Monday, October 08, 2007

Wanted: Daddy Friendly Playgroups

I received an email today from someone I don't know. A common friend referred her to me. Here is what it says:

Hi! You don't know me but I'm a student at UH working w/ Dr. B- on a thesis. I mentioned to her that I had a pair of friends doing the stay-at-home-dad thing and they were having a ridiculous time finding a playgroup for their youngest (about 16 mos.) that would allow Dad to bring her instead of Mom. Dr. B- recommended you as the man to ask about such matters. If you do have any leads on father friendly playgroups in the Houston or Baytown area, it would be a great help.

First, does anyone know of father-friendly playgroups around Houston?

Also, I would like to congratulate those fathers for taking a lead role in the care of their children. Staying at home is a big risk for any parent because it can lead to a lifetime of difficulty. Once you have a gap in your resume, it will always be there. The journal I work for, Feminist Economics, will be publishing a study next year that shows how caring for children lowers women's income over their lifetimes. I hope that these fathers will not face the same employment difficulties that mothers have. Perhaps with men taking time off, or going part-time like me, the gender norms that create the conditions for income gaps will change.


Anonymous said...

If they're in the Heights or nearby (Garden Oaks, Montrose, Timbergrove, for example), I can help; we have a pretty organized Yahoo group and playgroups for the members. The playgroups are organized by age of the child, not by sex of the parent. Dads are most welcome. I can't figure out how to e-mail you, so if this helps, refer them to holpine-rmc AT yahoo dot com.

cake said...

i have never heard of playgroups that would not allow dads. i can't believe it! the play groups i have been involved with never stated such restrictions, but i've wondered if dads would feel welcome, since it is usually mostly moms. thanks for posting this, and i'd love to hear how it turns out.

lisa said...

I know nothing about Houston, but we have a neighborhood yahoogroup to facilitate playdates and, while dads are allowed, they quickly developed their own sub yahoogroup to connect with each other as well, because-hey, sometimes they want to talk about different things.
Our group was started 4 years ago and grew exponentially as soon as there was a go to place on the web-so I would suggest starting something similar in your neighborhood. Having the yahoogroup encourages participation from people who can only come once in a while.
We now have 30 some subgroups for everything from book groups to hiking outings. ~lmc