February 4, 2022 at 7:30 am EST
Well-Known New York Times Columnist Launches First Online Support Group for Lead Dads
Creating a much-needed inclusive community for Lead Dads – whether they work full time, part time or stay home
New Canaan, CT – Feb. 1, 2022 – Paul Sullivan, the former longtime New York Times “Wealth Matters” columnist, today launched The Company of Dads, the first online community support group for “Lead Dads,” a growing but long-ignored demographic. A Lead Dad is defined as a man who is the primary caregiver for his children. He works full time, part time or not for money outside the home. But he typically has a more flexible schedule than his working spouse or partner and thus, takes a lead role among the two parents in keeping the house together.
“While there are many groups focused on creating community for moms who are primary parents, many Lead Dads find themselves longing for a community where they can interact,” said Sullivan. “For 13 years as a weekly business columnist, I had a secret, second job that I loved but didn’t always feel comfortable talking about. I was the Lead Dad to three daughters, supporter-in-chief to my wife who had a less-flexible career, and the parent who would arrange play dates, birthday parties and doctors’ appointments.”
Lead Dads are a growing group. In 2016, men made up nearly 20 percent of all stay-at-home parents in the United States. Today, with the shift caused by the pandemic, men who are taking the lead on parenting has risen, and it continues to grow as the pandemic permanently reshapes careers and work.
“During the pandemic, while writing a weekly business column, I was also the parent who was organizing online learning and the one picking up kids when someone in their class tested positive for Covid,” Sullivan added. “I wasn’t complaining, but I was starting to feel increasingly isolated as days blurred together in the same combinations of at-home learning, forced outdoor movement, and odd hours of working. That’s when I started working on the idea that became The Company of Dads.”
Lead Dads, Sullivan noted, have traditionally felt isolated in a role that is not considered normal. Other dads don’t always understand what they’re doing while stay-at-home moms aren’t always welcoming.
In his final New York Times column – published in October – he wrote openly about the frustrations of being a Lead Dad and longing for a community of such a nontraditional group of fathers. That column elicited reader response like no other – from men who want to be better Lead Dads and working moms who want their spouses to step up into such roles to companies seeking to fill such a void in their diversity, equity and inclusion training.
The Company of Dads goes live today with an online platform that will connect dads. It also offers videos, podcasts and written content to inspire, humor and educate Lead Dads – including a link to the Discord platform where Lead Dads – in real time — can commiserate, seek advice and make connections to dads in similar situations. Sullivan envisions eventually branching out into in-person gatherings and conferences once the community builds scale.
To learn more about the community, visit www.thecompanyofdads.com.
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About The Company of Dads
The Company of Dads seeks to unite Lead Dads and to give them a forum and an outlet they have lacked until now. It also strives to help Lead Dads fulfill their potential by coming together to motivate, entertain, inspire and unite each other. No one is excluded. This community is an online and real-world gathering spot that allows us to be dads, husbands and guys in a world where Lead Dads aren’t understood.
About Paul Sullivan
Sullivan created the Wealth Matters column in The New York Times in 2008 and wrote it until October 2021, when he ended it to start The Company of Dads. At the Times, he helped run several special sections and also contributed features to the paper’s golf coverage. Over his 25 years as a journalist, Sullivan wrote for Golf Magazine, Fortune, Conde Nast Portfolio, Barron’s, the Financial Times, Bloomberg, Institutional Investor and Food and Wine. He is also the author of two books, Clutch: Why Some People Excel Under Pressure and Others Don’t, and The Thin Green Line: The Money Secrets of The Super Wealthy. He has degrees in history from Trinity College and the University of Chicago, and lives in New Canaan, CT, with his family.