Raleigh hosting national stay-at-home-dad convention

Posted September 25, 2015

— For the first time, Raleigh is hosting a national convention aimed at bringing stay-at-home dads together.

The 20th Annual National At-Home Dads Convention began Friday and runs through Sunday at Marbles Kids Museum. The event will include a variety of classes, including father-child relationships, food therapy seminars and advanced paternal photography.

More than 100 dads from across the U.S. and Canada are expected to attend. Estimates peg the number of stay-at-home dads across the country at about 1.75 million, according to the group.

In Cary, Austin Dowd is the CEO of his home.

"While we are with our kids all day, it is a job. We are running around. It's stressful. But between all that stress, we'll be on the playground and get to see them do something for the first time. That is the coolest part,” Dowd said. "We are not Mr. Mom. We are not men in skirts. We are dads. This is what we do."

The father of two loves being a stay-at-home dad but says he initially felt isolated and didn’t know any other fathers who were trading their paychecks for the playground.

"About nine months into the job, I decided I wanted to reach out to other dads. It didn't take long before I just found a growing group of guys,” he said.

Those guys, all part of the brotherhood, plan to meet at the convention this weekend.


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  • Erika Phipps Sep 26, 2015
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    Wow. Just wow.

    It's always good thing for those in non-traditional roles to find support, fellowship, and helpful ideas this way. It isn't for every man, but to nay-say what they're doing based on a narrow-minded concept of masculinity is just weak and pretty pathetic. What's strong and honorable is the character of the men stepping up to be their child's primary care-giver. Bravo to them!

  • Jessica House Sep 26, 2015
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    Putting aside the troll comments, this is also called being a full time dad. Parenting is hard and the most important work most people will do (unless you cure cancer, famine, etc.) For these guys to be secure enough to do it full time means they are more secure in their manhood than the armchair quarterback type.

  • Mike Watson Sep 26, 2015
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    If its really a stay at home dad convention then its going to be minimal attendance, after all those dads should be staying at home instead of going off to attend a convention.