So I had a brainstorm over the weekend. Yeah, I know…I was surprised myself. But since I value your opinions and you guys always give me good feedback, I want to run it by you first. I also want you to be completely honest and feel free to add or subtract any ideas to improve this.
So, we all know that after you’ve peed on the stick and gotten that + sign it’s pretty hectic. Moms-to-be immediately go into training in preparation of the arrival of the little bundle of joy. First they buy every parenting magazine and book out there. Then they talk to their mothers and all of their friends who have had babies to get some intel. And then they join up for groups and support networks that put them in contact with loads of other pregnant moms, and instructors who do everything from teach them how to breathe during labor to nutrition for once the baby is born.
Moms have any number of services at their disposal, and rightfully so. But there is one thing missing: stuff for Dad!
That’s why I’ve come up with the Cape Cod Dads Connection (I’m open for suggestions on the name, I just couldn’t think of anything better). In my mind, the CCDC will be a mentoring and social network service just for guys. No women allowed, and that’s the backbone of the idea.
Look, it’s still important for future moms and dads to attend those parenting classes together before the baby’s born. The CCDC wouldn’t take the place of that, but would be in addition to it. Because while those classes were helpful, they were also geared almost exclusively toward the moms. All I learned from those classes was to stay out of the way as much as possible, try to get her to breathe and then they scare all the guys by showing a video of a live birth that sends us running from the exits. And note to the people who run these classes, could we update that video. It’s bad enough we have to see something the size of a watermelon squeeze out a hole the size of a lemon, but the 70′s afro bush was almost equally disturbing. Please, no more.
So the CCDC will be for dads only, and it’ll be a place where future dads and recent dads can meet up. Volunteer dads with kids 12 months and younger will be the mentors, and will pair up with a future dad. No health experts, no medical jargon and no bullshit. The current dads will bring their children with them, and they will be assigned a specific future dad who will be their trainee so to speak. I think this would accomplish a number of things like:
- Allow new dads to ask questions they might not ordinarily ask in front of their wives/girlfriends/partners. I know I was afraid of asking what I thought were really dumb questions in front of MJ, and I had to go to my guy friends who just became dads for help.
- Provide hands on experience for new dads. The current dads will bring their babies with them, allowing future dads to practice feeding, changing and caring for a live baby under controlled circumstances. I mean really, practicing on a doll does almost nothing for you.
- Provides both future and current dads with a social networking tool to meet people of similar ages and circumstances. And let’s face it, anyone on the Cape knows it’s tough to meet young people here because the average age is 104 years old.
- After the future dads become current dads, they take over the mentoring aspect as they pass their knowledge down to a new batch of expectant fathers.
- And lastly, it will make moms-to-be/current moms/partners happy because it will increase dad’s involvement, dads will learn more and spouses get a night to themselves.
I’m sure similar programs are run somewhere in this country, but I don’t really see anything like this around here. I’m not really sure how I’d go about implementing it, but if we could get someone to sponsor us or fund the program it could really be great I think.
Just imagine dads already knowing how to expertly change a diaper right from the start. And ladies, imagine that your husband knows all the little tricks of the trade, and has listened to guys who have been through it so he knows what to focus on and when.
There aren’t many services out there specifically tailored to guys, and this one would be perfect because it’s guys helping other guys with what they need to know. The real stuff. Stuff like “why has my wife become a bitch on wheels during her second trimester and what can I do to deal with it?” Things like “what can I expect during the actual birth?” Or, at the very least, it will serve as a place where guys can know they’re not the only ones going through this and they can feel free to blow off steam, vent about their wives and share any fears they have about becoming a father. And if it works out, they gain a friend and someone they can go to for advice even after the baby is born.
So how about it faithful readers? Do you think I’m onto something here? Do you have a better name for my group? Other suggestions? Ideas you don’t think will work? Hit me up with some comments because I’d really like to see if I can make this work.