D.C. dads band together, create local stay-at-home father community
It’s daddy duty on a morning play date at a park in Prince George’s County.
“They’ll say…is this some sort of dad’s group? We get that a fair amount,” said stay-at-home dad Dave Greene.
The men are part of D.C. Metro Dads—a group of stay-at-home fathers who connect weekly for play dates and other outings. For many of these men, this is career number two—choosing to ditch the briefcase for a diaper bag.
Dave Greene and his wife decided he would stay home when they had their first child a few years ago.
“We have lots of other friends where both parents work and they send their kids to daycare and it's tough because once the weekend comes along you kind of have to force all this family time and I think that's a whole lot more pressure,” Greene said.
The men say not only are they keeping the house together during the day, but they are also fighting stereotypes of traditional roles where men go to work and women stay at home.
“I still get a whole lot of ‘oh it’s your day with the kids huh’—and I’m like, yup, every day,” said dad Marcus Zumwalt.
Zumwalt has stayed at home with all five of his children, and while he may get the occasional stare, he thinks that in the D.C. region, more people are growing open to the idea.
“When I tell people I stay home with my kids - they respond with ‘oh that's great’ or ‘you know what. My dentist’s cousin’s husband stays home with their kids’ - there's some 6 degrees on separation story they have to throw out there,” Zumwalt said.
D.C. Metro Dads gives these men a chance to get out of the house and connect—something they say is important.
“It's always nice to know that there is somebody else in the same boat as you. That you're not the only person doing this,” Greene said.