Dad-to-Dad is an international network of at-home fathers created to help combat the sense of isolation that all at-home parents and their children experience. Dad-to-Dad members meet weekly for playgroups and monthly for Dad's-Night-Out Dinners. The playgroups provide opportunities for children to interact with each other and for fathers to socialize with other at-home dads. The dinners give dads a couple hours 'off-duty' from family responsibilities and allows them to get to know other men who have taken on the role of at-home parent.
The Richmond chapter, which we now refer to as The Dads and Kids Club, was founded in September 1995. Since then, we have met weekly for playgroups and monthly for Dad's-Night-Out Dinners. Playgroup activities are held weekday mornings or afternoons and have included trips to parks, visits to museums, and playgroups at members' homes. Since most members live in Chesterfield County and Western Henrico County, playgroup and dinner locations are regularly alternated between those locales. Ultimately, we hope to grow our membership to the point where we can separate into two chapters so that members don't have to travel so far to participate in activities.
There are no fees for any of the activities since each member pays his own way. And there are no formal programs at the dinners. Participating children range in age from newborn through elementary school and the dads range in age from mid- twenties to late-forties. Playgroups are typically attended by three to six fathers and their children and we usually have about six fathers at the monthly dinners.
Who is an At-Home Dad?
For Dads and Kids Club purposes, an at-home dad can be defined as any father who is the primary daytime caregiver of children zero to five years of age. Some of the fathers in the group do not work outside of the home. But we have several fathers who work part-time, several more who run businesses from home, and one who is a firefighter and works a 24-hour shift once every three days.
One of the most interesting things about meeting other at-home dads is learning how each became an at-home parent and how their family is able to make ends meet financially. As varied as their stories are, all these families have decided that the care of their children is too important to trust to anyone but mom or dad.
If you know someone who is an at-home dad, please tell them about The Dads and Kids Club. And if you are an at-home dad yourself, come join us!
Contact: Todd Tuting, 804-364-2520, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact: Jim Collins, 804-513-7728, or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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