If you follow our blog, you will realize that RedBook Magazine published an article this month that confirms what we have been blabbing about for quite some time – communities of dads are forming across the nation in a big way! And not just in the major metropolitan cities either. Check out Happy to Be a Stay at Home Dad: Stay-at-home dads are forming groups all over the country By Douglas Quenqua (a talented writer based in NYC).
Quenqua takes a tour around the country by spotlighting four large groups of dads: Washington D.C., Austin, Kansas City, and Portland. These groups vary in size from 75 – 500 members, but you will notice from the numerous dads quoted in the article that these fathers are confident in their role as being nurturing, active, and totally involved in their children’s lives. For me, reading the article was entertaining because I would consider one of our coolest NYC dad Group outings as renting a Luxury Box at the Staten Island Yankees Game with our children….and that is so different than the Kansas City dudes who went as a group with their kids to NASCAR…and met Danica Patrick!
Quenqua writes, “There are support networks aplenty if you’re a stay-at-home mom, but if you’re a full-time dad, good luck gaining entry. “I know what an episiotomy is, but if you’re a woman, you probably don’t want to talk about it with me,” says Shannon Carpenter, a dad in Kansas City, MO, who, like a growing number of American men, stays home to care for his two kids. Feeling a bit out of place at local mommy-and-me classes, Shannon and other fathers have banded together into what might be described as fraternities for 30-somethings: stay-at-home-dad groups. Some form after guys meet at their kids’ school functions, others are born out of Facebook groups and Craigslist postings; most of them meet at least once a week, usually at a playground or one guy’s home. And memberships are rising.”
Sure, local park, playground, and museum outings and playgroup at someone’s home is covered in the article. Yes, dads groups are a necessity for guys who like to do so much on their own for socialization and support as they navigate parenthood. Other important things that dads groups are doing that was not mentioned are partnering with local parenting organizations to establish better resources for fathers like new dads classes as well as daddy & me classes, hosting workshops covering common parenting topics like preschool admissions, potty training, introducing solid foods, and discipline, hosting meaningful screenings and author discussions to equip us with tools and best practices on becoming a better dad, using websites and social media to share articles and resources, and working with their local community to move the conversation forward about fatherhood. Additionally, I would like to add, that many of the dads groups these days are not strictly for Stay-at-Home-Dads…they are open to dads of all stripes including working dads who do not get enough credit.
Huge props to RedBook Magazine for recognizing the surge and necessity of dads groups as well as our friends in Kansas City, D.C, Portland, and Austin for providing such a positive image of fatherhood!