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men who change diapers change the world

Monday, 24 May 2004

The first ever satire of an at-home dad article has been done by the National Lampoon. Under the guise of the Housekeeping Monthly, the title is: The Comtemporary (sic) Guide For Stay At Home Dads. It's complete with tips, on cleaning, cooking, laundry and "bedroom duties" (sex). Of course this means we are officially in the mainstream. I thought You'd get a kick out of it even though it's for the Junior High crowd, (I started reading National Lampoon after I stopped reading Mad when I was 13). One of the tips given: How to straighten up around the house - A clean house will go a long way in your wife?s eyes. To make this chore much easier, use a snow-shovel or the blunt edge of plywood, and push the toys into a neat pile behind a door or into a neglected hall closet. Dishes that might have accumulated during the day should be piled high on the kitchen counter. Preferably, right next to the empty dishwasher. One outstanding Stay at Home Dad told us how he would move and clear the furniture so that when his wife came home, she had a clear and unobstructed path to vacuum. Thanks for the Tip Doug!

I've finally started reading "How Tough Can It Be" Rebel Dad has already read it and posted his comments. I will have comments on it soon as well as The Daily Yak.

Posted by athomedad at 5:23 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 31 May 2004 6:10 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 19 May 2004
Dads Fishing in Florida and a Trixie Update Update

Instead of the traditional Dads night out Jim LoCascio of Cape Coral, FL and Capt. Mark Gauthier of Nokomis, FL organized a weekend deep-sea fishing trip last month. Veteran at-home dads Bob Nooner came down from Illinois, and Roland LaScala from Ohio to join 4 other at-home dads. In the photo at left Bob Boisvert of Largo, FL caught the most fish - mostly groupers. Jim plans to make this an annual event, and has already scheduled the next one for March 5, 2005. If you would like to join these guys next year you can get more info at their web site or email Jim at To hear more fish stories talk to Bob or Roland (he won the pool with the largest keeper fish with a nearly 24 inch long red grouper) at the next At-Home Dads convention in Chicago. I would go but I fish every year in Maine with my brother and bro-in-law. Here's our Men's Fishing Weekend site.

Now for an update on The Trixie Update. The last time I mentioned Ben McNeill's blog the media was taking notice. Now he wants to see if he can cash in on is quasi-famous blog site where he tracks sleep, naps, nursing, diaper leaks, bottle-feedings of his daughter Trixie in real time. He has tweaked his new software and has dubbed it "the Trixie Tracker". When I first saw this site I wondered how could he spend all day on the blog to keep it updated. With the software he designed, he was able to just hit a function key on the computer every time the baby poops, pees or needs a diaper and his software does the rest organizing, it into charts and graph.. For example when he changes a diaper he hits F9. So why do we need this? He claims by knowing his daughters sleep patterns he knows "when I can take a shower or have some personal time." Family members could track to see what the baby is doing from work. He wants to charge thirty bucks for a year to use his software.. This is an interesting idea, and he has made good use of his computer design skills during his kids naptime but I don't know if I want to hit the "Escape" Key every time the baby has a diaper leak.

Posted by athomedad at 8:49 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 19 May 2004 2:28 PM EDT
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Friday, 14 May 2004
This dad strikes out

When pitcher Roger Clemens "retired" last year from the Yankees to be with his family. I wondered how long that would last. Well, ESPN provided us with the rumors in December that he was getting itchy to play again. 78 days after his last pitch at Yankee Stadium, he was coaxed out of retirement to join the Houston Astros in his home state. (I was glad to see him stay away from the Yankees as I am a Sox fan)

So how could he stay with his family and still play ball? Major League Baseball reported in January at their site that to keep his family promise, the 6 time Cy-Young winner was able to add a clause in his contract that allows him to stay home with his family even when the Astros go on the road. His strategy turned out to be a winning formula as Clemens has started out with a 6-0 record this year. USA Today had a nice article earlier this week detailing Roger's day on raising his kids (they are all in grade school, so no diaper changing, bottle feeding routine story here) on how this arrangement is working. Although he has to hide out while attending his kids baseball games he does keep his promise as well as any pro-celebrity athlete could.

Note: Clemens named his 4 kids starting with a "K," as it was the symbol for strikeout. The names are Kory, Koby, Kacy and Kody. If you like coming up with names we have a dad at the message board looking for names that begin with an "A" for his boy.

Posted by athomedad at 2:24 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 19 May 2004 11:25 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 12 May 2004
Lazy dads found in Africa

The UN put out a 2003 Human Development Report which showed the "work burdens in selected countries" In the report it listed the number of minutes spent working by males and females per day. Of course we end up with a list which has to have some country at the bottom. The "loser" was Africa with 273 minutes (4 1/2 hrs) per day. The number was more than an hour and a half less than the average and over 2 hours less than the US. The report was from 2000 statistics.

When you end up at the bottom of any public list, some guy is gonna get mad. Well, Reporter Kuben Chetty of The Daily News in South Africa found the guy. She promptly located Chris Slabber of Durban, South Africa, a local at-home dad to 2 sons who proudly proclaimed "We're not a bunch of lazy sods!" At Durban's Tourism website their motto is "South African's Playground" Maybe I will set up Mr. Slabber with a playgroup there.

Speaking of playgroup I'd like to welcome Michael Roediger's East Pittsburgh Stay-at-Home Dads playgroup to the Network Playgroup list.

