Do you have suggestions to help dads more comfortably participate in "mommy and me" events?
Special thanks to Mommy Chic (mommy-chic.blogspot.com) for suggesting this Q&A.
I'm definitely in favor of family days versus mommy and me days too! There are plenty of fathers who stay home with their children now and they should feel welcome at parent/child events! Planning activities that would be enjoyable for both sexes would be a start...
I have two boys, and my 2.5 year old is especially drawn toward men/dads when we are out at the park, libraries, and museums. I try to make small talk with those dads just like I would with the moms around. Most of the discomfort probably stems from the idea that they're 'different' than the moms at these places and these events, but really we're all parents and we have a solid common ground in that. There's no reason not to be comfortable striking up conversation - ALL parents love to talk about their kids.
Well, first of all, I think stop calling them "mommy and me" events. Why can't they just be family events? That right-off-the-bat makes dads feel like they shouldn't be there.
One thing I've noticed about Trev, fantastic father that he is, is that something structured with Iris really helps his participation. FInding activities where he can interact with her in a setup way rather than just a free-for-all. She has fun and he feels like he's really playing and teaching her.
My husband won't go to mommy-and-me events when he has a day off to take our son. There should be daddy-and-me events offered for all the stay at home dads out there these days! Dads are parents too! :-)