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Dads at mother's group?
if and when to bring in DH? SAHD to be...

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#1 Tomate1910

Posted 07 December 2012 - 09:46 AM

Hi all,

I have my first mother group meeting next Tuesday and then another one the following week and then next one in the new year. Hubby will be most likely to go to the one in the new year as I will be back at work. Would you take him to the first two sessions so everyone already knows him or is it weird as it will most likely only be girls swapping war stories...

I was wondering if I should go on my own for the first time and ask how everyone would feel about him being there the second time... and then have him come with me the second time and go alone the third time..DH is very funny and social. has worked as an ECT and been around lots of babies and mothers and female colleagues... so he knows how to behave himself and is comfy with bf mothers.

I am just worried that

a) some mothers will say they would feel uncomfortable with a man there and

b) that if he doesn't go he will go insane with no real outside contact to other parents with babies...


Eta any ideas on howmto find a local Dads groups? (Sydney northern beaches)

Edited by dr superfruity, 07 December 2012 - 09:54 AM.

#2 niggles

Posted 07 December 2012 - 09:51 AM

Congrats on the new arrival. original.gif

Is he worried about going nuts and having no contact with other parents? Does he want to attend a group of mothers? If yes, I think he should go as early as he likes. He can share his own war stories and decide whether being the only Dad in the group is going to bother him.

As an alternative, if the idea does not appeal, have you thought about looking for a local Dads group?

#3 PurpleNess

Posted 07 December 2012 - 09:54 AM

Id suggest going to the first one on your own & explaining your situation to the other mums & suggest he come the following week as he'll be the main caregiver in the new year.

Once of our mums has gone back to work & her DH is looking after her daughter, we've extended the invite to him but as yet he hasn't attended. Our circumstances are a bit different as we'd met him before etc.

#4 QueenIanthe

Posted 07 December 2012 - 09:56 AM

I think Dads should be more than welcome if he is comfortable going.

We had a Dad come along to Mums Group but that was after we had known each other for a while. I had issues with him coming, not because he was male but because he was a d***head.

#5 Goggie

Posted 07 December 2012 - 09:57 AM

We had a dad attend our first one. No issue here! It was nice to see actually

#6 ScarfaceClaw

Posted 07 December 2012 - 09:57 AM

We didn't have any dads for those first few meetings, when you sit awkwardly around in a circle and try to practise BF in public, but now we have a pretty even showing of dads at our gatherings. In particular my husband only works part time, so is often there for park afternoons, and another time shares in that he works 3 days and mum works 4, so we see him as much as we see her.

I think it's great.

#7 chicken_bits

Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:01 AM

We had a dad tag along with his partner and daughter to the first couple of sessions for our new parent's group. I thought it was great! It was really nice to see such a loving caring partner so interested in finding out information and it was great to get a father's perspective on things.

He doesn't come along any more, but I would be happy if he still did.

#8 Honey1331

Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:01 AM

All Dad's were invited to the our first mothers group, and they popped in here and there after that.

We always have an open invite to the Dads (now that we organise our own catch ups), and considering we have a SAHD in our group who actually organises most of the catch ups, it'd be a bit awkward any other way!

#9 Rachaelxxx

Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:02 AM

To be totally honest, our first Mothers Group session was spent discussing our birth, breastfeeding, bleeding all those sorts of things.  I would not have appreciated a dad there at all.  I have great relationships with all my girlfriends husbands, but I don't think the first session of a mothers group is one of those times dads need to be present.

#10 Juliette3

Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:11 AM

Our mothers group actually had quite a few dads - one was a stay at home dad, one was a shift worker, one was a retired second marriage dad. We ended up calling it 'parents group' not 'mothers group'! We were never embarrassed talking about birth, breastfeeding, bleeding etc with them around as they had all been there through it all with their wives. I would say their presence definately added positively to the group. I would encourage your hubby to go - he may be able to get other dads involved too and it is better for everyone. We were also on the Northern Beaches.  smile1.gif

#11 WithSprinkles

Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:14 AM

I'd go to the first one on your own, explain that your DH will be the primary caregiver and see if they'd be cool with him attending the next meeting with you, then subsequent meetings by himself (with baby of course!).

I don't think it would be a problem (I personally would be totally fine with it) but some mums might want advance warning he is going to be there in case they are uncomfortable.

#12 76 others

Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:15 AM

I say screw it if people don't want him there. If they were the type of people that don't handle it well, then they aren't worth it.

#13 zande

Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:15 AM

We had a SAHD at our playgroup and he was just the loveliest guy, the kids loved him and he was quite happy to listen to our "mummy" woes! He could share a bit about what his wife was going through (we'd met her of course as well), and it always meant we had a volunteer to cook the BBQ when we did our Christmas and Easter days out!!

#14 IVL

Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:16 AM

Congrats on your new bub. My DH has done many stints as the STAHD. Whilst I agree it is still quite the novelty around these parts it is becoming more common. My DH used to take our girls down to a Dad's playgroup at Kirribilli Neighbourhood Cente. I am not sure if it is still running but I hope it is, both he and the girls really enjoyed their time there. You could enquire with your local early childhood health centre.