Posted by athomedad at 4:29 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 12 May 2004 4:32 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 5 May 2004
New name needed for dads

I wrote in my last post that the US Newswire press services added the term "Mr Mom" in their article to spice up their report in describing us. But it actually did come from the US Census's actual press release . I will send them a note and ask them to rephrase that term. But before I do please click on the red "post a comment" link below or e-mail me on what term you would like to be described. I will let you know the results when I get enough responses and let them know what to use next time.

A member of the at-home dad message posted a note that he was thumbing through the latest How Tough Could It Be%3F Parents magazine and happened upon a book titled, "How Tough Could It Be? by Sports Illustrated writer Austin Murphy, the poster says "Mr. Murphy took 6 months off from his job as a writer for SI to be an AHD. Now, I don't want to rag on the book before I read it, but I hope he makes a point about a 6 month tour being a tad different than doing it for years and years." A few minutes after I read his post the mailman handed me a review copy of it so I will let you know with a my thoughts on it when I can get to it.

When the at-home dads stories first started coming out big time in the mid-90's the mere fact that a dad was the primary caregiver was a story in itself. Now its being used more as a descriptor for a dad. Heres one from the Orange County Register titled "At-Home Dad Invents a Mean Screen Cleaner" (the story will pop on for a few seconds long enough to see the headline then it will switch to a new window to subscribe). There's one sentence that he has 6-year-old twins, but thats it. I think we will see less and less of stories of a dad simply because he stay home as each father's day media crunch comes and goes.

Here's a stat I got from reporter, Virginia Linn of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "...and father-only households (no wife or partner) increased to 4.3 million households by 2000." She got her information from this press release issued by American Academy of Pediatrics. In it, they gave out the advice for Pediatricians to "Speak directly to the father as well as the other parenting partner, and solicit his opinions" In other words don't forget dad is sitting right there while your wife is getting all the lip service. I've heard a few stories of dad at office visits where the doctor never even acknowledged dad while he was asking his wife all the questions.

(Note: the following paragraph is very boring one about statistics, you may want to skip it unless you are a researcher of accountant) Back to the 4.3 million father-only households (single fathers) raising their kids. The Pediatrics press release notes the definition of a father as "biological, foster or adoptive father; he may be a stepfather, grandfather, teen father, father figure or co parent father in a gay relationship." Lots of gray area here. In searching for the definition of Father-only households I checked the US Census Households by Type report which estimated 4,201,824 "male householders" by 2004. I then interviewed Karen Thomson of the US Census Household Division this morning and she verified that all father-only households have at least one child 17 or under in the home. Here's the actual definition: Male Householder no wife present: This category includes households with male householders who are married with at least one other relative in the household, but with wife absent because of separation or other reason where husband and wife maintain separate residences; and male householders who are widowed, divorced, or single with at least one other relative in the household.

Thanks to a Peter B. McIntyre of the message board who alerted me to at-home dad Ben McNeill of Chapel Hill, NC. He has a stunning online journal (blog) titled The Trixie Update . There are lots of blogs out there with dads who talk about their families with all the cute stories, but this one takes an intensely objective tone. It's filled with charts graphs and stats about his daughter's every single movement (bowel or otherwise) that would put the US Census to shame. As I write this his site reports that the baby has been awake for 1 hour 31 minutes. has had 3 diaper changes the last one being 12:06pm.which brings the total of diaper changes to 1,965. (Ironically "1965 is the year Procter & Gamble continued to introduce Pampers nationwide. For a while, supermarkets, drug and department stores are not sure how to classify this brand new product or where to stock it. As a result Pampers can unpredictably be found in the convenience section, the food aisle, the paper product section, and even in the drug section." Source: The Trixie Update Here's an article about him in his local paper

Funny humorous comment to note by Tim Goodman of the San Francisco Chronicle who was making fun of Howard Dean's possible TV talk show. "After much discussing, the new Howard Dean talk show will be called "Quick to Anger." He will explore the challenges of remaining calm with a bevy of noted hotheads. Geared toward the stay-at-home dad crowd that has grown tired of soft talk shows like "Ellen" and, frankly, are at their wits end with the little snappers, "Quick to Anger" will essentially be 60 minutes of venting." At least someone out there knows we would like some alternative network programming besides Oprah & Dr Phil. The most popular daytime TV show that I have heard the dads talk about at the last At-Home Dad Convention is ESPN.

Posted by athomedad at 2:17 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 5 May 2004 2:34 PM EDT
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Thursday, 29 April 2004
US Census Strikes again

The US Census released today some facts for features on Father's Day for the media to use in their yearly father's day stories. Some of the interesting numbers here.

There are estimated to be 66.3 million fathers in the United States today. (not published yet in the census website).

The description the US Newswire press services used is "Mr Mom", when they reported on the census figures on at-home dads. I won't whine about the term but wasn't that movie over 20 years ago? Anyhow they have pegged the number of us (with kids under 15) at 105,000 and we are caring for 189,000 kids.

Now this is where I get confused..the next item on the press release is a figure of 2 million preschoolers "whose fathers care for them more hours than any other child-care provider while their mothers are at work." mmm now we have 105,000 dads caring for 2 million preschoolers. That averages out to 20 kids per father doesn't it? Now, take a look at the raw numbers where these reports come from (they are from 1999 by the way). I bet you won't last 5 minutes looking at these. Back in 1996 I met Lynne Casper of the Census with the 1993 numbers and she had figures including all dads working or not caring for kids under 15 and came up with nearly 2 million at-home dads. I used the 2 million number in my newsletter and in media interviews. Since then the number has sprouted wings and has been used extensively by the print & TV media. Judging from the new numbers it looks like we lost about 1.8 million at-home dads between 1993 and 1999.

