Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Why no stay-at-home dad group in Mecklenburg?

Not long ago, I received an inquiry from a transplant looking for a group for stay-at-home dads in Charlotte.

No problem, I thought. I personally know four families here who have made the choice, either temporarily or long-term, for dads to be at-home caregivers for the children while the moms work outside the home. Surely this city has ample resources for caregiver dads.

Turns out, I was wrong. I visited the leading national online resources for dads, Slowlane.com and Athomedad.org. I searched the Observer’s archives. I Googled. I looked through the family resource guide for Charlotte Parent magazine. I turned up just one group in this region: York County Dads (www.geocities.com/yorkcountydads). The group, which organizes weekly playgroups and other activities, also serves dads in Mecklenburg and Union Counties. The group's leader said to me in an e-mail: "I am not sure why there are no groups in Charlotte. It would really be a no-brainer."

Charlotte Parent’s list, by the way, includes at least 20 local groups just for moms; see Charlotteparent.com.

There is a locally-based blogging site, Dadbloggers.com, that focuses on the male perspective on parenting, but it's not just for stay-at-home dads and it doesn't organize activities.

In a county with more than 800,000 residents, and with stats showing stay-at-home dads are on the rise, why isn’t there a Mecklenburg-based activity group? In this era when many women have earning power equal to or greater than men, why isn’t there more public acknowledgement that the choice of who becomes primary caregiver for children can - and should - go either way, depending on individual circumstances?

I realize that many men don’t have as much tendency to be "joiners" as women, and they may have needs different from those in the heavily-populated Charlottemommies.com network. But surely they, like every other category of newcomer I’ve met, hunger for more ways to form friendships and connections.

If you know of other resources for dads in this community I might have missed in my research, please drop me a line.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

CharlotteAreaDads.com is the CharlotteMommies equivalent for dads. Just as Charlotte Mommies is not just for stay-at-home moms, CharlotteAreaDads is for dads of every type - including those who stay at home. Enjoy!

11:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the SOUTH it is against the Bible and SOUTHERN morals for the man not to be the bread winner; A lot of Southern men get flustered at their wives making more than them. This is a muscle flexing type of behavior that is still here in Charlotte; Like " GONE with the WIND" Miss Charlotte isnt permitted to lift the lumber or do anything but make iced tea; Its an old Southern LAW. WOMAN can not make more money than men. Poor Charlotte holds on and holds on and holds on to tradition stereotype for women; Here it is WOMEN can be seen but not heard! Thats Charlotte in a pecan shell.

6:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charlotte wants women to look beautiful and stay at home for the 2.5 kids and Tea socials and thats why everyone is foreclosing , we all need two incomes for the $300,000 dollar neighborhoods. Yes Yes drive a mercedes and join a COUNTRY CLUB and then have Iced Tea at the all womens social club and talk about the little boutique you just invested in.

6:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:01 AM  
Blogger The Nerd in question said...

When did this suddenly become a conversation about the expectations of a woman's place in society and in the home? To get back on topic, the fact is that many more men today are playing an active roll in parenting, whether they are a stay-at-home dad or not. Trading in late nights at the office for picking up the kids at daycare, coaching little-league, changing diapers, feeding, clothing, and just enjoying being a dad! And for those of us who are new to the area and take an active role in all of the aforementioned parenting activities, it makes it that much harder to meet people to socialize with when we do want to have an evening away from the kids. Not only are there limited stay-at-home dad groups, there aren't many dad groups in general. What's a new dad to do?

9:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would not consider Charlotte as part of the traditional South. Of course, Mom's may expect to stay home while Da's certainly do not grow up expecting to stay home. Sometimes it is just the best option. Day care would be the worst option. As far as the websites for parenst, that is all they are. It still is relationships and actual face to face communication that makes these groups (Moms and Dads) real. Otherwise, a CharlotteDads or Mommies is no different than anything else on the WWW. Very important to have real communication.

12:07 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I know this is an extremely old blog post, but why is this still an issue in 2014... And for Pete's sake, why does Charlotteareadads.com default to "The Mommy Network?"

8:29 PM  

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