What we did…
We started out small, but the group grew, I found that like me, most of the men who joined didn’t want to talk about the normal stuff we discussed amongst our friends. They were sharing tips on baby-proofing, debating about vaccinations and sharing photos of our little ones. We could brag about report cards, share pictures of recitals and little league games without worrying about spamming our single buddies or having to deal with their judgment on our changing priorities. Some of us could find support as they wrestled with being single and/or divorced dads. It was a welcome, safe place to really talk about what was happening to us.
What we continue to do…
Our conversations are diverse, and unique. We’ve debated cost vs. function of baby hardware. We give each other advice on 529 education savings accounts and how to talk to our kids about money. Older fathers counsel younger fathers, and we all congratulate new dads and offer them support on the journey they are about to partake. We’ve even taken the show on the road, having organized trips together – from Sesame Place, to ensuring that our annual Fraternity gathering is more family friendly.
And my How We’ve Grown
Now six years old and with over 100 men participating, this group has ended up being exactly what my fraternity brother Rick and I were looking for. Necessity is indeed the “father” of invention, and while this was done mostly virtually, it filled a big hole in my and many other lives.
I am not sure what the reactions have been outside the group, since the conversations are pretty private. This article is perhaps the first public mention of the group outside of those “in the know…” But we do get a steady stream of new dads, who hear about the group and want to join. The continued interest and the success of the first group has inspired the creation of another: “Papi: The Latino Dad’s Group.” Like it’s predecessor, it has begun as a Facebook Page. However, the page, also like the one before it, is a place for positive, active and involved Latino dads, men secure and mature enough to have good conversations and share honestly, so they can support each other in the journey that is fatherhood.