My DH came along to I think the second "new parents group" meetings we had, the first one was pretty mother/birth focused like others have said. There were also 2 other dads that came along reguarly and had more involvement in their babies lives as the mum's were going back to work early. My DH ended up having a close group of 4 Dad's that would meet up at our place  or a park and they still have a regular poker nights. I am lucky that I still have regular catch ups with my mothers group friends, all who work in a professional role, and it is a great support system for us, in fact we off for our Christmas dinner tomorrow night.

#15 seayork2002

Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:20 AM

Maybe mothers should stop being precious and realise there is a big world out there that involves the people out there that got them up the duff in the first place.

Babies have dads too!

#16 Escapin

Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:24 AM

We have a dad in our PARENTS group because heard his partner are gay so there is no Mummy. He had come to every meeting, right from the start.quite a few other dads have come along at various times too. I think you might find that it is discriminatory not to allow him to attend and frankly, I can't believe in this day and age that people are even suggesting it! WTF people?!?!

#17 BetteBoop

Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:26 AM

What we did was got everyone together so we all got to know each other. In my mother's group, some of the dads stayed home at different points.

So really, we were a parent's group, rather than a mother's group.

It can be awkward for some women to talk about things to do with their bodies in an honest way with men in the room. I would start off by trying to get everyone to meet and then raise the idea of him coming to mother's group.

But if they aren't keen on the idea, then don't force it.

To look for a dad's group in your local area, go to the Playgroups Australia website. There are more and more around. It's also easy to start one up.

#18 FeralFerretOfDoom

Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:30 AM

I assume this is a group organised by your Early Childhood Health Centre, rather than just an informal gathering of new mums?

If it is the first then absolutely I think the Dads should be welcome - those first 5 sessions that our health nurse ran were full of valuable information about dealing with a newborn, which was just as useful to those with a penis as those without. Our first meeting we actually had quite a few of the Dads show up.

If you're unsure, then why not call the ECHC nurse to check with her?

#19 AdelTwins

Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:33 AM

I think you should take him to the first meeting - if anyone doesn't like it, tough! They can always leave the group... And frankly, why would you want someone like that in the group?
I think it would be a good way to weed out the "not so nice" people.

#20 Harlekijn engel

Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:34 AM

I can't answer all of your concerns, but as to this...

QUOTE (dr superfruity @ 07/12/2012, 10:46 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I am just worried that b) that if he doesn't go he will go insane with no real outside contact to other parents with babies...

Plenty of mothers don't go to these groups either.  I would rather have had my fingernails pulled out with pliers.  Perhaps get him to sign up to EB!

QUOTE (Juliette3 @ 07/12/2012, 11:11 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We were never embarrassed talking about birth, breastfeeding, bleeding etc with them around as they had all been there through it all with their wives.

Good for you being so liberated.  I'm sure women who have more reserve feel so wonderful about themselves now after you've said that.  (Bloody hell, I don't speak about these things with most women, let alone men, whether they've "been there through it" or not!)

#21 FeralFerretOfDoom

Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:35 AM

QUOTE (seayork2002 @ 07/12/2012, 11:20 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Maybe mothers should stop being precious and realise there is a big world out there that involves the people out there that got them up the duff in the first place.

Babies have dads too!

I think that's a bit unfair. New mums are dealing with a lot of physical issues that are intensely female and very private - tearing, leaky boobs, hormones going crazy, sometimes incontinence etc etc. While some women may feel completely comfortable talking about that sort of stuff with a man in the room, I don't think it's unreasonable for some to feel more comfortable sharing their experiences in a female space.

#22 BetteBoop

Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:37 AM

QUOTE (Escapin @ 07/12/2012, 10:24 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We have a dad in our PARENTS group because heard his partner are gay so there is no Mummy. He had come to every meeting, right from the start.quite a few other dads have come along at various times too. I think you might find that it is discriminatory not to allow him to attend and frankly, I can't believe in this day and age that people are even suggesting it! WTF people?!?!

When I was looking for a mother's group, I found dads' groups, groups for Catholic parents and people from non-English speaking backgrounds.

If I couldn't join a dads' group, do mother's groups have an obligation to allow men?

#23 au*lit

Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:44 AM

Our MCHN was very clear that it was a 'new parents' group, not a mothers group.

At the first meeting we had two dads come along. One of them continued to come on and off for the formal sessions as his work was flexible. I'm pretty sure nobody had a problem with it.

I would say both go to the first one and get a feel for the group.

#24 Escapin

Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:47 AM

QUOTE (BetteBoop @ 07/12/2012, 11:37 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
When I was looking for a mother's group, I found dads' groups, groups for Catholic parents and people from non-English speaking backgrounds.

If I couldn't join a dads' group, do mother's groups have an obligation to allow men?

I'm referring to the council run parents groups. All the other privately run ones are a different kettle of fish. Sorry, should have made that clear.

#25 Guest_- Poppy -_*

Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:50 AM

It depends on the group and the child health nurse.

My friend is really shy and has a real problem talking to new people so she got her hubby came with her to the first mothers group meeting and the child health nurse told him to go home!!!

My child health nurse told me to bring my DH to our mothers group sessions!

It really depends on the group and the child health nurse.

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