It’s been 20 years since the formation of the National At Home Dad Network’s annual convention. To celebrate this milestone we will be counting down to our convention in Raleigh by featuring past and present attendees, who will share why this gathering of modern fathers is so important.
One week left! Stay at home dads are packing their bags and headed to Raleigh, NC next week for the largest gathering of stay at home dads anywhere. We end our #RoadToRaleigh journey with a journeyman himself, Hogan Hilling, co-author of Dads Behaving Dadly and Dads Behaving Dadly 2. The convention is about finding and making connections with people and Hogan has had that impact on all of us who have gotten to know him. It’s fitting to end with someone that exemplifies how important it is to find a community in which you are accepted. As Hogan would say Keep on Daddying! and we’ll see you in Raleigh.
1. Who is in your house? Tell us about your spouse, kids etc.
I’m an empty nester and single. My three boys are 27, 25 and 22, have their own lives and live on their own. I’ve spent the last three years focused on writing books, being a proud advocate for fatherhood and staying involved with the NAHDN.
2. How long were you, or have been a stay at home dad?
I came out of the pantry in 1991 and ended my 20-year tenure as a proud at home dad after my youngest son graduated high school in 2011. I feel so blessed and enjoyed every minute of my role as the primary caregiver, have no regrets and a long list of memories of time spent with my children.
3. What city/ cities and year(s) did you attend the convention?
I attended my first convention in 1997, the 2nd Annual in Chicago. I also attended the conventions in the cities of Omaha, Sacramento, Kansas City, Washington D.C. and Denver. The convention in Raleigh will be my 15th Convention.
4. What is your best memory from a convention that you attended?
Like my 20-year tenure as an at-home dad I feel fortunate that I have so many fond memories that it is hard to choose. Every convention has been memorable and fun! But here is a short list.
Talking with an expectant dad who attended the convention with his dad to learn more about the at-home dad lifestyle.
Volunteer work we did at the homeless shelter. One of the women at the shelter sang “Amazing Grace” to thank us for the work we did – painting and repairs. She did a phenomenal job. It was a very touching moment.
The session with the three working wives panel and the standing ovation that followed.
Chris Colby’s success story he shared at one of the Chicago Conventions had all the dads laughing hysterically! His story inspired the idea to include success stories at every convention.
Holding a welcome sign at the airport with the words Mr. Al Watts while I waited for Al to arrive. Al was disappointed there was no limousine.
Getting lost after I left the convention with Tim Hughes on our way back to the hotel.
Watching Bob Noonan stand up on the dinner table at the restaurant, pull his pants down and moon us with the military tattoo on his butt.
Mike Njus’s presentation on hairstyling and teaching dads how to take care of their daughters’ hair with head mannequins.
Meeting Liam Smith. He was smoking a cigarette in front of the hotel near a construction site. I thought he was one of the construction workers.
Alberto Pellicer’s presentation on reading to children. Despite his accent Alberto was a hilarious and share some great information.
Riding in the shuttle van to the volunteer event in Denver. The shuttle van had a dance pole but no entertainment. None of the dads wanted to touch the pole.
Watching Cuda Marc Bradley Mitchell hold and eat a gigantic Voodoo donut.
Watching Greg Washington’s animated debate with another at-home dad in the back of a bar about a topic that shall not be named
5. Why should someone attend the convention?
To take a much needed and deserving break from your family and at-home dad responsibilities; have fun; bond, meet and network with other like-minded dads, get re-energized and learn how to be a better parent from the parenting experts and other dads in attendance.
To every dad I’ve met at the conventions thanks for all the GREAT memories and helping me the best dad I can be for my kids.
Keep On Daddying!