Stay At Home Dads: How To Become Less Isolated

Stay At Home Dads: How To Become Less Isolated

Being a stay at home dad can be a lonely place. You may not interact with another adult all day – how can you begin to alleviate isolation?

Bonds Are Formed

Being at home and present for your children is hugely beneficial for both parent and child. For the children it increases their bond with their main caregiver; it gives them a sense of security, routine and familiarity to be able to flourish. For the parent it also aids in their bonding and re-enforces the importance of the responsibility you have in raising a child. After-all, the first few years of a child’s life can shape their future. It is where brain connections are formed, secure relationships are created, and their personality evolves.

Where Are All The Other Stay At Home Dads?

But being a stay at home dad can be a lonely place at times. Especially for a dad, as there are far fewer of them around. Most organised get-togethers and parent groups are attended predominantly by females. A dad can often feel out of place by this and may not even bother trying them out. And isolation can therefore increase.

Its Probably In Your Head, So Give It A Go

Female dominant groups should not be a threat as we are all parents. But there may be an underlying feeling amongst dad’s that these groups are a space for mums. And any dad who attends may be perceived by him as a token or a surprise. In my experience, this is not true. Yes, baby groups are very female orientated and clear cliques are formed amongst groups, but I never felt I was being watched or judged as a dad attending these fun-filled sessions with my daughter. You need to be brave and take the plunge in giving them a go.

Some Options For Stay At Home Dads

Getting involved in your community
This depends on your personality, but if you are an outgoing type of person, you may wish to get involved with your local church. Activities and events include breakfast mornings with your kids, fun-days and family events such as Messy Church – where families are welcome to attend church…to get messy! Give your local sing-a-long group a go. Once you get over the initial embarrassment of singing, ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ amongst strangers, you may be surprised at how much you (and your baby of course) enjoy it. You get out what you put in. If you don’t make the effort with other parents when attending, they will more than likely ignore you also. It is all about being confident in yourself and making that first move. Baby and toddler groups are not everyone’s cup of tea, granted, and some are soulless, but with the correct research you may be able to find the right one to suit you. (and your child).
Children and Family Centre
Find your local centre to research what they can offer you as a stay at home dad. All offer something uniquely different – if it is just a simple space to be amongst adults chatting and watching their kids play freely, then try it out. All it takes is to strike up one conversation and your isolation may begin to diminish.  Who knows you may find other lonely dads in the same position as yourself. Sensory rooms are a fantastic alternative. These are usually hired out for the hour with other parents and can be a great place for your child to be introduced to their senses. All the while you are surrounded by like-minded parents.
Friends who are dads
Being a stay at home dad, you will have quickly realised that you will be few and far between – especially within your own network of friends. Do any of your current dad friends work shifts — meaning they are potentially available with their children during the week? Give them a call and meet up.
Meet your partner at work for lunch
Having a breadwinner and a stay at home parent can inevitably cause some tension in your own relationship. You may be passing ships in the night or may simply not have as many meaningful moments together as you once did. If your partner works reasonably close to your home, arrange to meet during their lunch break. Not only will it put a smile on you and your kid’s face, but it may make your partners day. Before you know it, other partners are doing the same and you have a regular meet-up at lunch times!
Research and join a dad network group
Sometimes stay at home dads just want to be around other dads to talk about man stuff. More and more groups are out there which aim to bring lonely dad’s together. Even if it is just initially online network building, this can lead on to organised meetups. These can be times when you can all chat and discuss the trials and tribulations of fatherhood; perhaps let off a little steam, or maybe just somewhere you can be to make new friends.

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