The first thing I noticed as a stay at home dad was the difficulty in being to arrange ‘play dates’ with other kids’ parents. Sure, going to BilinguaSing or Baby Sensory classes was a great way to get our daughter used to other children and interacting with them. But at the end of the session, the other mums would leave, perhaps to meet with other mums for a coffee and for their children to play together, whilst I would go back home and wonder how I would fill the rest of the day entertaining my daughter.
Now, I’ve no shortage of friends – male and female I hasten to add – but when it comes to the parent staying at home, I’m the only chap. So this puts me in somewhat of a unique position. Whilst I’m seen as somewhat of an oddity (possibly even a novelty) in an environment primarily dominated women, there still seems some reluctance for Mums to approach me and introduce themselves. Now, ordinarily I’d have no problem being the instigator as a career in sales has honed my ‘breaking the ice’ and networking skills to a tee. However, in this environment it feels a bit creepy if I were to do that; maybe it’s just me? I mean, is not like I’m a single man on the prowl in a bar. I’m a married man in my 40’s with a baby strapped to his chest. Not exactly threatening.
Thankfully, a handful of friends that my wife made whilst going to pregnancy yoga classes or baby massage, were happy to meet me for a coffee or go go swimming with our respective babies. As humans, our natural instinct is to find company amongst others like us. Whether it’s to talk, ask for advice, laugh or even cry on a willing shoulder. I think it’s fundamental to want to be part of a group.
Anyway, I just thought I’d put it out there as it has been playing on my mind for a while and I just wondered if any other Stay At Home Dads (#SAHD) felt the same or if any Mums have experienced a Dad being the only one in their baby and toddler groups, and what you did to make them feel welcome.