14 Reasons to Attend the At-Home Dads Convention in Raleigh
Photo by Chris Bernholdt
In a few weeks, at-home dads from across the country will converge on downtown Raleigh for a weekend of enlightenment. The 20th Annual At-Home Dads Convention will take place on Sept. 26-27. Men who take on the lion's share of care for their children will meet to learn, share and grow by day, and eat, drink and be merry by night.
If you're just finding out about it now, or have been on the fence about attending, here are a few reasons why I think you should sign up.
1. It's not just for stay-at-home dads.
While you're bound to meet a lot of guys like me, who left the workforce to raise their kids, you're bound to bump into a lot of dads who juggle work and fatherhood in a variety of ways. Many of our veteran members have returned full-time to the workforce while their kids are in school and have a wealth of knowledge to share.
2. Go for yourself, your kids, your family.
This year's theme focuses specifically on creating learning tracks for men who want to focus on improving themselves, their family or their children.
3. Grow in professionally.
Almost every professional has a convention for professional development, from bartenders to accountants. Dads are no different and once a year we offer a chance to grow as a full-time dad.
4. Get CPR certified. There's an added bonus to this year's convention; dads can sign up for a Friday or Saturday session of CPR certification. It's an added cost, but you can return home on Monday certified in infant, child and Adult CPR and better prepared to handle emergencies.
5. Enjoy a weekend away.
Everyone needs a vacation from their job, and dads are no different. Leave the kids with the wife, grandparents or babysitter for the weekend and enjoy some time where you can blow off steam unfiltered. There will be no shortage of attendees looking to cut loose after a day spent in sessions, so bring your party hat.
6. Support network growth.
For at-home dads, building a strong support network is crucial when you spend your days in the parks, libraries and grocery stores surrounded by moms. Two days a year we meet for the convention, but the other 363 days we exist in a myriad of social networks, sharing stories, asking questions, and providing a safe space for dads to vent.
7. Find an ear or a shoulder.
Most of our attendees have been coming to conventions for years, building relationships with everyone to the point where they look to each other as brothers. Many of our breakout sessions are open forums where guys can talk about problems in a safe and trusting space.
8. Experience a fast-paced taste of Raleigh.
The convention will be held in Raleigh for the first time ever. Whether you’re local to the Triangle or visiting from other parts of the state, this is a great time to get out and experience Raleigh. Arrive early and enjoy various tours guided by some of our local dads.
9. You may go home with some helpful gear. Several sponsors are holding competitions and giveaways for some pretty nice gear. You could go home with a free car seat.
10. Gain some library stock. For the first time ever we'll be hosting a book exchange. Many of our attendees and speakers have written books to help others find their way through the at-home world. It’s a great chance to bring some knowledge back home to share.
11. Learn how to grow a group.
If you're finding it difficult to meet and get together with other at-home dads in your area, you won't be alone. Group leaders from cities big and small attend the convention with the intention of bringing as much information back to the dads in their hometown as possible. It’s a great chance to talk with guys about obstacles they faced in getting a playgroup together.
12. Hear from the other side.
For the second year in a row we will be hosting a panel of wives whose husbands are at-home dads. You'll have the unique opportunity to talk to the other side, and gain some perspective on what your own partner might be facing.
13. Teach others and share expertise.
If you have a special skill or expertise, whether it’s in dealing with developmental delays or home-brewing beer, someone will want to learn from you. Come to Raleigh to learn and be ready to teach, as some of your peers will be looking for guidance on issues you most likely have already faced.
14. Savor great food.
When you register for the convention, you're signing up for a weekend of some of the best food this town has to offer. The bulk of your registration fee goes to pay for meals from Friday night to Sunday afternoon. You'll head home fat and happy.
To register for the convention, or find out more information about attending visit the National At-Home Dad Network's Convention Page
If you're a stay-at-home dad or would like to learn more about the Triangle Stay At Home Dads, you can find us on the playgrounds or at Trianglestayathomedads.com and meetup.com/triangle-stay-at-home-dads.