Thursday, August 22, 2013

The At Home Dads Convention 2013

The At-Home Dad Network is one of the most important organisations I've come across. When I became a stay-at-home-dad (well, there's no ceremony involved. I simply quit my job), I thought I was the only one there--the only man in a world of stay-at-home-moms. Quickly, self-doubts popped up: There must have been something wrong with me--why else would I fail to find a real job? I thought about that while holding the baby I loved, unable to see the reality of my situation.

I wouldn't say I was brought up in an environment of strict division of labor. Both of my parents worked, and although my mom was the default cook/cleaner in the house, my dad did his share. And still, I wasn't prepared to be the first one to stay home with the kid and switch centuries-old norms. I still felt that salary defined men. And even if I could overcome that, the loneliness, and the weight of feeling like a pioneer in this unknown territory was debilitating.

And that's why the At-Home Dad Network is so important. Beyond the advocacy they do, and the annual convention that brings many of us together, simply the page on the site, listing all the local groups of stay-at-home-dads is a life-saver. It tells us we're not alone--there are many like us: men who didn't expect to be stay-at-home-dads, but do it now, because it's what they need to do, and that for me is the absolute definition of strength. A weak person, I've come to realize, would have stayed at his job because of fear, but by staying home to raise my kids, allowing my wife the opportunity to concentrate fully on her career, I was being a freakin' superhero. Hey, at least in my head.

This year, the convention is in Denver. There's a very good chance I'll be there, because it's important. And because it's fun. And because when else am I going to be in Denver? Click on the picture below to go to the site, where you'll be able to see me in the header image, my face completely hidden behind text. Hey, I understand.

At Home Dads Convention


See you in Denver, hopefully!





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4 comments:

  1. Ooo - I wouldn't miss a chance to be in Colorado, if I could!!! I hope you make it, and thanks for being a pioneer. Much credit and kudos to you AND your wife. :)

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  2. LeticiaTechSavvyMamaAugust 22, 2013 at 9:51 PM

    When I decided to stay home with my first born, a colleague remarked that our generation was making it cool for moms to stay at home again. Fast forward just 9 years and now it's also cool for dads to stay home with their kids. I love that there's a network for dads just as there has been for moms for years and look forward to hearing more about your experience at the convention!

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  3. Thanks. I was at the convention last year, but it was in North VA, so it was easy to just drive there with two guys from our Baltimore SAHD group. The group is not very active any more, which is a shame--we just couldn't find someone to take over once the founder's kids started school. Still, there are very active groups in other places, and hopefully the feeling of isolation is gradually disappearing.

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  4. Thanks. It's definitely a team effort. We're both making different types of sacrifices to make it work, and I fell like we're both, pretty much, where we need to be.

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