There’s a great article “The New Dads’ Club” by John Cary on the Well blog at nytimes.com.
Cary writes about the experience of creating a group for new dads to meet and talk about fatherhood. The inspiration for this gathering? His wife.
A Google search will show that Cary’s wife is Courtney E. Martin, an author, speaker and blogger who writes a popular column for Krista Tippet’s On Being. Together, Cary and Martin have become a power couple for social change by co-writing articles for The New York Times and CNN as well co-heading projects for TED.
In his most recent Times piece for the Well column, Cary writes:
When my wife, Courtney, and I were expecting our first child just a few years ago, I was astonished by the almost instantaneous community of expectant and new mothers that greeted her. Despite the fact that we’d just moved cross-country and didn’t yet know many people, she was flooded with sage advice and a deep sense of community.
It was impressive, and yet it often left me feeling like a bystander. As I watched the anticipation of these expectant mothers shift into weekly get-togethers with babies rolling around on blankets on the floor, I found myself envious and wondering: Where was the parallel universe of new dads?
It’s true that fatherhood is often a solo affair for many new dads, so I applaud Cary for following his “hunch” that he wasn’t the only dad who was “yearning for a community and some deeper conversation on fatherhood.”
Cary describes the first meeting as a “fun and lively” even where men spoke honestly, candidly and vulnerably about the joys and challenges of fatherhood. One of the things about being a dad that most surprised them?
“My own parents seem to care very little about my children,” one dad said. “Having a child has made me lose my career ambition,” said another.
While there are places on the internet where dads can go to read about other dads (Cary mentions sites like How to Be a Dad and Designer Daddy, for example), nothing measures up to the real-live interaction and camaraderie of a meet-up like the one Cary has put together for the men in his community.