Modern dads are changing family life every day. New fathers get to take the best and change the rest. That’s where Andrew, our Daddy & Me class facilitator, comes in. Andrew is a Marriage and Family Therapist with a private practice in San Francisco- and the at-home father of high energy twins. He’s keenly aware of the challenges dads face keeping it all together once their children arrive on the scene. Andrew loves getting dads and their kids together for lively discussions about creative ways to balance work and home life, maintain good relationships, and keep themselves healthy while they become the best dads they can be.
Interested in learning more about our Daddy & Me series? Please join Andrew for a free Daddy & Me Preview on Wednesday, February 10 from 6:00-7:00pm at our San Francisco store. Complimentary wine and snacks will be served. Register here.
Want to know a little bit more about Andrew? We had the chance to interview him about his experience facilitating the Daddy & Me series.
1. Please share a little bit about yourself.
I’ve lived my entire adult life in the Bay Area, at first by accident, and now on purpose. My story is pretty common – grew up in the midwest, moved to SF to “find myself”, tried on a few identities, explored a few SF sub-cultures, and wound up staying. Occasionally I find time to get out to see live music or take a good bike ride, but the adventure now is raising my family and becoming the best dad I can be.
2. What makes the Daddy & Me series at DayOne Baby so special and unique?
I can’t think of any other place where dads and their young children get together specifically to talk about being fathers. Maybe they casually chat with other dads at work or at the playground. But there aren’t many places for men to speak to other men about becoming a parent, certainly not as many as are available to moms. Daddy & Me is one step toward fixing that.
3. What do you hope dads gain from this experience?
Sitting in a circle with five or ten other dads and their new babies is a great way to see other men’s example, find camaraderie and supportive fellowship, and share the joy and challenges of new parenthood. We want our dads to really feel and respect their own ability as parents. For better or worse, most parenting education is aimed at moms, and moms get more opportunities to prepare for and think about parenthood. Many dads get kind of blindsided by fatherhood and can’t shake the, “I’m doing this all wrong,” feeling. So what we’re about is letting dads know that they’re already “doing it right”. Our message is that dads can and should get hip-deep into parenting. They can learn more, do better, and feel confident doing it their way. We try to encourage and inspire dads to just dive in and go for it!
5. What is the biggest transformation you have seen?
We only meet 4 weekends, so the obvious transformations happen in the kids. Watching a 3 week old newborn turn into a 7 week old baby, or a 6 month old learn to crawl is pretty amazing no matter what. But in that month the group gets to see the other dads grow in skill and confidence. Watch a man care for an upset or hungry baby during class while participating in the discussion and try not to feel inspired!
6. What are some common misconceptions about fatherhood that some of the dads have prior to starting class?
By the time our dads start class, most of their misconceptions have been smashed to bits. A baby changes everything including whatever ideas they used to have about fatherhood. They’ve got questions, sure, but they often have more answers than they know. Talking with other dads really brings out the problem solvers. Part of living in the 21st century is most of us are making fatherhood up as we go along. The “traditional” way of being a dad is kind of a pale role that often doesn’t fit modern relationships and families. My hope is that by sharing experiences and learning from others that each dad leaves with some sense of his unique identity as a father – a sense of what makes him different than other dads, and in that sense what makes him a perfect fit for his unique family.
7. How can dads feel more comfortable in the DayOne Baby stores?
Consider how much men often identify closely with their interests and hobbies. No one blinks when a man walks into a sporting goods store, a hi-fi dealer, a record store, or Fry’s to learn about and invest in his hobby, in that identity. In the same way I think DayOne is a great place to go and learn about becoming a great dad.
We hope to see you in our upcoming Daddy & Me course.
Register here for the 4-week series starting Saturday, February 20 at 11:00am in San Francisco.
You can visit Andrew’s website here.