Dad’s Night Out

 

At right around this time a few weeks ago I was preparing to spend about an hour driving in order to spend some time playing pool with a group of guys that I didn’t know. If you’re thinking that doesn’t sound much like something that I would do, you’re right.

Last summer I wrote a post titled The Loneliness of the Modern Father, one in which I talked about how hard it can be, particularly for dads, to make new friends or to keep in touch with old ones. I also talked about how important it was to make that effort, about a study that claimed that half of all men say that they rarely talk about personal issues or feelings with their friends but that of those, one in three admitted to wishing that they could.

I wrote it, meant it, and then did nothing. I had my old buddies that I talked to every few months on the phone, a group of dad bloggers on the internet to shoot the shit with and a couple guys at work that I met every now and again for beers. I felt fortunate to have that and thought it was good enough.

I thought that right up until last fall when I had a bit of a personal crisis and realized that instead of “keeping my circle small” I had instead been steadily pushing people away. My friend Brandon, the guy from the aforementioned story, really stepped up and a few of those on-line dad blogger friends offered their support but I came to realize that I needed a bit more.

 

One of those on-line dads was a guy named Ryan, known in those circles as The Home Field Dad but more relevantly to this story, the man behind organizing a Hartford chapter of the City Dads Group.

 

Hartford Dads Group

 

For those that aren’t familiar, the City Dads Group was founded in New York in 2008 by Lance Somerfeld and Matt Schneider, dads tired of the feelings of isolation they were facing as the primary caregivers to their children in a world that still considered that to be the mom’s job. What started as a handful of guys grew to over 900 and in 2013 the concept was expanded nationwide. There are now chapters in over thirty different cities, from Anchorage to Miami, with three major goals:

  • Support each other’s efforts to be the best father and parenting partner he can be
  • Share parenting perspectives, knowledge and experiences – good and bad – with each other and those who care about them
  • Demonstrate that the new reality of parenting includes caring and capable fathers who are actively involved in the upbringing of their children

One of the ways the group encourages this is through “meet-ups” organized activities for dads and their kids and sometimes just to have a dad’s night out.

 

Hartford Dads Group

 

So I drove an hour, made a few new friends and had a much better time than I would have anticipated. We’re talking about a potential golf outing next, maybe a minor league baseball game. If it ever gets warmer here in New England there will be trips to museums and parks.

I have no idea when I might see these guys again or what may come of it. I’ve also recently rejoined my 9-Ball team and reached out to some other guys that I haven’t seen in a while. At 9:00 most nights I’m still most often to be found at home, wondering what my daughter is going to try to wear to school the following morning or if I have the energy to watch a DVR’d television show with my wife.

I do know that every now and again you need a friend, somebody to talk to. Perhaps just as important is the knowledge that should that day come, there’s somebody to call.

 


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13 thoughts on “Dad’s Night Out”

  1. I think this is awesome! My hubby was the primary caregiver to our kids for a few years and it was very isolating – not to mention that where we live it was flat out considered “weird”. It’s not just moms who need support and connection.

    1. Those opinions are changing – its just a slower process than it probably should be. Thanks for reading Shelley

  2. Strange you should say this Jeremy. I have stage 4 cancer and far from increasing my circle of friends at a time when I really need their support, I appear to be shrinking that circle and as you say, pushing people away.I now get most of my support from online support groups, from all over the world. I guess we all need time to chill out away from the mundane every day stuff.

    Love reading your blogs by the way.
    Gill

    1. I can imagine that a situation like that would really lead one to re-evaluate who is worth spending time with and lead to a narrowing of priority. Glad that you are still able to find the support that you need and wishing you all the best.

  3. This is awesome mate, it’s amazing how blogging has brought me new friends, because we so often lose touch when we have children looks like you had a great time Thank you for linking to #Thatfridaylinky please come back next week

  4. What a great read. It’s nice when you force yourself to do something and it really works surprisingly well. May it continue for you, Jeremy. This blogging thing has some wonderful perks. #ThatfridayLinky xoxo

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