discussed challenges and triumphs of fatherhood

In a candid interview with the Irish Times, Carl delved into the complexities of navigating fatherhood while juggling professional responsibilities and personal well-being. 

Welcoming a child into the world is both a joyful and an undeniably daunting experience.

Sharing insights from his journey as a father to Daibhí, three, and Éala, nine months, Carl revealed how he sought professional guidance to navigate the intricacies of parenthood.

In a profession that exposes him to public scrutiny and occasional harsh criticism, Carl said that brings with it internal struggles. 

“I’m going home and something that someone said is playing on your mind,” he reflected. “But then you’re like, ‘I need to be here for my kids and for my wife. I don’t want to be distracted.'”

The process of seeking professional help not only addressed immediate challenges but also unearthed deeper issues for Carl, including body image insecurities and potential traits of ADHD. 

He candidly admitted to being overly critical of himself, particularly regarding his physical appearance and time management skills.

Reflecting on his newfound understanding of neurodiversity and its potential impact on his life, Carl finds solace in acknowledging and embracing these newly discovered facets of his identity. 

“To be honest, even when I was speaking through it, I actually felt huge relief when I thought, ‘actually, hang on a minute, there might be a little bit of neurodiversity there,'” he shared.

Navigating anxiety, potential ADHD, and fatherhood, Carl confronted feelings of guilt and distraction head-on. 

However, now that he was armed with self-awareness and a renewed sense of purpose, he remained strong in his commitment to prioritising his role as a father above all else.

“If my kids can say ‘he’s a class dad’ that’s my job done,” Carl said. “I would never want my anxiety to impact my ability to be a great dad.”

Carl Mullan shines a much-needed light on the complex journey that is fatherhood, and as he continues to navigate the joys and challenges of parenthood, Carl’s openness serves as an example of resilience for fathers everywhere.