More on this later I am going fishing for striped bass and my friend is waiting.

Posted by athomedad at 6:07 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 30 April 2004 12:54 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 28 April 2004
At-Home Dad Newsletter - Restart

After 10 years, The At-Home Dad Newsletter has moved into the blog arena.

The last few years I have neglected the hardcopy newsletter as I was writing a new book titled The Stay-At-Home Dad Handbook. The book is done and the Chicago Review Press will put it out this fall.

I'd like to thank Brian at for the initial inspiration to try this format. When I started checking out blogs, I found his first. I found him to be right on top of the latest at-home dad media. As I read through his comments, I thought the blog format would be a perfect fit for the At-Home Dad Newsletter.

Now I can concentrate on posting topics like Glenn Sargent of Mason, OH an at-home dad who wants to run for president. He is one of 177 other folks trying to get on Showtime's new reality show American Candidate this summer.

If you have any at-home dad news like the one above, or opinions or events and you would like me to check out and possibly share with the readers here, you can e-mail me at

- Pete

The At-Home Dad Newsletter in the early years (Were the mid 90's that long ago??)...

Posted by athomedad at 3:27 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 28 April 2004 5:50 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 20 January 2004
Research - Bob Frank
Topic: Research (Robert Frank)
New Page 2  

                             Exclusive At-Home Dad Survey Results  

                                     By Peter Baylies - At-Home Dad Newsletter

 With the help of his young son, Kevin, our researcher, Dr Robert Frank, mailed out 1,081 surveys to the readers of At-Home Dad, and got 573 back, making this survey the largest ever taken of at-home dads. In this exclusive survey, Dr Frank focused on the 368 dads who spent 30 or more hours per week alone with the child. Many were anxious for the results, here they are: You are 38-years-old, married, and live in the suburbs with your 2 kids. You have been an at-home dad for nearly 3 years and feel somewhat isolated. You stay home with the kids because you did not want to put your kids in daycare and your wife made more money than you did. Speaking of your wife, she is "extremely satisfied" with the current arrangement and so are you. Your parenting skills come from your own intuition and by being with your own children. Oh yes, I almost forgot, your future: once your kids are in grade school you plan on returning to work at-home or outside the home.

Now that I have you targeted, you will all be receiving your gift for filling out the survey... dinner for you, your 36 year old wife and 2 children. What? You didn't write your name on the survey? Too bad!!

OK, maybe you do not fit the "average" at-home dad reader profiled above, but the survey yielded some interesting results. When mothers were asked the level of satisfaction with having their husband at home, 43% of them circled "extremely satisfied". More revealing, however, is the fathers' response, an overwhelming 51% indicated they were also extremely satisfied. In the many letters and calls I have received the last few years this comes as no surprise.

In one such letter, a dad wrote, "I find that it gives me the time to get to know him better, teach him, play with him and love him."

One mother wrote, "He is proud of being an at-home dad and caring for our daughter, a lot of friends wish they were in his shoes. Thankfully, I can support us on my salary and we both think this is the best thing for our son." She goes on to say, "I enjoy working and am amazed at the father-son bond."

 While many couples emphasize the benefits reaped with dad at home they are quick to point out that the isolation is still there. In the survey 63% of the dads noted that they were "somewhat isolated" and 6% were totally isolated.

One mother from Van Nuys, CA relates, "My husband has no support group here in L.A., no friends who are in our situation. He feels very alone and frustrated at times. When I was at first pregnant and then home on leave with the babies, I had a circle of women friends who were going through the same thing I was. We learned a lot from each other and we still call on these women for advice and support. There is no one for my husband to call when the baby has spent the past two weeks fussing at everything without respite, pushing my husband to the limits."

One dad from California who has been home with his 2 young sons, says, "The hardest part is not knowing anyone and everyone else is at work all day. After talking to a 3- year-old all day, I can't wait for my wife to get home."

Why are we staying home? The #1 reason was to keep the kids out of daycare. Timothy Nohe of Catonville, MD, who cares for 3 boys (7, 2 and 11 mo), notes, "I quit my electrical engineering job 18 months ago and haven't looked back. 5 yrs of college down the tubes. I hated that job. All government work and programming. Yuck! We had a 17 year-old daughter, 5 year-old son and a 6 month-old-son we had adopted as an infant. The baby was in daycare. My wife made more than 60% of household income. More than half of my share went to daycare and before and after care. What's wrong with this picture?" One reader, Andy Doetsch, took his kids out of daycare and resigned his secure teaching position in Georgia to stay home because "neither of us liked having to take the kids to daycare every day and hearing second hand what new progress they had made that day."

65% of the mothers answered that having dad at home did not affect career either way, while 39% of the dads reported no effect. However, 30% of the dads noted that being home with the kids hurt their career somewhat and 24% reported that the arrangement hurt career a lot. Many of the dads noted that they miss their former jobs. One such dad, Larry Cohen, of Brookline, MA, worked part-time but was still the primary parent as his wife worked "ridiculously long hours as a medical resident." Last summer he decided to stay home with his daughter, Emma, around the clock. He states, "I miss the adult companionship of my former work (as a clinical psychologist in a group practice) and I feel cheated about not being paid for all I do...and finally resenting doing housework."

