Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Modern Day Mr. Moms

When a playgroup consisting solely of kids with their dads meets midweek in a public place, it’s usually regarded with some degree of curiosity.

“We were all at a playground and a woman came up to us and said, ‘Did I miss a holiday?’ ” recalls Ruben Koolman, who has been a member of Chicago Dads, a local social and networking group for stay-at-home dads (SAHDs), for two years.

Chicago Dads is run a little more loosely than most moms groups: The meeting time (10:30am–12:30pm), like the location, is more of an approximation than a specific. A playdate at the Museum of Science and Industry, for example, met “somewhere around the trains.”

This laid-back approach to the playdates—which have no agenda, no story time, no snack time, no obligatory anything—epitomizes the group (and probably the parenting styles of men versus women). It’s all voluntary, all free and all types of dads are welcome. “Some [of us] work full-time, part-time or work at home. Some are retired or are at-home dads,” says Cliff McIntosh, a member who returned to the workforce when his kids enrolled in school.

Check the database here for a registered dad group near you.

No comments: