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Stay-at-home fathers

(7 Posts)
dorsetpennt Fri 06-May-11 13:16:23

Thirty years ago, for financial reasons, friends of mine decided that he would stay at home and she would go to work. They didn't want their baby put into a nursery. My friend said the worst aspect for him was the loneliness, as he did not have a network of friends as his wife would have done if she had stayed home.
Now my son and his wife are doing the same, he cares for their toddler and she goes into the city. He is a wonderful father but has the same problem. He takes my granddaughter to playgroup three times a week and he is barely acknowledged. He often feels that he is treated with some suspicion for some reason. I have been to the groups once or twice with him and he is right. One person actually came up and talked to me - my son said that was the first time she came near him. There is another stay at home Dad who does come to one group from time to time, but he is the only one that sits and chats to my son. The playleaders do and obviously like him.
So despite young women today thinking they are far more broadminded etc then we were in fact they are behaving exactly the same way.

twinklepickers Fri 06-May-11 14:40:20

I agree totally with your experience. However may I suggest that your son gets in touch with his local home education movement - they quite often have Yahoo groups for the area. Many of them will have younger and older children and meet up for coffee etc. and they are all intelligent and moreover sociable people who are used to being different to the norm so are not as judgey as the run of the mill toddler group crowd. smile

Also, praise him because he's doing an amazing thing for his children that many men are not capable of doing.

dorsetpennt Fri 06-May-11 14:54:47

Thank you so much for your kind words and helpful suggestion. I shall pass your suggestions on to him when I visit next week. I do praise him a lot, he is often full of self doubt about his abilities, he doesn't realise that he is really a super father, mummy is super too .

twinklepickers Fri 06-May-11 15:08:48

It's really hard though. My DH went through the same and he felt guilty about taking them to the park for this reason. You'd think women these days would know better after all they don't automatically assume their own husbands are paedophiles, yet the man in the park with the toddlers must be up to something hmm

It's very sad. The best thing he could do though is talk to these people, unless you break down their prejudices it never gets any better. But yes, associate with more intelligent people would be my advice. Makes a huge difference. smile

dorsetpennt Sat 07-May-11 14:13:30

He has made overtures to the various women in the playgroup, he always says hello he is so well mannered, and gets nods for a reply. If he is sitting near enough to a group he tries to make a comment or an observation and receives a one worded reply. He lives in the Richmond area so he surrounded by the people who are better off and live in some very nice houses indeed.These are the so called intelligent type of people you mentioned. Picture a square church hall with seating around it. My son for example will sit facing the door and the women on chairs on the sides of the room. I've seen it. Bless him, he just takes his paper and has one eye on it and one on his daughter. He goes for her sake, luckily he and his wife have a wide circle of friends.

elizajane Sun 08-May-11 23:51:07

There should be a Children's Centre in every area by law. Each of these should have a fathers' worker whose job is specifically to support and encourage dads. There is also a Children's Information Service in every local authority which should give information on all Children's Centres and all other provision for children and families. Your son should contact these agencies. It sounds like the group he is using is not very good. A good one would make more effort to welcome every parent and facilitate their social contacts with other parents.

Copper Mon 09-May-11 08:27:15

Perhaps they both should look on Mumsnet for local stuff for RIchmond - they both may find congenial people and then link up in reality?