As the school year gets underway and our kids get back into the swing of clubs, sports, birthday parties, appointments (and more) it means more communication with and from parents and organizations. Unfortunately, as Lead Dads, we are often left out of text chains, excluded from Facebook groups, and not always contacted first in an emergency – even when we’re listed as the one to call. Frustrating? Sure is.
We asked out Dad Community what their advice was on being accepted by mom groups and getting ourselves into that #1 slot of being called by the school – and maybe one day the doctor’s office! Here’s what they had to say:
● Engage. Fully commit to engaging with any and every mom you can. Share that you’re the Lead Dad and the one handling the kids’ schedules. Eventually you’ll find the moms that will get you added to those text chains where all of the playdates and party information happens.
● Stay Positive. Do you like every dad you meet? Of course, not. Some moms aren’t going to accept you or let you in. Fuggedaboutit. That’s their problem, not yours. You’re putting yourself out there for your family – and setting a positive example for your sons and daughters.
● Keep Showing Up. Because moms have been the default parent for so long, Dads have some ground to make up. We can do that by showing up – again and again. Volunteer at your kids’ school, get involved in the PTA. coach sports, go to the parent coffees. Whatever you do, just keep showing up. It matters for you, your family and other dads. Again, you’re setting an example for your children.
● Advocate. It’s beyond frustrating when the school or doctor’s office calls your wife first even though you’re listed as the one to handle this. We made a humorous video about this very topic. You may have to take crazy steps – like changing forms or speaking to school principals or the doctors themselves to become the actual go-to parent. This is a long game; it’ll be worth it.
This is not an indictment of moms as individuals. It’s a movement to change the systemic problem that’s arisen: moms are not always the default parent any more and an increasing number of fathers are stepping up to be Lead Dads.. As we learned in school, demographics is destiny – and more fathers in their 20s and 30s are proactively dividing up parenting responsibilities with their spouses. Change is coming. Until then, we need to continue advocating for Lead Dads and showing up. We can do this!
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