Registration opens today, June 11, for the 17th Annual At-Home Dads Convention at www.athomedadconvention.com.
This year’s event, organized by The National At-Home Dad Network (formally Daddyshome, Inc.), will be held for the second consecutive year in the Washington, D.C. suburb of Alexandria, Va., the weekend of Oct. 6.
The Convention comes at a time when there are more at-home dads than ever before. The U.S. Census Bureau reported last year that 32 percent of fathers with working wives are the primary caregivers to their children (up from 26 percent 5 years ago), exactly the kind of dads from around the country that attend the Annual At-Home Dads Convention.
In 2011, 58 dads, including 28 first-time attendees, from 21 states attended the Convention – the largest turnout since 2005. The National At-Home Dad Network expects that growth to continue as more men seek out the educational and networking opportunities the event offers.
The gathering is especially important for fathers looking for support from men in similar situations. Attending the Convention can dramatically improve the success and well-being of at-home dads. “Men who reported high levels of social support reported higher levels of relationship satisfaction (i.e., less distress), and overall were more satisfied in their lives,” according to Dr. Aaron Rochlen, Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology at the University of Texas-Austin and a strong supporter of the convention in a 2007 study of at-home fathers.
Attending my first convention 7 years ago was the best decision I made as an at-home dad. The friends and knowledge about parenting I have gained has been invaluable to me and my family.
The Oct. 6 Convention will again be full of open forums and educational discussions for dads. Dr. Rene Hackney, a parenting and child development specialist and the founder and creator of Parenting Playgroups and one of the most popular speakers from the 16th Annual At-Home Dads Convention, returns as a featured speaker. There will also be children’s age-based discussion forums, topics on how to start a dads group and a session on dads with daughters, among many other subjects.
Registration is $75, but dads who sign up before Aug. 24 get $15 off. Saturday lunch is included in the price. Attendees who also donate $50 or more to help The National At-Home Dad Network further its mission to support, educate and advocate for at-home dads will be invited to a President’s Reception hosted by me immediately following the convention.
The weekend does not start or end with the Saturday Convention. It will be full of activities with a dad’s night out hosted by the DC Metro Dads group on Thursday, a Friday meet and greet that will include a tour of the U.S. Capitol Building followed by food and drinks at Mr. Henry’s, a bike tour of national monuments and a post-convention dinner on Saturday at Theismann’s Restaurant. A Sunday tour of the Udvar-Hazy Air & Space Museum is also planned for those spending some extra time in the D.C. area.
The official hotel for the 17th Annual At-Home Dads Convention is once again the Embassy Suites Alexandria-Old Town. A group rate of $139 a night is available. Those seeking roommates can visit www.athomdedad.org for more information.
The National At-Home Dad Network is a 501c3 non-profit organization that supports, educates and advocates for fathers who are the primary caregiver of their children.