Mummy and Me Magazine August 2014 September 2014 - Page 40

Daddy & Me Commando Dad COMMANDO DAD ON PLAYGROUPS L Brief: Playgroups are fantastic for your troopers – and you. Don’t be put off if you’re the only dad there: any initial discomfort will be outweighed by the benefits. ast weekend I went to speak to a group of dads at a fantastic group called ‘Dads 4 Dads’ in Burton-on-Trent. I wanted to find out what experiences were daunting for new dads, and unsurprisingly, playgroups where they were in the minority ranked quite highly. It bought back to me how uncomfortable I had been the first few times I went to playgroup. I felt that I was being silently critiqued by all the other mums (I only saw other dads very occasionally), who seemed so much more competent than me at, well, everything. I was all fingers and thumbs. I managed to get even more clumsy under what I TOP TIP perceived to be their NUMBER 1 watchful gaze. I Expect to feel a bit realised – and not uncomfortable the first few without a twinge times you go – it is a new of surprise – that I environment for you, and your was nervous. troopers. Remember that troopers take their lead from you though, Luckily, neither of so try not to show how my sons shared my uncomfortable you are. reservations. They Smile. A lot. just got stuck in from day one and absolutely adored it. And because I didn’t want to stop them being in such a TOP TIP stimulating and fun NUMBER 2 environment, I Although it is great to let decided to brave off steam occasionally, don’t it out, resigning fall into the trap of constantly myself to the bemoaning how difficult it is to be fact that it was a parent. You know how difficult it never going is. Use the play group to find and to be a cosy share excellent and effective experience. strategies that will make the 38 | experience enjoyable and rewarding. How wrong I was. After a few weeks I began to be referred to as ‘Sam and Jude’s dad’, and within H