I have a dirty little secret, a guilty pleasure that I usually indulge in whilst my wife is upstairs and my son is sleeping. She doesn’t like me doing it when she is there, in fact she can’t even bring herself to watch, she thinks it’s a disgusting thing and shouldn’t be allowed. That’s right I’m talking about Jeremy Kyle’s morning round up of deadbeat parents, drug addicts and DNA tests for girls who need to figure out which one of the five guys she was sleeping with that particular weekend is their baby daddy. There was a quote on Facebook the other day ‘no matter how bad your life is, remember that the guests on Jeremy Kyle are wearing their best clothes' the day that a track suit and a pair of ropey old Adidas are my finest is a bad day indeed. That being said for all the bad, like which one of those five guys is going pay for that drunken fumble round the back of the kebab house on that Saturday night, that he also tries to help the addicts and delinquent parents. They also reunite long lost siblings and estranged parents which just proves that it’s really worth it, but I like to watch just so I can try and count how many teeth are on stage at any one time, it never usually gets Into double figures so it’s not too distracting.
On Saturday I went to an event put on by a local church for Dads which I think is great. I used to go to one when my daughter was little and I had just started as a stay at home with her. It was fortnightly and they had tea, coffee and more importantly bacon sandwiches. For me it was great I got to meet some other dads and chat whilst the kids played with all the cool toys or do some crafts. It was run by the local councils children’s services department and they even organised a trip to a farm around spring time when the lambs were being born. I took my daughter to this and I really enjoyed it being back in the countryside (I’m from Yorkshire and lived in some very rural places) but she absolutely hated it and cried for most of the time we were there as I think she was teething at the time. The only thing I didn't like was I was the only dad there, as it was a midweek trip and I was the only stay at home dad that went to Saturdads. Now I know I'm not the only stay at home dad in Oxfordshire and I think that there should be a bit more of this kind of thing for us SAHD's, as it can be very hard to integrate into the many baby and children’s groups that there are. I know from my own experiences, and many that I have read about that men are often shunned and ignored at these things. I read about one dad who was asked to leave the room while a mother breastfed her child, which I think is absolutely outrageous, after all it’s a perfectly natural and wonderful thing a mother can do for their child and not all men are going to sit and gawp at breastfeeding mothers. I used to go to a local toddler group once a week and my daughter used to love going there, I didn’t. I was the only stay at home dad who went and it was a very lonely couple of hours for me. I would go in and make a coffee and watch my daughter play whilst I stood there ignored, apart from a few hellos and any attempts to start any kind of conversations were often met with “ I must go and see to (insert name of child here)” so I stopped going. So for me the Saturdad's group was ideal for me it gave me a chance to interact with other dads without the loneliness that I felt at the group. I liked going to Saturdads but it eventually got cancelled due to budget restrictions and the numbers that attended weren't huge.
I have high hopes for this new group and hope that it can stay the course, we dads need something like this and there should be more of them around, after all there are a lot of us SAHD’s around and we do need a little bit of time away from Hey Duggee and Bing.