Monday, October 8, 2012

We Are Not Alone Dads!

If you are a stay at home dad and you think you are alone, you are not and I can tell you how to get connected to other dads in your area. This past weekend I attended the National At Home Dad Convention in Washington, DC. This experience was one that I will never forget. As a SAHD myself, I have often felt isolated and alone because in my area, women are the majority of primary caregivers. Being around all these women all the time can be difficult because as a man we are often missing out in quality guy time with another dad.

The At Home Dad Network changed all of this. I found it quite by accident doing a search on stay at home dad blogs. When I came upon the fact that they offered an actual convention that supports, educates, advocates, and provides a community for stay at home dads I was blown away. I was so excited in fact that I ran into the living room yelling to my wife "They have a convention for people like me...Dads that stay at home!" I immediately knew that I wanted to attend and while I am logistically challenged, somehow I made it so with my wife's help of course. She agreed to take on the responsibilities at home, called in a grandma for assistance, and put her own work on hold (at least for a few days).

I was driving there from Philly, ALONE. I could blast my stereo and no one was adjusting the volume. I could stop when I wanted to and take as many rest stop breaks as I deemed necessary. I may be huge but I have the bladder of a small child. I drove to DC, checked into the hotel and was amped to meet up with the other dads. Immediately, I knew that this is where I belonged. Each and every guy there was easy to talk to and I am sure they, like me were excited to have some conversation with other guys that didn't include discussion about Legos, Barbies, diapers, or bottles for a change.

The convention was hosted by DC Metro Dads who put together an awesome four days of activities around their home city. Not only did I get to see all that Washington DC had to offer but I spent an entire day attending discussions and listening to speakers who helped me become a better father. I even had an opportunity for a service project so that I could volunteer my time to help out local families at the DC Food Bank.

The speakers brought about "aha! moments" where I could relate to my own experiences and in the future apply what I learned so that I can communicate better with my children. I also had to opportunity to get to know lots of other dads from all over the country and even help them out with my experience. The convention is an unparalleled resource for us stay at home dads and it shouldn't be missed.

If you missed this year join us next year September 28th, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. You can find more information about the National Stay At Home Dad Network on their Facebook page or at the At Home Dad Network website

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