Today, our dads group achieved a milestone: NYC dads group reached 200 members. This group is a true melting pot of dad-diversity. There are full-time at home dads, part-time at home dads, dads who work full-time in an office, freelance journalists, photographers, teachers with ample vacation and summers off, self employed guys, work from home fathers, numerous dads who chose their role to be an at-home dad, a few forced into the role by the economy, dads born on U.S. soil, guys born abroad, fellas of all ethnic backgrounds, dads who are diehards that come to all of the events, dads who only attend events in their neighborhood, and some dads who don’t attend any group events. That said, we all share a common bond of being active and involved fathers in NYC who put our children first.
Truth be told, if it were not for the support of the group, I probably would have been back at work months ago. It’s been nice to hear similar statements from several of the core group members who are at-home dads as well.
Reaching a milestone with the group has left me in a mode of reflection. If a dads group has been so instrumental for me in providing a support network, a necessary tool to beat the isolation, and a safe place where my son can interact with other kids…then, it was time to collaborate with our dads group members (using an unscientific survey method) to develop a TOP TEN LIST on why dads should join a dads group. I figured that there are still so many dads out there (in New York and around the country) in need of support and more resources…so here is what we came up with.
Why Should You Join a Dads Group?
10. It’s a healthy social outlet – meeting up with other dads and their kids can be a great way to spend part of your day hanging out (or talking sports) with people in a similar situation as yourself
9. Feels like a fraternity (a dad-ternity) with guys who understand your situation
8. Safe place to share best practices, enjoy successes, and vent frustrations
7. You can learn a lot from other dads, like what to do when your toddler’s answer to every question is, “No!”
6. Dads Night Out (DNO) once a month – “Nuff said” – True story: parenting had been so challenging for one particular dad in the group that DNO actually forced him to get out socially without his wife for the first time in over a year
5. To support each other through an extremely challenging job
4. Enable our kids to frequently socialize, bond, and play together
3. To have a place where you can continue playing Fantasy Sports (or participate in an NCAA bracket pool) – “Because 2-year-olds aren’t going to help you decide between Drew Brees and Peyton Manning”
2. Participate in fun and interesting things that you probably would not do on your own
1. So you do not have to go through it alone! Let’s face it, guys do not always like to ask for help and directions
Hopefully, this top ten list will give a few dads the gentle nudge they need to throw in the towel and just join a group (or start their own group if one does not exist). There are certainly more benefits to being a member of a dads group. Any other dads want to chime in here…