In a couple of weeks I will be heading down to the 17th Annual At-Home Dads Convention, which this year is taking place the first weekend of October in the Washington, DC area and is put on by the National At-Home Dad Network.
I’m so thrilled to be able to go, finally.
I’m into my fourth (!!!) year now as a self-described “stay-at-home dad,” but have not been able to make the trip before now. Many thanks to my wife and in-laws who are going to make it possible.
You might think the idea of a convention for at-home dads sounds a little silly, or conversely you may wonder why you’ve never heard of such a thing because it sounds like such a great idea. Either way, everything I hear about the convention has been that it’s a life-changing sort of weekend as far as connecting with other dads, having great conversations about being the best dad you can be, and generally just refueling for this role where it can sometimes feel like we’re running on fumes.
This has been something of a landmark year for me and this blog and my new-found role as a daddy advocate (or as I like to call myself, “accidental activist”).
Yes, it got some larger exposure because of the whole Huggies Thing – my readership is now finally made up of more than just my immediate friends and family, for one — but it certainly remains, on the whole, a pretty small endeavor compared to a lot of parenting blogs.
However, one of the nicest side-effects of said Huggies Thing has been how it connected me with so many amazing dads around the web. I’ve made some friends who I am really, really looking forward to getting to meet in person. There has been talk of ribs, my reward for services rendered to the community.
I’m also looking forward to sessions on things like growing and promoting my local dad’s group, and hearing from featured speakers like Jeremy Hilton, who was named the 2012 Military Spouse of the Year (the first dad ever so honored).
Two extra bits of excitement about the convention this year:
First of all, I am exceptionally happy to say that, as part of their commitment to supporting dads and moving the conversation forward about our important roles as active and involved parents, Huggies has stepped up as one of the convention’s new major sponsors. In addition, they will be providing a diaper donation to the local chapter of the National Diaper Bank Network in an effort to raise awareness. I could not be happier.
The other bit of excitement is that I am on a panel! Yes, me! I haven’t really talked about it on here very much, but in the past year I’ve been doing fairly regular interviews with various media outlets about fatherhood, being an at-home dad, the bumbling dad stereotype, etc. I will be joining some awesome fellow dads for a panel discussion on how we can engage with the media to move the perception and portrayal of dads into the 21st century.
Look for more about the convention as it happens!
And if you happen to be a dad reading this who would like to come, check out their website and register ASAP!
Now here’s the big question, the one that seems to haunts every blogger who sets foot at BlogHer:
Whatever will I wear?
I have far too many geek-centric graphic t-shirts and wrinkly cargo shorts to decide among them. Sandals, or cheap Wal-mart converse knock-offs?