When I first started out as a Stay at Home Dad, I had a couple of guy friends that I already knew that were staying home with their kids. The pressure was off. I didn’t NEED to find someone to hang out with. I had these guys, already built into my social network.
Over the course of the last two and a half years though, one moved and one moved on. This time I was starting from scratch. There weren’t any guys I knew staying home with their kids. I had a few choices, I could 1) Crawl into a corner and hide, crying in the fetal position everyday until my wife got home from work 2) Find a mom or two that was willing to take a dad into their group, deal with the awkwardness, but accept it. 3) reach out to find other dads to hang with. I knew they were out there, it was just a matter of finding them.
So it became my goal, to find one, just one dad, to hang out with once a week or so. Someone I could invite over and drink coffee with talking about sports and politics, while our kids played together and disassembled our house.
The first day of my kids’ preschool the administrative lady came running over to me after she heard I was a stay at home dad to mention to me their was another “one of us” that also brought his kids to the school.
I’ve also been lucky enough to have a store near my house that has a dads group once a month. I’ve met some really nice dads that way as well. Every time I go, I meet someone else new. It’s always fun to hear their story about how they ended up where they are.
So, my point is, if you are new to the stay at home parenting thing, don’t think of it as having to find a whole new network of people to be around, just one. You will have to leave your house and put a little effort into it though. Get out there, it may not seem like there are any other stay at home parents where you are, but just keep looking. It just takes one.