Next time you’re at playgroup, look around, how many dads do you see? Chances are, not many. Playgroups are female-dominated environments. Most primary carers are women, and even though there are increasing numbers of stay at home dads, women still outnumber the men at baby groups. It can be pretty daunting to be a stay at home dad amongst a sea of moms, but you can change that by being a friendly face each week. Here are five reasons why you should talk to the dad at playgroup:
- You might be the only one
Playgroups vary wildly, but some can be remarkably unfriendly. If you think the moms at playgroup are cliquey, imagine how much harder it is for a man to break into that group! Some dads report feeling invisible at playgroups, but you have the power to change this. Reach out and make a new friend. The stay at home dads long for inclusion just as you do, so help a guy out by being friendly.
- He knows what you’re going through
He’s a man so he pees standing up, but aside from that, you’re actually pretty similar. He’s going through the same sleep regressions, weaning worries and separation anxiety that you are. Ok, these might not be topics you’d whip out in a bar to a chat to a guy you don’t know, but rest assured, they’ll be easy talking points with a stay at home dad. Don’t assume he doesn’t care about these things just because he’s a man. If he’s staying home to look after his baby, you can assume he’s into all that stuff and more.
- He could be a new couple friend
As the mom, it’s pretty easy for you to make new friends. You spend your maternity leave at baby groups and on coffee dates with mom friends. You’ll end up with a decent support circle around you. Your partner may not be so lucky. If he’s still working during your leave, he may not make those important social connections. If he’s the first of his friends to have a baby, it can be a pretty isolating experience. By becoming friendly with the dads at playgroup, you’re widening your social circle and finding friends your partner might like as well.
- Your baby will learn about gender equality
We live in an equal world, right? So why are women still the ones doing most of the unpaid labor when it comes to childcare and housework? If you’re hoping to set a good example for your kids, it’s easy to feel guilty when you find yourself stepping into the role of primary carer. Fear not, stay at home dad can help with this problem. He can play an important role in your baby’s life simply by showing that it’s not always the moms who stay home, dads can be primary carers too!
- He might be awesome
It’s hard to predict which people you’ll get on with and which you won’t. Instead of judging the stay at home dad, give him the chance to get to know you. If he turns out to be an awesome guy, you might just have yourself another friend for life. After all, in this haze of sleepless night, diaper changes and cluster feeds, you could do with all the help you can get.
Do you have any stay at home dad friends?
Written by Fiona (@Fiona_Peacock), mother, writer and lover of all things baby related.
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.