It was a lot of fun and educational. But most importantly it gave me renewed confidence that being an at-home dad is something I can really do well.
Here are the top 15 things I discovered during this year’s convention:
15. Dads will travel to Omaha from as far away as Florida and Vancouver, Canada, not only to learn how to be better dads but also to help paint and fix up a small homeless shelter in south Omaha.
14. Just because you’re homeless doesn’t mean you don’t have an amazing talent capable of moving me to tears by singing “Amazing Grace” better than I have ever heard it. Thank you, Kayla.
13. Dads can indeed follow directions (no thanks to me, by the way).
12. Mom blogger Amy Grace can hold her own in a roomful of dads talking about babies, football and poo.
11. Zio’s doesn’t like it when you want to push a few tables together so you and your 12 or so friends can all sit together.
10. Warning your child is just giving him a chance to practice his bad behavior again.
9. If you argue with your kids, you lose. Every time.
8. A “Yuck List” of your child’s three least favorite foods (that he or she doesn’t have to eat) is a great way to get him or her to eat the other 512 foods that are a little less yucky.
7. There are between 158,000 and 3 million at-home dads. Or to put it another way: No one knows how many at-home dads there are – but there sure are a lot of them!
6. I’m pretty good at flinging CDs, T-shirts, books and pillows to prize-winning dads. They’re not always good at catching them.
5. I need to get the book “A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue,” by Julia Cook.
4. After eight years of fixing our girls’ hair, I still learned some great tips (like how to quickly part their hair down the middle to make pig tails) at the “Quick and Easy Hairstyling” session.
3. When you ask if anyone is willing to get involved with your organization, a lot of people just might say, “Yes!”
2. A guy who looks like Richard Dreyfus can get jealous when his girlfriend stops to talk to a group of very married at-home dads outside of Barry O’s. (The dads, for what it’s worth, are shocked any woman other than their wives still looks at them!)
1. A small convention of at-home dads can make a huge impact on a community by proving that any dad is capable of being a loving, attentive, caring, active and involved parent.
I would like to thank Momaha.com for its tremendous support of the convention this year. While this is a site for moms, the moms and staff of Momaha.com have gone out of their way to point out that dads are important, too.
Al Watts is the Vice-President of Daddyshome, Inc. – The National At-Home Dad Network and an at-home dad of four children living in west Omaha.