Nohe says of his career ambitions, "Go back to work? Only if I am allowed to think without Mike screaming (the baby. He is a screamer. Nothing wrong. Just screams). We've already determined that when they go to school, I'll get something so I can be here for them. But hey, I have 5 years to think about that." Another dad says, "I'm not itching to get back in the work force. Maybe part time when both kids go full time to school. I am too independent to take someone's BS at the workplace though. I guess I have this type of nerve right now because my wife is making good money." Comparing this survey to the one completed last year where he compared 44 at-home dad families, (published in the Winter 95 issue), Dr Frank notes the time spent with the kids alone by moms (20 hours) and dads (50 hours) in at- home dad families were about the same.

There was one question that had a predictable answer: Who drives the car when both parents are in the car. Can you guess? 80% of you said that dad drove. Bob Frank says of this 80% figure, "This is a revealing clue that the at-home dad is still sticking to their core gender roles such as driving the car and doing the handyman work around the house."

He goes on to mention that you don't want a complete role reversal but rather, "a more equal balance in parenting..this way kids see the dad and the mom in both roles, which results in a less stereotypical attitude."

66% of the mothers answered that having dad at home did not affect career either way, while 39% of the dads reported no effect. However, 30% of the dads noted that being home with the kids hurt their career somewhat and 25% reported that the arrangement hurt career a lot. Many of the dads noted that they miss their former jobs. One such dad, Larry Cohen, of Brookline, MA, worked part-time but was still the primary parent as his wife worked "ridiculously long hours as a medical resident." Last summer he decided to stay home with his daughter, Emma, around the clock. He states, "I miss the adult companionship of my former work (as a clinical psychologist in a group practice) and I feel cheated about not being paid for all I do...and finally resenting housework."

Nohe says of his career ambitions, "Go back to work? Only if I am allowed to think without Mike screaming. (The baby. He is a screamer. Nothing wrong. Just screams.) We've already determined that when they go to school, I'll get something so I can be here for them. But hey, I have 5 years to think about that." Another dad says, "I'm not itching to get back in the work force. Maybe part time when both kids go full time to school. I am too independent to take someone's BS at the workplace though. I guess I have this type of nerve right now because my wife is making good money." Comparing this survey to the one completed last year where he compared 44 at-home dad families, (published in the Winter 95 issue), Dr. Frank notes the time spent with the kids alone by moms (20 hours) and dads (50 hours) in at- home dad families were about the same.

There was one question that had a predictable answer: Who drives the car when both parents are in the car. Can you guess? 80% of you said that dad drove. Dr. Frank says of this 80% figure, "This is a revealing clue that the at-home dad is still sticking to their core gender roles such as driving the car and doing the handyman work around the house."

Dr. Frank goes on to mention that you don't want a complete role reversal but rather, "A more equal balance in parenting..this way kids see the dad and the mom in both roles, which results in a less stereotypical attitude."


Survey Stats:

What % of the time do you make social arrangements for yourself?
Father 39% Mother 59%

Who tends to keep track of what needs to be cleaned around the house?
Father 37.5% Mother 13.3% Both 48.9% Other .3%

Hours per week each adult work for pay?
Mother 47 hours Father 8 hours

How much income did you lose due to your child care arrangement?

Do you currently run a business out of the home?
Yes - 26.4% No - 73.6%

How long have you been an at-home dad?
33 months

What will you do once all of the children are in school all day?
Go back or continue to work outside the home - 37.8%
Go back or continue to work inside the home - 25.3%
Not sure - 23.6%
Not work at all .8%
Children in school 9%

Why are you an at-home dad?
#1 - Didn't want daycare
#2 - Wife made more money
#3 - Wife wanted to work more.
#4 - Dad had greater desire to stay home.

Posted by athomedad at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 20 December 2004 12:54 PM EST
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Thursday, 15 January 2004
At-Home Dad Convention
Topic: at-home dad convention
New Page 1 At New Page 3


Tenth Annual At-Home Dads' Convention  

At Home Dads Logo


Sponsored by Oakton Community College  


The At-Home Dad Newsletter

Saturday, November 19, 2005

8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

1600 E. Golf Road, Des Plaines, IL 60016   


Updated .pdf version of the convention brochure 





8 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast

8 a.m. Welcome and Introductions (Dr. Bob Frank, Peter Baylies, Barry Reszel, Brian Chalmers)

8:45 a.m. Keynote Address: At-Home Dad?So What? HERE?S WHAT!  (Dr. Kyle Pruett, Child Study Center)

10 am Break

10:15 a.m     Small  Group Discussions (Coordinated by Dr. Kyle Pruett, facilitated by       veteran at-home dads)

11:15 a.m.  Review of Small Group  Data  (Dr. Kyle Pruett)

12:15 a.m.  Lunch, Conversation. Book Signings, Therapy Consultations

1:15 a.m.  Let?s Talk About It #1 These are facilitated small group discussions, not lectures. Share your own thoughts and experiences as well as questions and solutions. 

