Embrace the what?

I’ve been inspired. Last weekend I attended a convention in Denver, Colorado with 70 other guys who share a profession. Actually, I believe we share a passion. We’re all Stay At Home Dads, part of a growing national network, cleverly named the “National At Home Dad” network . We gave up our careers and chose to stay at home and help raise our kids.

At the convention we listened to various speakers and participated in several break-out sessions on a variety of topics. I went to Denver not knowing what to expect or even a single other guy there. I hoped to connect with other dads and maybe get a tip or two about how to be a better dad or husband. What actually happened blew me away.

For the first time in over 12 years of being a full time stay at home dad (SAHD) I felt like I belonged. I wasn’t that lone dad (or maybe one of two) at play group or the park, trying to figure out how (or if) I fit in among the multitude of moms. I was part of a brotherhood. A room full of guys who all knew what it was like to do my job. No explanations needed. Just a nod of the head, wink of the eye, knowing smile or pat on the back. From the brand new SAHDs with one kid to veterans like me with multiple kids and many years of experience, we all bonded over shared experiences and common interests. Needless to say, I made many new friends that weekend.

I also left Denver with many new ideas that I hope to utilize with my family so that I can be a better father and husband. I’ll share some of those thoughts in future posts. One of the break out sessions really inspired me to action and so now I’m taking the plunge into the world of dad-blogging. I don’t know exactly what I’m going to write about, how often I’m going to write or if I’ll be any good. One of the presenters, a long time blogger, Doug French, told us that everyone starts out terrible but (usually) gets better as more is written. I believe his exact words were, “Embrace the suck!”. To be fair, he also said being a dad blogger has made him a better dad because it’s forced him to be more reflective and think about what he’s doing as a father. I’d like to think that’s a pretty good reason to blog.

So, with that admonition I’m going to wrap up this first post. I can’t promise you any answers or great nuggets of parenting wisdom. But I will be honest, forthcoming and (if I’m lucky) witty as I try to share my thoughts about being a Stay At Home Dad with six children. I hope to inspire and encourage others as we go through life together.