It seems like ages since I last posted despite it only being six days. It has been an eventful period of time including our visit to the babywearer’s group, my first solo overnight with O, and a death in the family. Currently I’m staying with family near Philadelphia so that I can attend a funeral tomorrow. My wife is home taking care of him while I here. I find that blogging helps take my mind off of things so I will attempt to cover all of this ground in my next few posts. This post will focus will be on the babywearer’s group that my wife and I attended this past Saturday.
I will begin by briefly recounting our first visit to this group together several months back. It was a small gathering of parents with at least one dad and interesting mix of crunchy and average moms. By crunchy I mean one ha dreads and a toddler who walked over and pushed her shirt out of the way to breastfeed. By average I mean parents who were interested in the carriers and had varying levels of interest in cloth diapers and breastfeeding. I had some very nice conversations with the parents there and overall enjoyed the experience. My wife bought two different carriers, uses them regularly and has attended multiple meetings since. Neither of us has seen more than 12 people there and generally there’s a dad or two.
This past Saturday was a bit different for a couple of reasons. The first was that I was there and was quite excited about it. I wanted to try out a structured carrier and potentially buy one, plus I was hoping some other dads would be there that I could tell about my blog and facebook page to hopefully get a ct stay at home dads group up and running. I also pictured the small low key and not intimidating group I attended several months back. I walked into a group of roughly twenty moms and lots of babies and toddlers crammed into a relatively small space with limited seating. I got to try out a Boba Carrier and I loved it but O isn’t quite big enough. Diana was nice enough to help me with the carrier, and suggested that we might be able to prop him up higher in the carrier to make it work for the next month or so. I can’t see spending $100+ for a carrier that he won’t fit into yet. A friend is also giving me her carriers to try so that might hold me over until he is big enough for the Boba. My wife learned how to do a back carry with her woven wrap and he seemed to like it, but I found myself a bit sidelined because I was not interesting in the various wraps all the moms were trying out. There were no other dads there, although one mom did say her husband was staying at home to take care of their child and might be interested in what I was trying to do.
I will go back to the group again because I have seen that it isn’t an necessarily an overwhelming experience but I can’t see myself going back if I am going to be the only dad in a sea of moms and kids. Its a bit overwhelming to be the only guy in such a noisy and prolactin fueled environment. Everyone was very nice but I felt more like some sort of rare bird. Most moms I talked to thought it was great I was there, but seemed surprised at the same time. “We want you to be an involved dad, but we are surprised when you are” seemed to be the general sentiment. I need to get used to this kind of reaction because it seems to be a common one when I do amazing things like “show up” and “change a diaper.” So dads out there, any thoughts or stories about showing up to a group or event and being the only dad there? Maybe some of you have had some interesting reactions to doing basic parenting things? Leave a your story below in the comments section or on the facebook page!