Old Guys Help the New Guys: Veteran At-Home Dads Tackle Any Question

(Bruce Drobeck, Jim LoCascio, Dave Weiss)

2. Let?s Have Some Fun: Injecting Creativity Into Your Parenting

(Marshall Cook)

3. A League of Your Own: Starting and Marketing Your At-Home Dads? Group

(Bill Beagle and Steve Wolcott)

4. The At-Home Dad Lounge: Just Hang Out and Talk Informally

2 p.m. Let?s Talk About It Part II

 Role Reversal in 2005  (Ron Dayney)

Dealing With Sleep Issues (Hans Lonroth)

School's in session: What?s an At-Home Dad to Do?  (Chad Curtis and Chris Coby)

 The At-Home Dad Lounge: Just Hang Out and Talk Informally

2:45 p.m.  Break

3:00 p.m.   Let?s Talk About It Part III  (Choose One)

Ten Years On: Growing the At-Home Dad Community:

(Jay Massey, Barry Reszel, Steve Klem, Marty Josephson, Bob Frank)

 Stretching the Household Budget

(Gary Foshkul)

 Stuff Happens: Parenting in Tough Times

(Richard Axel)

The At-Home Dad Lounge: Just Hang Out and Talk Informally

3:45 p.m.  Large Group Discussion: How Our Wives? Feel About Being Married to At-Home Dads?  (Linda and Bob Frank PhD)

4:15 p.m.  Annual At-Home Dads? Anecdotes  (Bob Noonan)

4:30 p.m.  10-Year Wrap-Up (Bob Frank, Barry Reszel, Brian Chalmers)

4:45 Surveys and Farewell

The Keynoter

Dr. Kyle Dean Pruett, the 2004 At-Home Dads Convention Keynote Speaker, returns by popular demand to lead the morning sessions for the convention?s 10th anniversary this year.

Dr. Pruett is the principal author of more than sixty original scientific articles and books including the award winning The Nurturing Father, Me, Myself and I, and Fatherneed: Why Father Care is as Essential as Mother Care for Your Child. Dr. Pruett has also served as a consultant to ABC, ABC News, CBS Morning News, Sesame Workshop, and served as a co-host of a nationally distributed videotape for new parents with Oprah Winfrey, Begin with Love. He lectures internationally and represented the United States at the UN?s first International Summit on Fathers and Children. He has been a columnist and contributing editor to Goodhousekeeping, Parents, and Child magazines. Dr. Pruett hosted his own Lifetime Cable series ?Your Child Six to Twelve with Dr. Kyle Pruett?, and has appeared frequently on CNN, Oprah, ABC News, NPR and Good Morning America. He and his wife Marsha Kline Pruett, Ph.D., M.S.L., are parents to three daughters and one son.

Dr. Pruett was educated at Yale University and Tufts University School of Medicine. He is a clinical professor of psychiatry, coordinator of education at the Yale Child Study Center (DMS); Yale University School of Medicine and School of Nursing. He served as principal investigator for the longitudinal study of children of primary paternal care; co-principal investigator for the collaborative divorce project (Richardson Foundation); and co-principal investigator of leadership development initiative (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation). Dr. Pruett has also maintained a private practice in infant, child adolescent and family psychiatry since 1974. His areas of interest and expertise include the developmental vulnerabilities and mental health in infants, toddlers and young children, school and day care consultation (public and private), clinical and legal dimensions of fatherhood (biological and non-biological), and role of the media in children?s lives. He served as consultant to Vice President Al Gore, Jr., for White House Conferences Men in Children's Lives. Dr. Pruett was also the founder of Yale Conference on Medicine and Performing Arts and a founding member of Father to Father.


Cast of Characters 

Click above to see the list and descriptions of speakers


Registration Form  

Register now via credit card by calling (847) 635-1812

or link to and print the registration form here

or fill out the form below and mail it to Oakton at the address below

Bea Cornelissen, College Relations

Oakton Community College

1600 E. Golf Rd. Des Plains, IL 60016



If registering by mail, fill out the form here and send it, along with a check payable to Oakton Community College, to:

Bea Cornelissen, College Relations, 1600 E. Golf Rd., Des Plaines, IL 60016. Attention: At-Home Dads convention.

Name ________________________________________________________________________

Address _______________________________________________________________________

City/State/Zip __________________________________________________________________

Phone _____________________________ E-mail ____________________________________


___$65 Individual Registration for At-Home Dads? convention (before October 20)

___$75 Individual Registration for At-Home Dads? convention (after October 20)

___$85 Individual Registration for At-Home Dads? convention and Men?s Day (following day)

___ I am unable to attend, but please accept my donation to the Oakton Community

College Educational Foundation.

___ Yes, I will attend the Friday night gathering party at the Best Western Hotel (6:30 - 10 p.m.).

Advisory survey for planning purposes only?costs will be shared among those attending.

___ Yes, I will attend the Saturday post-convention dinner/party at a Chicago restaurant (5:00 - 8:30 p.m.)

Advisory survey for planning purposes only?costs will be shared among those attending.

Hotel Information

Best Western River North Hotel

125 W. Ohio, Chicago, IL 60610

Reservations: 800-727-0800 ext. 123.

Due to the popular demand of at-home dad conventioneers of years past, our convention hotel is located in downtown Chicago. The Best Western River North Hotel is the official hotel of the 2003 At-Home Dads? convention. For reservations, call the number above, mention the At-Home Dads? convention, and receive the special convention rate if booked by October 21 (room availability peding). Parking at the hotel is free. If the hotel becomes booked but you are still looking to stay in the vicinity, search for additional hotel options in the Chicago River North area.

____ Free transportation between the Best Western River North Hotel and the convention (approximately 20 miles each way) will be available. Please check here if you will use this transportation between the hotel and the convention.

For more information, log on to or call 847.635.1812.

