What a New Dad Wants
Paul Nyhan from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer's 'Working Dad' blog penned an interesting article on the topic of fathers' support groups recently. He describes the comparative lack of training on how to be a father and lack of gatherings for new fathers with the volumes of books, classes and support groups available to new mothers. Why is this? Nyhan answers his own query by saying that perhaps us guys don't seek out this type of training and coordinated bonding - in other words, "maybe we don't need no stinkin' daddy groups."
I have to agree. I like to hang out with other dads, absolutely, but I would generally consider it a chore to show up at a class with them every week. Back when M was a baby, Amy and I did take a New Parents Class and met some other clueless peers - one couple of which are close friends today. But I can't imagine signing up for something like this if Amy hadn't suggested it.
Is this because Amy's in charge and I'm along for the ride? I beg to differ. I just don't do the class thing, but if you ask me how I learned to clean up projectile vomit or handle a ripe diaper without a spare at the park, I can assure you it isn't because Amy instructed me.
Nyhan has another great quote in his 'Working Father' blog that references his article on support for new fathers. This from Jason Avant, author of the blog Dadcentric: "My mantra when we had our first kid was 'I am not an idiot.' As in, 'Jason, remember, when the baby has a poopie diaper, he needs to be changed!' 'Thanks, honey, I am not an idiot.' We don't actually need a lot of 'help.' What we do need is encouragement and support." Spot on, Jason. Thank you.