This is the first in my series called the 10 Commandments of Supporting Your Family. These are in no particular order of importance and have yet to be carved on stone tablets. But if they ever do show up in tablet form you better believe I’m gonna smash them up Moses-style!
Recovering alcoholics are really onto something. They’ve discovered over at AA that they can accomplish more with a support group in place than they can working individually. Their struggle with addiction seems a lot more manageable knowing that they’re not alone in their struggle. They have a small community of people facing similar circumstances and these people will also hold them accountable for their actions.
So where’s the support group for those of us who support our families? Where are the Mom and Dad support groups? And what should these support groups even look like?
I set this blog up for people like me: parents who are reinventing the role of parenthood and approach it all in a revolutionary new way. There are certain things we can learn from our parents but, let’s face it, most of the rules we are making up as we go. And reinventing parenthood is not for the faint of heart, we need support.
Past generations have had their extended family as their support systems. They’ve spent their whole lives in the same community and the support is built-in. There were babysitters, fellow parents to compare notes with and a professional community to network within. The problem us new parents are facing is we don’t live in the communities we grew up in. We have moved off to make our own way in the world and therefore have to start from scratch.
Just as we’ve chosen to make our own rules for our families, we also have to build our own network of support. The good news is we aren’t the only ones looking to build a support system. Like-minded folks are all around us and we just need to reach out.
I’ve seen a pattern lately with my fellow baby-daddies. These are dads who are young, dedicated and who absolutely refuse to grow up. We’ve done a lot to hold onto our youth in spite of our new parental responsibilities but we’re having trouble identifying with our old friends. A dad I spoke to yesterday is finding it increasingly difficult to have a conversation with his old buddies. They call him up, tell him how trashed they got last night and then ask him what he’s been up to. What did he do last night?
- He got home from work
- Read the kids stories in bed
- Fell asleep before David Letterman’s monologue
What could they possibly have in common now? We may still listen to the same music but we’ve changed our schedules and our priorities.
I’m working on my own solution right now. Me and a couple of other dads are going to start a happy hour and my ultimate goal is to form a sort of dad collective from it where we combine our resources, skills and experience to benefit the group as a whole. The recovering alcoholics have AA and us dads are going to have SSS.
If you’re a dad in the Austin area who’s interested or you just want to know what SSS stands for then contact me.
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