For information on Oakton Community College?s Annual Men?s Day, Sunday, November 20, 2004, call Paul Johnson at 847.376.7088


(Below is a past article from a past convention.. )


Fourth At-Home Dad Convention..."Yes!" 

  By Peter Baylies - Director At-Home Dad Network

Reprinted from At-Home Dad, Summer 2000, Issue 24


       I first meet Hogan Hilling at the At-Home Dad Convention, in 1997. I had written an article about his life journey with his son Wesley, a disabled child, earlier that year (Spring 97 issue). Hogan required the patience of a saint to I first met Hogan Hilling at the Chicago O'Hare airport before the

care for his son. So when this normally soft spoken dad of 3 kids stepped up to the mike to start a session titled, At-Home Daddying: What Are Our Issues?, no one expected his verbal onslaught: a boot camp style pep talk that would put any drill sergeant to shame. First, he told the nearly 100 at-home dads to put their total trust in him. Then, he instructed all the dads to make a fist, raise it

high, and at his command, pump down (like pulling a truck horn), and yell, "Who are we? Proud Dads!...YES!"

      The crowd responded weakly at first, Hogan persisted, "That's not good enough, I didn't hear you!" As he looked around the room, I'm sure he could hear them thinking, "Well, this is OK, I guess I can do this" After a few more tries he had the crowd in the palm of his hand. He then

introduced 3 discussion groups to be hosted by Barry Retzel, editor of the At-Home Dad Handbook, Marty Josephson, moderator of the eGroups dads-at-home listserv, and Jim Dicenzo, the leader of the San Diego DAD-to-DAD playgroup. I decided to join Barry's discussion group where the topic was "Being on the same page with your wife". During the session, Jay Massey, the webmaster of, advised that you keep the rules of the house constant. He felt his wife, Joan "was a little softer on the kids and I would find myself reprimanding her under my breath". At the same time, he stressed that it's important to "admit to your wife when you are wrong." (Send an e-mail to me at if you have ever admitted you were wrong. I will let you know how many I get.)

        Richard Axel, author of The Father Daughter Bond, reported about spouse's work habits spilling over to the home life. He found that after a spouse has delegated projects all day at her work place, might come home and stay in that "work-mode" and continue to delegate ssignments once she walks in the door. arry argeed that his wife would delegate "family time," which can be trying to a dad who has just spent an entire day with the kids. The solution brought by others was to divide time you spend with your wife and the kids. After the session was over several rules to live by were announced to the rest of the dads. Jubal Prevette, of Sunnyvale, CA, noted that although some dads like the break your wife can give you when she comes home from work, he has trouble letting go. He finds that he wants to continue to stay with his son and he finds that he has to "let go" and let her have time with him.


     Mark Abraham, of Minnesota Dads at Home, reminded the dads that the kids are listening if you argue. He instructed to his 4 1/2 year old son, if "mommy or daddy start using a mean voice to let us know." He shared one time when they were arguing at the supper table that his son suddenly said, "Mommy! Daddy! ...remember, friendly voice!" Thus the major ground rules are:


1. Your kids hear you argue, keep your disagreement private. Don't intervene if

you think your wife is "solving a kid problem incorrectly." Talk about it later

to set up new ground rules.


2. Keep your communication open, honest and consistent as your expectations

will constantly change over time.


3. And again, the hardest thing is to admit to your wife when you are wrong.


      Another major highlight of the day was viewing of the suburb documentary, Homedaddy, produced by filmmaker Kent Ayyildiz. Kent has used up many rolls of film shooting all 4 conventions and compiling a bio of his own search for a new definition of fatherhood. In the 28 minute film he shows the isolation that built up while at home with his 5 year old Quinn. A classic scene is when convention organizer, Dr Robert Frank talks about the mother assuming her role as a housekeeper when she comes home. Using Dr. Frank's narration Kent shows his wife vacuuming the living room in her pajamas. Zooming in on her, he catches a glaring stare or what you guys might be called "the look" as if to say maybe you should be doing this... The scene had a lot of dads nodding their heads in agreement. In the film he shows how the At- Home Dad convention helped break him of the isolation he felt. Featured in the film was Dr Robert Frank, David Boylan (ex-AOL dad chat moderator), Mark Abraham, Peter Hoh, (editor of the Minnesota Dads at Home Newsletter), and at-home dad Larry Mains of Chicago.


     At the beginning of the film he describes his dad as one who "would work insane hours, have a family and never see them". At the end of the picture Kent's dad makes a startling revelation while visiting his grandfather's grave site. His dad explained that he left his native country without saying farewell to his abusive and newly married father who died shortly after. The sorrow of his dad's absence filled his heart and helped him better understand his own dad's absence in his life. He understood, and could now go home and break that cycle with his own son as an at-home dad. Following the film, Kent got a well deserved 5 minute standing ovation, (the first one at a convention).

     Laura Cobb who is researching at- home dads noted how the themes have changed in the last three years. Although she was not there in 1996, I can say that we were all just glad to see each other, to see the faces that matched the names of those who communicated online and read about in the At-Home Dad Network. Laura identified the themes of the following 3 years: 1997: Getting the word out to the media and having at-home dads be covered more in the press. 1998: In praise of the wives; thanking them for allowing the dads to have the opportunity to stay home with their children. 1999: The men talked about how their role was a "blessing" to them. The last session, titled "The Anatomy of a Working Mom's Brain", was lead by Joan Massey. She spoke of her feelings as she went back to work, saying to he dads, "I hated going back to work. I was absolutely miserable, the only thing that got me through it was [my husband] Jay." During her speech you could tell she had picked up the office-speak as she described cooking and taking care of her child as "multi-tasking". Jay cringed when she noted that he didn't do laundry. But she also remarked that Jay works at home and is willing to pick up the extra "slack".

