What’s it all about? And why the Dads?
This is an idea I’ve been toying with for a long time and thought it needs to be put into action!
While being on maternity leave myself it struck me how little there was aimed at Dads. It gave my partner little incentive to get out the house with our daughter and try new things and experiences. Especially when it’s one-on-one time for them!
Since setting up Mini Magoos, it hit me even more that in our current climate of shared parental leave (an option that only 3% of our population take advantage of) that there is a distinct lack of male presence in my classes. Don’t get me wrong, there are a couple of dads that attend, and I whole-heartedly tip my hat to them. As a mum it’s really hard walking into a room full of other mums, feeling full of the ‘new mum insecurities’. But as a Dad walking into that room full of knowledgeable mums, my guess is that’s its even harder to do!
When discussing my ideas for the Dads class with someone, they told me a story about when a relative used to take their child to a toddler play group. The usual mum friendships blossomed yet every week there was a lone dad who no one spoke to. No one befriended him or checked if he was holding out ok. She said her relative regretted not doing this years later and it still weighs heavily.
This got me thinking even more about that pressure of parenthood from a dad’s perspective. The NCT website states that Postnatal Depression (PND) appears in 1 out of 10 fathers, most commonly occurring between three to six months after baby is born. Mind.org.uk states that the figure is much higher and that 1 in 5 partners can experience symptoms of PND. Whilst the symptoms and causes of PND remain very similar in both Mums and Dads, only a mother can be formally diagnosed.
Knowing this, the main element I want to achieve for our Dads class was to make it a safe environment. For those taking that big first step through the door, alone or with their partner that they never feel that “watched” sensation. They know everyone is in the same boat and someone can say ‘how are you finding it all?’ We want our class to give Dads some confidence and reassurance that they aren’t alone, that the struggles a new parent faces are shared by everyone. We want to see new friendships grow and those vital lines of support be created and strengthened.
Bonding and fun go hand in hand and this is a proven way to combat those dreaded bad feelings creeping in! Let the partners take the reins and give them the chance of that responsibility. The proof that they have ‘got this’ and they can manage, if only for an hour! Sometimes that’s all that’s needed!
Our first DADS CLASS takes place on the 30th June and tickets are currently on sale at www.minimagoos.co.uk
On the day families are very welcome at the class, but I do ask the role of the main parent to take a back seat and have a brew and some cake while their partner has the chance of that bonding time. Take lots of photos and videos and make it a day to remember!
Our beautiful venue in the Village of Willaston will make you want to take a lovely stroll or if the weather’s nice to make use of the garden area we have available to us. Refreshments will also be available on the day and are included in your ticket price.