It’s been 20 years since the formation of the National At Home Dad Network’s annual convention. To celebrate this milestone we will be counting down to our convention in Raleigh by featuring past and present attendees, who will share why this gathering of modern fathers is so important.
It’s not every year that we turn twenty. As the 20th Annual National At-Home Dad Network’s Convention rolls around we want to celebrate our special event.
Many dads have transitioned through their role as the primary caregiver for their children and many of them have found and attended our convention to find support and meaning to help them in their journey. For the next twenty weeks we will be highlighting 20 dads who have attended the convention. Join us as they share exactly why this gathering is so beneficial to them, their kids, and their family.
Week 12 – Chris Routly, Portland, OR
1. Who is in your house? Tell us about your spouse, kids etc.
My wife Anna is a biomedical engineer, and we have two awesome sons: Tucker, who is 6 (he actually turns 7 the weekend of the Convention) and Coltrane, who is 4. And before you ask, no, Coltrane wasn’t technically named after THE (John) Coltrane, but if he ends up a legendary sax player I won’t complain.
2. How long were you, or have been a stay at home dad?
I started “officially” when Tucker was 8 months old, so it’s been over 6 years now. I’m a veteran, I think!
3. What city/ cities and year(s) did you attend the convention?
My first Convention was in 2012 in Washington, DC. I drove down from Pennsylvania, where we were living at the time, to attend and speak on a panel. I was blown away by both the people and the programming. I happily returned for the next two in Denver in 2013 and 2014.
4. What is your best memory from a convention that you attended?
So hard to pick just one, so I will give you two.
I would have to say that my favorite moment from the Convention itself was Barbara Coloroso’s keynote at last year’s convention. She was funny, and informative, and really connected with what we do as SAHDs.
Many of my favorite memories are from the activities beyond the official programming, just having a chance to hang out with all of these amazing dads to talk. I lost lots of sleep so I could instead sit and talk with these amazing guys about being a dad, life, loss, death, depression, faith, travelling with world with kids, building community, food carts, beer, finding your passion, and when (as a blogger) to stop editing yourself and just hit “publish.” Yes, even until 2 or 3am, when I had a Board Meeting first thing in the morning.
5. Why should someone attend the convention?
Beyond marrying a fantastic, supportive partner, going to the At-Home Dad Convention is absolutely the single best thing I have ever done when it comes to really thriving in the role of ‘stay-at-home dad’. It’s like a combination of a (much needed) retreat — where I can relax and unwind and take a break from the 24/7 job of primary caregiver — and something of a “professional development” weekend for involved dads. I come away each year both refreshed and better equipped as a father.
If you can go, GO.