       Cory McPerrin, a Chicago sportscaster for the FOX network was the keynote speaker for the day. He showed various stories he has covered of local sports figures and their families, such as Michael Jordan and his father Gus and the late Walter Payton and his son. Speaking of his own childhood, he spoke fondly of his dad who served on the school board and was "always there for him". McPerrin got emotional when he noted that his father was a "great dad and that being a great dad is not about winning an emmy award, but winning the "best dad award". The convention ended on a humorous note as Chris Coby came up on stage with a brown paper bag and did a reenactment of funny moments his kids pulled off. While a few women reporters squirmed, Jim pulled out a few tampons and proceeded to show how his kid used them as props. He held up 2 of them wrapped the strings around his ears and with them both dangling, he shouted,"Look, daddy, earrings!" The crowd roared in approval. He then pulled out a few of those thin sanitary pads and held it to his ear and said mimicking his kids again. 'Look, mommy, it's a cellphone." He then ripped off a layer that makes it sticky, stuck it on the side of his head and stuck it on his ear and yelled out, "look a cellphone with no hands!" Hogan Hilling stood up and on cue, every one pumped their fists and shouted, "YES!"

      After the convention DiCenzo wrote in Marty Josephson's e-groups list, "I don't want to go overboard for the guys that weren't there, but I'm very energized today due to the wonderful experience from the convention weekend. I enjoyed meeting all the guys from the dsd listservs as well as the format this year. I was taking [my daughter] Lauren to school this morning almost walking on air and one of the mom's gave me the greatest complement as I was gloating over the weekend. She smiled and said "your kids are so lucky." I thanked her, agreed, and added, "I'm pretty lucky too.

    The 6th Annual At-Home Dads Convention, will be held in Chicago, Saturday November 17, 2001
For more info contact  We will provide more info here as we plan the speakers for 2001


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Posted by athomedad at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 1 October 2005 1:25 PM EDT
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Saturday, 10 January 2004
playgroup tips
Topic: playgroup tips
New Page 2

At-Home Dad Newsletter - Starting a playgroup

1. If you cannot locate a playgroup add your name to the At-Home Dad Network Playgroup list

Just send me an e-mail at with as much contact info you would like to make available. And I will add it to the At-Home Dad Network

First you can to give your At-Home Dad Network playgroup a name, you can check the playgroup list for ideas. If you have no name it will be simply The "Your Town" At-Home Dad Network

Name - Town, State
e-mail, Home page - phone
Name of your Network Playgroup

Dr Bruce Drobeck - Southlake, TX
(817) 329-3225 -
Greater Ft. Worth At-Home Dad Network

(If you need help creating a home page send me san e-mail)

2. Make out an ad - Draw up an ad.. something like this:

At-Home Dad playgroup in formation 
for fathers who are primary care givers 
for their children. This weekly playgroup 
will provide fun and support for you and 
your children. Please call John Doe at 
555-1212 for more information

This is the ad that John Wengler placed in his local suburban paper in Winnetka, Illinois. At first he received 5 calls from this ad. In a letter updating his efforts, he writes, "Now, every Friday morning, six dads and their
kids get together for coffee, support and refereeing among our toddlers from 14 months to some terrible twos. Imagine -- Bob, Tom, Pat, Andy, Palo, John and Burt -- all from adjoining towns! I actually discovered another at-home dad from around the corner!" John also states, " The moral of this story is that daddy playgroups are just waiting to happen. Consider this: There are 2 million at-home dads while the total prison population is only 1.6 million. If we can better organize ourselves then full-time parenting will seem a bit less like solitary confinement."

3. Post the ad (above) or a simple flyer in the local library children's' section. A library will usually permit you to do this.

4. Call the local mothers' groups in town, they sometimes get calls form other dads looking to connect.

5. Seek out other dads you may meet at the playground, he may also be an at-home dad.

6. Talk to your local paper - They may be interested in doing a story about your new group. (Father's Day is an ideal time, check in a few weeks before this holiday) Your statewide paper may also be interested in doing a story about your group, which may attract more members. If you would like a contact name in your state send me an e-mail at and I will send you addresses to write to in your state.

 "I found a few dads, where should we meet?"

The best place is a neutral meeting place, such as an indoor/outdoor playground. Once you get to know each other you may want to keep it that way or meet at each others house

"What do we do now?"

Your group may be happy just meeting at the local playground or you may want to plan additional activities. Curtis Cooper planned weekly activities such as trips to the zoo, local restaurants with indoor playgrounds or even to children's museums. You could also plan a day trip to a baseball game (kids permitting) You may want to seek out the local places in your area that may be of interest to your group

"What other activities can we do for the dads in our group"

One feature started by Curtis has been the "Dad's Night Out." Each month one night the dads go out to a local restaurant or event. This gives the dads time to get to know each other while the kids are at home. 

"What can I do to keep my group organized?"

The best way to keep your local events organized is to have a monthly newsletter or calendar, which can be mailed out to the members in your group, You can make a regular schedule of playgroup meetings, Dad's Nights Out and special field trips, complete with dates and time. You can also add comments on what happened on recent events.

