To all stay at home dads, I say "Welcome to the club! You'll like it here...stay awhile." Some of you may be in this position by choice, others not-so-much, given the times. I made the choice in mid 2010 to quit a great paying job in the Healthcare IT field to take care of our first child. Not an easy choice at the time, and I do miss the work environment, but the daily rewards of being the primary caregiver is totally worth it.
Enough about me (you'll learn more later), the vision for this blog is much bigger than me or my son, it is about getting dads out of the house, off the keyboard and integrated to a new culture...the stay-at-home culture. Currently and traditionally monopolized by moms, we dads are breaking through...quickly yet quietly, for all the right reasons.
Thank you for staying interested...this is my first blog/post...please keep reading.
Ever say to yourself, "I have to get out of the house! I know, I'll go to a park, meet some parents, get my kid some social interaction and some fresh air."? Depending on where you live, the park/air may be great, but the interaction with other parents can be disappointing...almost depressing. The following was my first experience out of the house with my son:
2/10/11: We went to a great park with lots of fresh air...I found a nice shady tree to set up under...and looked for some approachable parents to mingle with. A few moms were gathered over by the swings, some with infants in hand, others watching with one eye as their kids were playing. I walked around parading my adorable 3mo old son, hoping to catch the eye of the group. Perhaps they could smell my fear, or it was an unspoken territorial thing that moms have, but I got nothing...not even a distant smile. In fact, I think some of them shuffled around to keep their backs to me. My son could care less...I think he was sleeping...but I felt like the new kid on the first day of school. I continued to cruise around the park, alone. After a few laps I sat on a bench. Eventually a mother and daughter sat down beside me (probably cuz the other benches were full). She started the conversation with "Aww...how cute...daddy's day out.". That didn't help. :-/
It was after explaining to her "this is my job", that I decided to step up...to be proud and revel in the responsibility I held. Not just for me, or my son...but for all of the stay at home dads. (insert Oscar/Braveheart speech here) I knew (hoped) that there were many others out there, looking for a social outlet to balance hobbies and family life. Men who wanted to talk about beer, cars, hobbies and kids w/o getting bogged down in birth-weight, breast-feeding or shopping...common themes overheard as I walked around the park.
I decided to visit to my local baby boutique (Green Pea Baby in Apex, NC, www.greenpeababystore.com) to look for some advise. Thankfully, they were not only excited to see us, but jumped at the opportunity to provide me the outlet I was looking for...a lead on the www.meetup.com group for Raleigh Stay At Home Dads. Hallelujah!!!! Now lets just hope they aren't a bunch of sissys talking about birth-weight and breast feeding. :-/