In the unexpected, the focus often shifts to the mother. But there is a whole different side that often gets overlooked – the father! Being a father is a big responsibility and it’s not easy to walk the path of the unknown alone. The great news is that you don’t have to. A friend of Advice and Aid Pregnancy Centers has shared about how Pathways affects him and the fathers that come in.
I have been working with Pathways since the program started almost two years ago. For most of the first year, we had a very small group of men attending. However, I was happy to be there if even one dad found it worthwhile. We are still a fairly small group, but we have a few dads who attend regularly and I know that number will continue to grow.
We have a laid back structure, avoiding a strict curriculum for now. We meet the first and third Tuesdays of each month and a lot of the Dads come when they are able. We completely understand when a Dad has to occasionally work late, take care of a sick child or has another commitment.
We don’t follow lesson plans because of our relaxed structure but we do something incredibly important: we talk.
I have almost 30 years of experience as a dad and I’ve learned some things over those 30 years that I am able share. I come prepared with a topic and general ideas to discuss, but we have often found it very beneficial to the group to simply go wherever the discussion leads. We might talk about finances, work/life balance, taking care of Mom, somebody’s good or bad day, sometimes even the Royals – whatever the guys want to talk about that night. I find that the dads, with their more recent experiences, can often learn as much from each other as they do from me.
As with most of my volunteer efforts, I find that being a part of this group helps me as much as it helps the men who attend. We have a great group, but we always have room for more. If you can only make it once in a while or have to show up late, that’s fine. Please join us.
Getting plugged in to a group of like-minded individuals can make a whole world of difference to someone who is hurting, confused, or alone. Pathways provides that opportunity. Here at Advice and Aid Pregnancy Centers, we care not just about the women but also about the men that come through our doors. Men, you too have a voice that deserves to be heard and acknowledged. Let us help you get your voice heard.