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Dad taking over

(18 Posts)
Londonista Mon 27-Oct-08 12:39:46

Hi all, I'm going back to work shortly when my son will be 6 months old, and his Daddy will be taking over the full-time care role. He's very nervous that all the activities and groups etc around here (Tooting Bec) are for mums only and he will feel like a freak if he turns up at them with the nipper. One of our friends has even inadvertently suggested other mums might think he's a pedophile!!! To try and ease his mind, I'm trying to make a list of activities that are more "daddy friendly" - e.g. swimming classes, so he has a few regular weekly gigs in his calendar where he might meet other dads (and mums). I've had a lot of support from meeting up with my NHS and NCT mothers groups over the past few months, and I'd like him to have the same help and support if he needs it.
Anyone got any suggestions of dad-friendly activities I can add to my list?

MyPumpkinDsHappyHalloweenBday Mon 27-Oct-08 12:44:27

Who would say pedophile, thats just nasty. I would NEVER think that,its lovely that a daddy can take his baby out to activities.

Sorry not much advice (will have a think),
my god what has the world come to.

Londonista Mon 27-Oct-08 12:52:02

I know - we were a bit shocked - as was my friend when she realised what she'd said! I think he's worried that if he gets chatting to other mums at a group at best people might think he's a bit weird for being a stay at home Dad and at worst they might think he's trying to pick them up!!, I said that hopefully all he needs to do is start dropping "mummy" into very first conversations and that will put minds at rest.

MyPumpkinDsHappyHalloweenBday Mon 27-Oct-08 13:00:47

How sad to actually say it to you aswell.
He sounds like a fantastic daddy btw, and is probally worrying now.
Your friend (soon to be ex) is very jelous I would say. How mean to say that.
Is there any music groups, tumble tots kind of things.There is more dads taking dd's to dancing than mums in our class.

Good LUck.

MrsMattie Mon 27-Oct-08 13:05:16

I know a few stay at home dads. It's getting more and more common, too.If he can be very brave and just get stuck in, I'm 100% sure he will find it much, much easier to make friends than he anticipates (eventually!).

M&T groups can be a bit cliquey even for some mums (I hated them), but activity based groups and plenty of trips to the local park might be a good place to start. FWIW, my DH always seems to make friends and end up chatting to people more easily than I do when he takes our DS out [jealous emoticon!]

Kewcumber Mon 27-Oct-08 13:07:01

I hate motehr and toddelr groups - never really got into them. No-one talks to me and I feel old and fat. So feeling differnt isn;t restricted to men!

I think a more organised activity with other paretns oonce or twice a week is a good idea - music group, baby massge etc.

Also I think there are a few MN'ers aorunf the tooting/streatham/brixton area who seem very friendly with younger children I'd get him to meet with them as once they are friedsn it doesn;t really matter if male or female just "parent" IYSWIM.

Londonista Mon 27-Oct-08 13:10:43

Thanks, we live really close to the park so I'm sure he'll be over there a lot. He's really into exercise as well so I thought the creche at local gyms might also yield a few dad-pals. Mind you, good luck to him if he thinks he's going to have time to go and work-out every day!!
I'm sure other dads feel the same way so I'm sure they'll gravitate towards each other for security when the opportunity arises!

Kewcumber Mon 27-Oct-08 13:15:24

trying to make a few local friends with childrne similar age is really important though otherwise you become really isolated. Also they have child-proof houses which is much more relaxing!

Kewcumber Mon 27-Oct-08 13:15:36

once they start walking of course!

permanentvacation Sun 02-Nov-08 07:55:23

Tell him not to worry about it. I'm a full time SAHD and I have found other parents (mostly women) very accepting. Baby and Toddler groups can be off-putting for women as well as men, some folk are a bit shy/cliquey. I find the best thing to do is go up to people and talk to them, and then they don't worry about having to break the ice first.

The usual response I have from women is "wow - you look after you kids and let your wife continue her career, that's fantastic". The only prejudice against SAHDs are in advertising (how many dads are shown cooking the meals in adverts for chips?), government policy announcements ("the government announced today more support for women returning to work after looking after children...") and some district nurses. Otherwise I reckon I get more respect and kudos than women doing the job, which annoys me a bit because I think women looking after their children are special and need to be told more.

