There were plenty of great groups and resources for Lindsay as a mom and her and Edith as a mother-daughter pair back in Vermont. Between the bi-weekly moms meet up group at the yoga studio, post partum yoga, and other mom’s groups there was plenty of avenues for her to get together with other moms outside of her own social circle (which proved quite handy since our social circle didn’t exactly contain a lot of other parents!). One thing that you didn’t see so much (if at all) in Burlington were similar groups for dads and their children. I mean obviously as she gets older, there would be plenty of opportunities to participate in her activities whether they be active, artistic or otherwise. But, there wasn’t really any venue to meet and interact with other new dads.
I was pretty excited to find that there were a number of dad’s meet up groups in the area on meetup.com. I found one group that seemed like a good fit. It was a group for new dads to get together and discuss how they were doing as new fathers. The meetup was at a cafe that also serves as a childrens’ play area (it even has Play in the name). As we prepared for the meetup, I started to worry that the group was more of a support group than a dad and children’s meet up group. Lindsay and I both came to the conclusion that if the meet up was at a cafe that was meant to be a cafe for parents to take their children that it would at least be fun to introduce Edith to other children. So, we got Edith ready and packed up and headed to the east side to grab something to eat and explore the area some before the meetup.
When I got there, Edith and I headed inside while Lindsay went off to try to get some work done. I ordered an Americano and panned the room while I waited, looking for the other members of the meet up group. When I noticed them, I saw it was at this point, a couple of fathers quite a bit older than me, neither of which actually had their children with them. I had also overheard them discussing postpartum depression, something I hadn’t experienced and couldn’t relate to. I started to get a little anxious and texted Lindsay asking for advice on what I should do. I can get pretty anxious enough as it is when meeting new people, but realizing I’d be the only person at the dad’s meetup at the children’s cafe with a child and that, at least initially, I would struggle to find something to relate to these other dads with, I quickly changed my order from for here to “to go” and hurried out the door, back to the car with Edith in tow, hopefully without being noticed (I think the barista actually picked up on the situation as she asked me if I wanted to change my order to “to go” before I had a chance to ask her). While I think that it’s a great thing to have a support group like this for dads who are experiencing issues like postpartum depression and who generally are having a hard time with parenting, that just isn’t something I can relate to.
For now, I’ll continue trying to find a group of parents that I can relate to and make friends with for both myself and our family.