Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Sad Dad Bad Had
While reading Hop on Pop, which is another game my kids love to play I came across this image. Ever have one of those days? I can honestly say that staying at home is the greatest job ever and that I am closer to my kids because of it. However, just like any job there are frustrations and failures, some even of epic proportions. What happens when you don't have anyone to share your experiences, failures, or accomplishments with?
Recently, I got into one of these funks. After the convention I was riding a high. It was indescribable what it feels like to go to a place where all the dads are like you. Most of them even dressed like me in the goofy T-shirts and cargo shorts, so it made me feel like I was a part of something bigger. I was excited and was raring to find other dads like me that I could start a group with in my area. Then, I got a dose of reality. I would spot a guy alone with some kids and I would ask him if he was a stay at home dad anxious to talk about my new group and my ideas with someone. Dad after dad said something like "I am just helping out today" or "Just giving my wife the day off" and it became disheartening.
My wife had to remind me that I am still in the minority even though we are a growing number and that in time, I would have my group. We are planning a group that will focus on other dads in my area. I am hoping that by creating the group that dads will find me and not only allow my kids to socialize but for me to make friends as well. It has been about a year since we moved here and while I "know" most of my neighbors, finding guys who do the same things or experience the same things really is going to be key in pulling me out of this feeling of despair.
Unfortunately, when I get down it affects my mood and my desire to run things smoothly. Your kids will notice it. Mine did. My son asked me "Why are you so sad? You don't seem as happy as you used to be" If I were in a corporate job right now I would most certainly be on a performance plan. After the convention I was excited and full of ideas and when it didn't immediately come to fruition I shut down a bit. I think it is mostly due to the fact that stay at home dads can often feel like they are isolated. I know that this is not the case nationally as I am part of the National At Home Dad Network but locally getting connected to other dads is key.
So, if you are an at home dad and you are feeling left out. Seek out Meetup groups in your area. Do a search for stay at home dads in your town. I am doing something about it. I found Main Line Dads and contacted another dad in the Philly area. Things are looking up for my group. You are not alone and neither am I.