The role can be as connected or isolated as you make it. There will always be some mums who are happy with their existing social circles, and you won't get further than saying hello at various groups. But there are plenty who are friendly, happy to bring their kids round to play, will stop and chat when you meet them in the street, etc.

I suppose one last thing is for you to give him a bit of space to go out and do bloke things in the evenings, even if you are shattered from a hard day at work. He will need more than continuous childcare followed by lots of time at home. It might feel that he is in the house/flat all day and he could go stir crazy! If he knows that Wednesday night is pub night/football night/wargaming evening/whatever then it will give him something to look ahead to and some structure in his week that he knows is special time just for him.

ToughDaddy Sun 02-Nov-08 08:10:10

i am a working dad but do my fair share of childcare with 3DCs. Definitely not true that moms think of u a s pedophile -that was just a silly joke. People are

I took DC to local TumbleTots and people were friendly and normal about it.

Swimming classes is a good one.

mankymummy Sun 02-Nov-08 08:35:16

my male friend who is a SAHD has a whale of a time at all the baby activities. All the other mothers coo over him and make a fuss... makes his wife quite jealous !!!!

singsong Sun 02-Nov-08 08:41:16

When i went to parent and toddler group there were 2 dads who attended. It didn't seem weird and I never thought they were trying to pick up women. Pedophile never even crossed my mind.

firsttimemama Sun 02-Nov-08 09:45:09

I have never heard anything so ridiculous as him being thought of a Pedophile. Your "friend" must be seriously thick. IME dads at M&T groups get a very welcome response if only for the novelty factor. There is a fair degree of shiftworking where I live and I often see Dads pushing prams, collecting kids from school and minding their children on days off. Good luck to your partner.

misi Sun 02-Nov-08 13:41:20

the paedophile thing can be real. I regularly take my neices and nephews to swimming lessons. one day a new mum to the poolside went to the management. an attendant came and asked me if I would sit outside as one of the mums was worried I was looking at the girls. after a discussion I asked the attendant for the pools solicitors name. before anything else could be said, another mum, someone I had known at school jumped up and told the complaining mum to grow up and F off!!
it is not widespread, but this mum did have a problem. her eldest daughter had been abused so although I cannot condone her behaviour, I do partly understand her although she should not bring her kids to a public pool if she is not confident about doing so.

anyway, when I was main carer for my son, I rather enjoyed going to the groups that were around. some of the places men can think of as scary cos there are only mums there can be quite good. at the baby massage group, I had a couple of mums who tried to ''mother'' me and were always talking to me and towrad the end we were all getting a bit flirty!!
but then that was the case in some other groups too. in most groups I was the only father and instead of being shunned as many men may think, I was often positively involved by the mums. many of these mums thought it was great that I was so heavily involved in my sons care and I made some very good friends.
so londonista, tell your DH there is nothing to worry about, mums are friendly people and the groups can be lots of fun (if not flirty sometimes grin, oops shouldn't really say that to you huh londonista!!)

amidaiwish Sun 02-Nov-08 13:46:46

the Little Gym class i took my DDs to had plenty of Dads there even midweek. The saturday morning class is 90% Dads.

Def agree with starting off with more activity based classes rather than sit and chat as the children play groups. They are hard even for the most friendly/confident/sociable mum.

DustyTv Sun 02-Nov-08 13:50:54

Our local sure start centre has weekly things geared more towards dads and their DC (Mums also), but mostly dads. If you have sure start then contact them and see if they can help.

I cant beleive your friend would think of a paedophile if a dad took his DC to activities shock she sounds stoopid TBH.

Good luck Mr londonista.

HolidaysQueen Sun 02-Nov-08 14:14:02

about paedophile comment. I love seeing dads out with their babies and think it is fab that your DP is going to be ooking after your DS.

I think organised activities rather than just playgroups that are really just a chance for mums to gossip are probably better for him.

Several dads come to our Gymboree classes and I'd recommend those although they are fairly expensive. Swimming classes would definitely be good.

Local libraries often do nursery rhyme sessions.

Does your local NCT publish a quarterly magazine or something? Ours does and has great listings in the back of all the different activities in the area. I have a ball skills / obstacle type thing earmarked that DS can do with his dad when he is old enough - about 10mo I think.

Also given you are in London it wouldn't surprise me if there are some dads groups lurking somewhere. Perhaps worth a good google search.

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