I recently got a message from a dad-to-be interested in meeting up with group and it got me thinking about that awkward moment of trying to meet up with the group. I thought I would share my story, some basic information about me, in hopes of making Nashdads a little less ubiquitous to a dad looking for a group like ours and nervous about trying to meet us.
When our son was born, my wife and I both worked full-time and we tried maintaining that until he was just over a year old. The problem was, by putting him in daycare he would get sick constantly. When that happened, one of us would lose time working staying home with him, while still having to pay for the missed daycare time. If you added up the cost of daycare, the cost of the extra doctor bills, and the expenses related to going to work... nearly my entire salary was going toward keeping things going for strangers to raise him. So I left work to stay home and we tightened our belt on our finances.
I did a good job of getting out and doing activities with him, but always felt something was missing socially. Most dads can relate to the experience of taking your child somewhere, being surrounded by moms, and nobody wants to talk to you. Anyway, I was fortunate enough to meet a new neighbor who was already part of the group and so I joined up. I still remember the first time I went to a playground for a playgroup when my friend wasn't there. I hadn't met most of the other guys in the group yet. So I was approaching each man I saw with a kid saying, "are you Rick (the organizer at the time)?" Long story short, that awkward moment passed and I have made friendships for both my son and I that I feel will last a long time.
Why am I telling you all this? To hopefully make it easier to reach out and join us. Back to the original example of a dad to be. I think the group could be great support for someone like that. But I can certainly understand not wanting to be a guy without a kid lurking around a playground to meet some strangers. So here's what can be done if you are interested but nervous:
1) If you have kids, and a schedule that allows, by all means, come on out to a playgroup. You can usually spot us as the only group of men on the playground. Sporting our diaper bags, coffee cups, and dad bods. I promise, the awkwardness is brief.
2) If you don't have kids or your schedule doesn't allow it, or you'd just be more comfortable meeting without kids watch for a dad's night out get together. If it helps you can shoot a message first to let us know your coming.
3) Lastly, if both of those seem awkward for you, shoot a message and perhaps we can meet up for lunch or a coffee and quick introduction.
I hope that helps, and puts a slightly more personal face to the group. Why am I so passionate about Nashdads? Because it's a great group of guys who's support has meant so much to me the last two years.
Finally, to to put a little more personalization to this whole rant a little more about me. I'm an average 38 year-old stay home dad. I work part-time time at AutoZone on the weekends. I love being a dad and being with my son. I've attached a picture of me to make me easier to identify. If you hadn't caught it in previous posts, my name is Nate. Hope to see you around!