Write an At-Home Dad Newsletter

Below is a sample newsletter from Dan Dunsmore the chapter Coordinator of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Network. you may use this as a starting point.

Charlottesville-Albemarle Dad-to-Dad October, 1996 Newsletter

Coordinator: Dan Dunsmore (Liza, 8; Spencer, 1)
Other Active Members: Stewart Bowers (Paige, 5); Michael Christy (Berenger, 4;
Channing, 1); David Consolvo (Daniel, 2); Michael Duggan (Kate, 1); Mike Folger
(Meaghan, 3; Molly, 2); Eric Galloway (Hazel, 1); Bill Goldeen (Daniel, 5;
Shira, 1); 
Stefan Gorsch (Spencer, 1); Michael Haynes (Emily, 2); Deanne Jensen (Will, 2;
Andy, 2); Mike Johnson (Baby due any day now!); 
Dale Lawton (Israel, 2); Lance Rogers (Colin, 9; Erik, 7; Tom, 4); Scott Smith
(Mary Kate, 7; Eric, 5; Emily, 11 months); 
Rick Sprenkle (Nathan, 3; Luke, 3 months); Billy Vaughn (William, 1)
The Charlottesville-Albemarle Dad-to-Dad group is now ten months old,
and, for the first time, we have said good-bye (at least for now) to two of our
members. Of course, this is inevitable, and it is evidence that we have been
established long enough to see life situations change. We're surely in store
for more of this. Still, I don't want to take it too lightly. So, I'd like to
officially bid farewell to Mike Higgins and his daughter Allison. Mike was one
of the original four dads in this group. He and Allison took part in the WVIR
29 human-interest story that provided a great deal of publicity for the group.
Mike, Barbara and Allison are still in the area and still stay in touch. 
I'd still like to publish autobiographies by our members. So far, I've
published ones by David Consolvo, Michael Haynes, Eric Galloway and me. They
have made for interesting reading, so don't be shy.
The October 14 issue of the Washington Post includes an article about us
at-home-dad types. Kim, Liza and I are quoted in the article. Look for it
wherever you might find back issues of the Post. 
October Summary 
Tuesday, October 8 -- Dan Dunsmore's House: Dan Dunsmore (Liza &
Spencer), Michael Christy (Berenger & Channing), Mike Folger (Meaghan & Molly),
Eric Galloway (Hazel), Bill Goldeen (Daniel & Shira) and Scott Smith (Mary Kate,
Eric & Emily) were in attendance. It was fun to watch the children of similar
ages naturally group together and discover books, duplo blocks, a bouncing ball,
food, etc. in the downstairs rooms of the house.
Tuesday, October 15 -- Baja Bean Company: Michael Christy and Mike
Johnson talked about raising children in the 90's.
Saturday, October 19 -- David Consolvo's House: David Consolvo
(Daniel) welcomed Dan Dunsmore (Liza & Spencer), Michael Duggan (Kate) and
Deanne Jensen (Will & Andy) to his house. It was great to see Deanne and her
two sons again!
Tuesday, October 22 -- Greenleaf Park: Dan Dunsmore (Liza & Spencer),
Michael Duggan (Kate), Dale Lawton (Israel), Mike Folger (Meaghan & Molly), Eric
Galloway (Hazel) and Bill Goldeen (Daniel & Shira) welcomed Rick Sprenkle and
his two sons Nathan and Luke to the play group.
Tuesday, October 29 -- Greenleaf Park: David Consolvo (Daniel), Dale
Lawton (Israel), Rick Sprenkle (Nathan & Luke), Michael Duggan (Kate), Michael &
Julie Haynes (Emily & her friend) and Dan Dunsmore (Liza & Spencer) enjoyed a
crisp, clear fall afternoon together. The park was full of children and parents
and NO yellow jackets! 
November Play Group Schedule
Tuesday, November 5 -- Greenleaf Park: 3:30 - 5:00
Tuesday, November 12 -- Greenleaf Park: 3:30 - 5:00
Saturday, November 16 -- David Consolvo's House: 10:00 - 12:00 (Call David for
Tuesday, November 26 -- Greenleaf Park: 3:30 - 5:00

Since our play group will meet at David's house on the 16th and since we
are having our Dad's-Night-Out Dinner on the 19th, we will NOT have a play group
on the afternoon of the 19th.
Discovery Museum
Our rain/cold temperatures play group location will be the Discovery
Museum. I've talked to many members about this idea, and they all like it. I'm
not trying to sell memberships, but, just so you'll know, annual memberships
range from $35 to $50. For non-members, it's $3 per visit for children, $4 for
In fact, I think the Discovery Museum would make an excellent location
for all of our December, January and February play groups. Let me know what you
think about this idea. 
November Dad's-Night-Out Dinner
The Dad's-Night-Out Dinner this month will be on Tuesday, November 19,
from 6:30 to whenever, at the Monticello Brewing Company. Perhaps it's the
homemade beer, but we seem to be drawing a fairly decent crowd there each month.
Decent refers to the number of dads who show, not to their character. Be
advised. The camaraderie is reassuring. The conversation is compelling. The
owners are accommodating. The beverages are quenching. The food is bar food.
Two-Hand Touch Football
Two-hand touch football continues on the Charlottesville High School
practice field each Sunday morning from 10:00 to 12:00. Bring your cleats if
you have them!

Good luck!

If you need any additional help you may e-mail me at

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Posted by athomedad at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 20 December 2004 12:33 PM EST
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