This year for Valentine’s Day my hubby took out his new little sweetheart for the first time to a weekly community event just for papas.
Every Saturday, a part of the Salt Spring community services called Family Place offers dads to bring their little ones for a free pancake breakfast. This is something I had heard of before, but it just hadn’t happened that they’d made it since little Z started to really enjoy solid food. Today was the perfect day to spend the morning with our little love, enjoying a Valentine’s Daddy Date. Pancakes, kids (even her little baby buddy made it out with her pops), and her favourite – Dad.
What a fantastic way to support families, to offer fathers the opportunity to enjoy something together with their children, in the company of other men who are in a parenting place in life. I’m curious if many communities support dads in this way. I hope that they do.
It doesn’t seem as easy for men to randomly meet new men, in a friendship way. And when you’re in a new place, and experiencing this new world of parenthood, I can imagine it would be lonely if you had few people to share your time with. We’ve been fortunate in that Salt Spring is such a friendly, community-oriented place to live, but I know others who have felt alone once they weren’t in the same sort of life they were living pre-munchkins, living in a new place, or now at a different place in life than the majority of their friends.
Being with other parents, who are going through the same kinds of life situations and understand (most of the time) what you need, is so important. If you are expecting, I hope you’re taking a prenatal class, or striking up conversations with other parents wherever you go, as now is the time to build those connections – before you get thrown into the 3-ring circus that is finding your place in the exhausting, hormonal adjusting and sleep-deprived, ever-changing life that is new parenthood.
There are a few groups I’ve been part of for mothers and parents, and they’ve been a great source for community and support. Why not one specifically for dads? Where they can go to hang out with their little ones and other daddy duos (or trios, or more).