Welcome to another edition of Dads Groups Spotlight where we featured dads groups everywhere. If you know a great dads group contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can feature them on our site
What is the name of your dad’s group?
• Seattle Stay at Home Dads (Facebook)
What cities or area do you serve?
• Seattle greater area (Seattle, Edmonds, Lynnwood, West Seattle, Bellevue, Everett)
How many active members do you have?
• 80 plus
How long have you been a group?
• 2.5 years. When I joined we were around 15 members and have grown to 80 plus since
Who are the organizers of your group?
• Justin Baram-Blackwell, Greg Mauch, Clark Heaton, Ryan Wasserman, Dan Lantz, John Kern, Mark Meenan, Alex Lin-Meyer, Kirk Alm are all very active members who post on a regular basis to encourage daily outings
• Justin Baram Blackwell was one of the first All Dads PEPS Groups and I believe helped start the group
What was your most successful event?
• One of our most successful get togethers actually was a BBQ at Greg Mauch’s house. My wife’s father produces a sausage on the east coast and shipped some out for me. Greg brews a lot of his own beer, so we posted about having a social at his house to try sausage and beer and it was one of our largest gatherings to date!
How many events do you suggest per month to keep members interested and active?
• Our group meets up daily throughout the week. It is an open forum for dads to post where they are going each day, and people can decide to join an outing if they like. At minimum I personally see members of our group 3-4 times per week at outings.
Do you offer playgroup meet ups? How many times a week do you have playgroup?
• Our group meets daily. Obviously not everyone at once but with so many members scattered all over the Puget Sound area people post each day where they are going, and several groups of dads meet up daily
How did you get the word out about your group to your community?
• By being present in the community alone gets the word out. Many times we are in groups of 5-8, and we constantly hear “oh did you guys give mom the day off to get some rest?”. These kind of moments are great to let others know we do exist as at home parents. Much of our group growing in the past year has been word of mouth out at play area.
Do you offer Dad’s Night Out Events? Where do you go?
• While it is hard at times to get away, we have had several dad nights out for a happy hour during a game or something. Many times we have met up in the Greenwood area of Seattle as it’s seems most central for people to meet up for a beverage.
What is the age range of the children in your group?
• Infant to kindergarten age I think. Many of the current dads I see have infants to this age.
Do you meet in a common place in your community or at members’ homes?
• Both, we are constantly out in the community and at each others houses for meet ups. With the Seattle weather we have to find indoor play rooms or offer up our homes for a get together. We have play dates at peoples houses with BBQ’s for lunch, indoor play rooms, pools, parks, zoo, aquarium, etc. You name it, we are out and about. Even recently there was an outing to a baseball game!
What advice would you give dads who want to start their own group?
• Don’t be afraid to not only be present in the community, be proud of the fact you are a stay at home parent. Also, don’t be shy to educate people if they make remarks about you being a stay at home parent. Many times we hear things in the community from women questioning if we know what we are doing or if we ever had real jobs. This is great opportunity to educate them that you consciously made a decision, regardless of gender, to care for your child.
What is special or unique about your group that sets you apart from other dad’s groups?
• Our group has a very strong bond. We are always willing to help each other out by watching each other’s kids, offering up our homes for play dates and even schedule outings that include our wives or friends. We are constantly in the community with daily outings, meeting up and being present. We are very confident in our roles as male childcare providers, and many of us have built life long friendships in the group. We offer friendship, advice and mentoring to one another as everyone knows being at home is extremely challenging. Most of all we live by one saying, “there is no judging in this group”, we support everyone with all the decisions they make as parents.