It takes a village to raise children.
As a mom of two littles ones, I get it. It really does. As mothers, we are often encouraged to find our village–our people. We’ve heard the struggles of how hard it can be to find mom friends. To find people who love your kids. To find people who won’t judge you for the pile of laundry on your kitchen table and the Kraft mac and cheese you’re feeding your kids.
I get it. I need that in my life. I have been lucky enough to find a few of those actually.
But, what about dads?
In this more modern parenting era, where many households have two working parents and share all the duties with the house and the kids (where we tell dads they aren’t babysitting when it’s their own kids), why do we not see that push for dads to find their people? Their village?
Parenting is hard work! It’s hard for dads, too. Parenting changes your friendship dynamic. Of course, I am friends with people who don’t have kids, but it’s different. Bringing a six and three-year-old over for dinner just isn’t the same thing as it is with someone who has kids.
My husband is very social. He always has been. But, he was a manager for most of his professional career so even though he was friendly with people at work, they weren’t really friends because at the end of the day he was still their boss. After I joined a local group in Charleston and started meeting people, I got closer to a few. I probably didn’t even think about it at the time, but the first time we went to their home for dinner, it was like we were setting up our husbands on a friend date.
I mean come on, the moms got along great, the kids were the same age, the dads couldn’t mess it up now!
Thankfully, they didn’t. Our husbands got along great. My husband had his first dad-friend. Just like I need a friend who might call up and say, “Hey, want me to bring over some coffee or wine?”, he needs some friends who say, “Want to help me put some shelves together while our kids play?”
A few years ago, my husband and kids went to our friends’ house to hang out for the whole afternoon–without me. You guys, I just napped and caught up on Real Housewives. He watched football while the kids played outside. They were gone for hours. It was amazing.
Over the summer, some friends started a Friday pizza and game night. We all take turns hosting, and the kids run around and destroy whoever’s house we are at while the adults play and talk and laugh. Little by little new people get brought into the group, and it’s been great! Some are couples, some are single moms, some are single dads. But we are all on this parenting train together.
I need a break sometimes. I need friends around me who get that. My husband needs that, too. All dads do. So while, of course, I think you should find your people. Find your mom-friends. Find people who get it–who get you. Don’t forget about the dads. They need people, too. They need people who want to go see the new Avengers movie and watch college basketball and play cards. We don’t give dads enough credit and with that comes this idea that it’s not as hard on them.
So go ahead, dads, find your people.