November 2008. It’s a mom, mom, mom, mom world of parenting.
Mom-centric “parenting” publications, blogs and advertisements. “Mommy & Me” classes. Mom’s Night Out parties. The “maternal instinct” apparently needs lots of advice, support and nurturing from the media and society.
So what about dads?
Lance Somerfeld and Matt Schneider, friends and former teaching colleagues at a New York City public school, had each decided to take on the challenge of being the primary caregiver in their families out of a desire to play an active role in the raising of their kids and out of practicality – financial, logistical and otherwise. However, they often found themselves isolated. They’d be the only fathers at kiddie exercise or crafts classes, shunned by moms’ groups, and ignored at the playground simply because of their gender.
There must be other dads – whether at-home or working, married or single, gay or straight – who were looking for that same kind of parental camaraderie and network that the mothers they encountered had built and relied upon?
There wasn’t. So they started NYC Dads Group.
Initially composed of a handful of fathers wanting to arrange playdates and outings with their children, it grew to more than 900 dads who bond over their children and a desire to change the face of modern fatherhood through word, deed, and example.
Buoyed by their success, they decided in 2013 to expand the concept throughout the United States by helping start similar groups in other major metropolitan areas under the umbrella name City Dads Group.
CITY DADS GROUP LEADERS
Lance Somerfeld lives with his wife and two children in New York City. He frequently contributes to the conversation about modern fatherhood, work-life balance, shifting gender roles, and brand’s marketing to dads. He has appeared on local and national television, including CNN, Fox News, Today and Katie. He has been quoted by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Time Out Kids, GQ, Parenting and The Atlantic.
Matt Schneider lives with his wife and two sons in New York City. He has contributed to The Huffington Post, Quartz, New York Family Magazine, TimeToPlayMag.com and has been quoted in The New York Times, USA Today, Bloomberg Businessweek, and CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood. Matt hosts The Modern Dads Podcast, a monthly show highlighting stories of 21st century dads and families.
Kevin McKeever runs the one-man Write On, Kevin! McKeever Communications between his duties as an at-home dad to three: boy, girl and canine. This Connecticut suburb boy writes a nationally award-winning newspaper column for The Advocate of Stamford, Conn., blogs at Always Home and Uncool and tweets as @homeanduncool. He has swapped dog grooming tips with Heloise from “Hints with Heloise” on National Public Radio and, on national TV, Katie Couric called him “hot.” His work has been featured in USA Today, Canada’s Globe and Mail, the New York Daily News, and landfills worldwide.