So after we decided I’d be a SAHD, The Missus starting saying stuff like, ‘Sure you’ll be bringing the girls to all the classes now – Ballet, Swimming, Baby Massage (etc etc)’ and BAM – just like that, as if I got a swift kick to the ghoulies – the F-E-A-R hit me !!!!….‘Emmm, I’ll be doing what now?’ I replied (half jokingly, half crapping it).
Basically this is the jist. Majority of (all) baby/toddler classes are run by Mum’s for Mum’s *. And sure, Dad’s are more that welcome to join but the truth is, very few Dad’s do it or want to do it for that matter (for whatever reason).
But truthfully, not this Dad – and I’m not trying to make myself sound cool or anything like that. I genuinely have absolutely zero issues about being the only man in the room surrounded by large number of Mums & their babies. They way I see it is you are there to learn a new skill which benefits your new baby (& you). The fact that your bond will grow and develop as a result is bonus territory and I think it’s vitally important to point out – these classes are NOT exclusively for Mums and their babies. So cut me a slice of that pie man cause I want in.
And ya know what? With the class being run by Cara Carter – Cheeky Squeaks was brilliant!!
I have to admit, I kind of giggled to myself when I first walked in and saw a loads of Mums & not a single Daddy to be seen, except muggins here! So I just said to myself, ‘Well, I’m here and I’m gonna get stuck in!‘
The initial looks from the Mums when I walked in was also funny, it was as if they where thinking ‘Huh, well would ya look at that, it’s a Dad’ which quickly turned into a look of approval saying ‘Well fair play to ya buddy.’ All the baby mats where laid out on the ground in a semi circle which helped to create a warm, inviting environment so I rolled my sleeves up, settled in and got chatting.
It really helped that Cara was over to me like a light, having a chat and taking a look at Elle. For the record, we live in the same neighbourhood and The Missus had previously taken Elle to Cara’s class when she was younger so we do know each other.
Bar the last class where Elle was a bit touchie, she was an absolutely joy during the classes. All smiles and giggles (albeit not in the picture above), checking out her new best friends either side of her, flirting away. Happy days! And that made me enjoy the classes all the better because, if she got touchy and say she needed a feed, it’s not like I could whip out me boobs or anything is it?! So thankfully she was great. Having said that, she is a social baby and really comes into her own when other people are around her.
Cara led the intros at the start of each class. So for example, one week we took turns telling everyone our name, our babies name and one item we would bring with us to a desert island (which a few said drink – fair play to them!). Cara then walked us through a series of massage techniques which covered everything from the face to the chest & tummy area down to the legs, ankles, feet and bums (each week focused on different parts bar the last class which covered all areas, baby participation required).
A session would last approx 45 – 60 mins. Some babies where asleep at this stage, some feeding and some (like Elle) where wide awake. At the end of the class, Cara brings a coffee or tea to everyone along with some biscuits which is a nice touch. And because I’m on a Low Cholesterol diet, Cara brought in fruit especially for me which was an even nicer touch, thank you Cara!
Each week, I got chatting to the other Mums and when I mentioned I have recently retired / 4 stents / 37 / becoming a SAHD / becoming a Daddy blogger etc, the reaction towards what I’m doing was really warm and encouraging which was really cool and made me look forward to each next class with an oul pep in my step.
So would I advise other Dad’s to do this/other baby classes? Absolutely! Just do it – go & join, learn a new skill. Get social and get involved, you’ll enjoy it. And ya know what?, if it’s not for you after one/a few classes, then at least you went and tried it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Check out Cara’s website Cheeky Squeaks &/or their Facebook page for more details. (In fact, if there is enough interest, Cara said she would be happy to do a ‘Dad’s only’ class so if you are up for it, let me know via the messaging platform below or email firstname.lastname@example.org).
New Skill for The Stented Papa & Elle learned? Nailed…..now, what’s next?!
* I’m gonna try and change this – gonna try and get a class going for Dad’s only. If you’re a SAHD and you’re interested, contact me with your details and if I can get enough interest, I’ll sort something out for us SAHD’s 🙂