It all began back in 2003 with 3 stay at-home dads and a vision…
Mike Stilwell, Peter Steinberg and Matt Vossler were a trio of at-home dads from the Washington D.C. area involved in a great local playgroup. They wondered why there wasn’t a National At-Home Dad Network so other at-home dads around the country could find great local playgroups like theirs. They got together with an attorney and, by early 2006, incorporated the first and only national non-profit organization for at-home dads, originally called Daddyshome, Inc.
Getting other at-home dads from around the country interested in the idea was challenging at first. Men, in general, don’t think they need the support of others. It took 3 years but Mike, Peter and Matt managed to convince enough at-home dads from around the country to join the organization. In 2009 the board was expanded to 9 members from throughout the U.S. Chapters were established in over 70 U.S. and Canadian cities. A National Network for at-home dads was on the move!
On May 7, 2012, the name of this organization was changed from Daddyshome to the National At-Home Dad Network (NAHDN). The name change was made to more clearly define what the organization does, what it stands for and explain its objective. At the 16th Annual At-Home Dads Convention in Washington DC on October 6, 2012 a new logo for the organization was revealed that pictorially explains who and what stay-at-home dads and the NAHDN are all about.
Dr. Robert Frank, Professor of Psychology at Oakton Community College in the Chicago area, began the annual convention for at-home dads as part of his study of this unique family arrangement. As more and more dads learned about the event, it grew into a way for stay-at-home dads to connect and enhance their parenting skills.
After 10 years, regular attendees Andy Ferguson, Dayv Glusing, Phil Andrew, Hogan Hilling, Brian Chalmers and others with the National At-Home Dad Network took over the responsibility of organizing the Convention. They took the Convention “on the road” and have hosted it in different destination cities throughout the U.S.
Now, in its 21st year, the Annual At-Home Dads Convention is the 2nd longest-running fatherhood event in the country and still proudly organized by dads for dads.
In January of 2011, the most popular website for at-home dads, www.athomedad.org, was generously donated to The National At-Home Dad Network by Chicago-area at-home dad Mike Biewenga. Over the next two years, The National At-Home Dad Network has worked to update and upgrade the site. In early 2013 a new and improved site that connects at-home dads was launched.
The National At-Home Dad Network is excited about the future for at-home dads! The number of stay at-home dads continues to grow and, more importantly, so does the number of those seeking support so they can become BETTER at-home dads. The National At-Home Dad Network is committed to these at-home dads and plans to continue to offer more and better ways to help these stay at-home dads find the support and resources they need to be the best at-home dads they can be!