My job is connecting with other parents, especially Dads through groups, workshops and classes and one-on-one coaching. I absolutely love it and have definitely found my passion! One of the things I recommend and encourage the most, especially to Dads, is being willing to step out and connect with other Dads and parents going through similar phases and dealing with similar struggles. It is very encouraging to listen to another parent share that they are going through the same behavioral challenge you are, or to have them bring up something that’s bothering them that you have already gone through and have some ideas you learned to share. I believe it is a vital part of parenting and managing the ups and downs of raising little people. And yet…it is something I have a hard time pushing myself to do and engage in outside of my work responsibilities.

There are reasons for this that go beyond just excuses. I struggle with anxiety and depression. I am an introvert. Our society as a whole restricted and discouraged social gatherings for upwards of two years. And yet, every day in my career it is something I point to and encourage as a huge boost and support to all parents and caregivers. So recently (thanks to a lot of patient nudging and encouragement from my wife) I started trying to not just talk it, but also walk the walk in my own life.

I have an in-person parent group just for Dads and male caregivers and I’m really enjoying the connections with these guys! I decided to attend the monthly Men’s Breakfast at my church, and I’m saying yes to more requests and opportunities to hang out with friends. I’m trying to be less reclusive and in my own head and world. I’m taking small steps and trying to push through my tendency towards reluctance and avoidance. And I’m doing these things not just because I want to avoid being labeled a hypocrite, but also because I can see the positive influence they bring to my life and my overall improvement in mood and enthusiasm when I do them. My advice actually works! All I have to do is take it myself 🙂

So I leave you with this encouragement…find one social connection, find one small community you can join and take the first step of signing up. Then take the next step of showing up. If it goes well…great! Keep going! If it doesn’t…it’s Ok to step back, but then seek out another group or opportunity and try again. This job of parenting and raising little ones is incredibly rewarding, but also very difficult and stressful. It’s even more challenging when we do it alone. Don’t go it alone. Reach out and find someone or some group to connect with. Both you and your children will be glad you did.

Opportunities I’m offering or participate in:

Dedicated Dads Community

Becoming A Super Dad

Boot Camp for New Dads

Parenting Groups – Parenting Now

Dadventure Facebook Group (QR Code Below)

This is fatherhood…