Becoming a parent turns your whole world upside down, in the most wonderful – but also totally confusing and sometimes terrifying – way.
As women we’re more likely to reach out for emotional support to help us through the transition. We’ll debrief with other mums about labour, sleep deprivation and changing relationships. We’ll talk to doctors, midwives, family and friends. We’ll join our Mama Tribe and connect with people going through the same experience. But what about the men in our lives, where should they turn to find some dads going through the same experience? How can they debrief about their experience of parenthood?
Since we first started Mama Tribe, we have been regularly asked by lots of mamas to recommend similar support and meet up groups that are available to dads. But the truth is, we didn’t know any either! We too felt like our partners needed support through the dad journey, but weren’t sure where to look.
So, with Fathers Day tomorrow, we decided to do some research and bring you a list of support and meet up groups for the dads in your life. Whether thats your partner, brother, friend, uncle or your own dad – we’d love to help you, help them, find a supportive community of dads.
Dads need a space to share experiences, learn from each other, and practice their dad jokes. Sometimes, they also need a little nudge to put themselves out there. We hope this is it. Here is our list of support and meet up groups for Australian dads. If you have one we’ve missed, then shoot through and email with the details to firstname.lastname@example.org – we’d love to keep building on this list.
Dads Group Inc.
Dads Group Inc. connects dads in local communities so they can share experiences, make new friends and share healthier, happier family lives. They have local dads group chapters, an app and practical online resources through their ‘Dads Bootcamp’ program. The group started in Victoria, but is spreading nationally. Check out their website and Facebook page for more info.
Life of Dad
Whilst face to face support is crucial, being able to connect online can really help ease the isolation that many dads can experience. Life of Dad is a Facebook group where expectant and new dads to be connect, learn, share, celebrate, ask and be supported. Experienced or ‘veteran’ dads are welcome and play an important role in the group.
Beer and Bubs
Location: Most major cities
Beer and Bubs is a one–night session at the pub where expectant dads learn how to support their partner through the birth of their baby. Childbirth is daunting for men too and this session prepares fathers for an active, caring role. What we love, is that this gives dads the chance to meet other dads in their local area who will be having a baby around the same time. With any luck they’ll swap numbers and stay in touch after the little bubs arrive.
DadsLink is a an initiative of YMCA Victoria, who aim to enhance the relationship between fathers and there children by providing information, support and a range of hands-on activities for dads, kids and families. DadsLink run a program of weekend activities for dads and kids every month – like camps, dad meet ups and BBQ’s. You can get more information from their website, Facebook page or by emailing email@example.com.
Hills District Dads
Location: Hills District Sydney
Hills District Dads (or HDD) is an inclusive and supportive group where you can connect with other local dads to chat about anything to do with fatherhood and life in general. HDD have a number of special interest groups and associated sports teams and regular group, 4WD and Motorcycle meet ups. Check out their website and Facebook page for more info.
Bondi Dads is a Facebook group that organise regular catch ups for local dads. They generally meet every Saturday morning on Bondi beach, weather permitting. All details can be found on their Facebook page.
Brisbane Blokes with Kids
Ah dads, always so practical – even with their names! Brisbane Blokes with Kids is just that – a place for dads with children of all ages – from newborns to teenagers, married, separated of divorced to connect with other local Brisbane dads. You can find all of the details on their Meetup page.
Do you know of a dads group we’ve missed? We’d love to keep building on this list! Shoot through an email with the details of the group to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll include it!