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.
Many dads have transitioned through their role as the primary caregiver for their children and many of them have found and attended our convention to find support and meaning to help them in their journey. We have been highlighting 20 dads who have attended the convention and their stories about their experiences. Stay at home dads from around the country are preparing for their first convention ever and the veterans can’t wait to be with their peers to reconnect and continue to learn.
With only four weeks left, this week Tim Hughes shares how finding the convention not only lead to friendships but the opportunity to become involved with the National At Home Dad Network. Enjoy this week’s Road To Raleigh from a veteran member who understands the importance of this event for any dad who wants to improve not only himself but his ability to be a husband and father.
Week 4 – Tim Hughes, Traverse City, MI
1. Who is in your house? Tell us about your spouse, kids etc.
My wife and my son Joe and daughter Julia. My favorite photos are from Spring Break this year where my wife, daughter, and I traveled with my in-laws to San Diego. Another one was from about 8 years ago when Joe, Julia, and myself all participated in our local Nordic ski race while my wife cheered us on. And finally, a picture of my son this year at a Michigan State University basketball game. Go Spartans! Joe is making plans to attend the MSU Business School after his senior year.
2. How long were you, or have been a stay at home dad?
I became the at home parent in 1997 right after my son was born and my wife joined became employed full-time as a Medical Oncologist in Traverse City, Michigan. Two years later we adopted an infant daughter from South Korea. I have coached soccer, baseball and cross country skiing and running, and have also worked and volunteered at my children’s schools. I am even a volunteer bus driver for my daughter’s parochial school!
3. What city/ cities and year(s) did you attend the convention?
My first memory of attending the National At-Home Dad Conference was when I walked into a Chicago hotel in November of 1998 when my son Joseph was one year old. Hogan Hilling, one of the conference organizers, greeted me at the door and we hit it off instantly. I attended the next 3 or 4 conferences in Chicago and continued to really enjoy the camaraderie and friendships which developed. I was asked to lead a discussion and was thrilled to do so.
4. What is your best memory from a convention that you attended?
After my first conference I returned home and enthusiastically contacted our local news station and ended up being interviewed for a newspaper article and TV spot. Our local dad’s group grew and I returned with a couple of dads for the next conference in Chicago. One year I brought my infant daughter with me and while I presented other dads held my baby daughter!
5. Why should someone attend the convention?
I would encourage any Stay-At-Home Dads to attend this year’s National Convention to network with like minded dads doing the same. You will gain confidence and enthusiasm and you will make great friends who you can keep in touch with.