Finding Other Stay-at-Home Dads
There’s a reason why men in the armed services tend to call themselves bands of brothers — they look after one another as if they were blood relatives. The same can be kind of said about SAHDs — we’re on the front line of parenting, taking the hits (dirty diapers), outwitting the enemy (playing chase), fighting the good fight (rough-housing), and going the extra mile (in the stroller, when junior won’t go to sleep).
The Brotherhood of Dads is all about camaraderie between fathers and ensuring that dads gather together and get through any good and bad times they may be experiencing.
Being at home means that you may become slightly isolated, but you can call on your brothers.
Networking as a SAHD
So how do you find these mythical brothers who are going to be your rocks when you need them? SAHDs are more common than they used to be, but they’re still a rare beast, so keep your eyes peeled at the local library, music sessions, playgroups, and coffee groups, or just stroll up to other guys pushing strollers — you don’t need an excuse to start a conversation. You can also ask your healthcare provider if she has other SAHDs on her books or knows of any dad groups in the area.
Basically, just do what the moms do (but in a man kind of way). Get together with other SAHDs at a local coffee shop, go to child-friendly movie sessions, or take turns meeting at each other’s homes. Moms do this all the time, and they are pretty good at it — no reason why dads can’t network too.
Being the only guy in the room
Because most primary caregivers are women, most of the activities that you take your child to, especially in his first year of life, are bound to be full of moms and babies. Being the only guy in the room can be a bit weird. Then again … it can be really cool because you’ll get lots of attention, and in our experience, most moms love the fact that there is a SAHD in the group to add some variety and dad-perspective.
You may even be overrun with moms keen to find out about the male approach to parenting. Single moms may be especially grateful for exposure to male parenting. So enjoy the attention and show you can keep up with the best of the moms!