Welcome our contributor, Jay, back to Pensacola with Kids with an announcement for all the local dads out there!
I remember, prior to the birth of my kids, people telling me that “everything was about to change” in my life. They were right, of course, but the one change I didn’t expect was that I would suddenly find that I had very little in common with my friends any more. Once J.T., now age 7, was born, I discovered that to be one of the biggest changes. Most of my friends were single or in relationships. Few were married, and none had kids. This was a huge adjustment for both me and my wife, Amber. She soon found a group called MOMs Club. In the group were a bunch of moms who planned events to get together, spend time with their kids, and widen the circle of friends for them and their children. I don’t think I would be exaggerating to say that this group saved her sanity and has been a huge benefit to her life and to our kids’ lives. I would be lying if I didn’t say I was just a bit jealous.
After Jill, now age 4, came, Amber discovered a group in our area called Central Valley Dads. I joined immediately and met, within a few weeks, some great guys who were going through, or had recently gone through, the same things I was. When we, the dads in my town, realized that CVD was largely web-based and did very little to get people together in the real world, we decided to start our own group, Fresno Dads Club, and focused more on real world events to get us and our kids out having fun. Some of my best friends are guys I met through that experience.
Recently, while talking with a friend of mine who is going through a divorce and getting used to being a single dad, I mentioned Fresno dads Club. His immediate response was that we needed something like that in Pensacola. I agreed and, that same week, I started a Facebook group, Pensacola Dads Club. Within a few days, we had several people requesting to join the group and wanting to know more.
The goals we have for this club are simple:
- Community: To serve as a community for local dads of all kinds, from dads-to-be to fathers without custody, from working family men to stay-at-home fathers.
- Camaraderie: To provide a way for dads to get together and enjoy fatherhood, from getting the kids out for fun and hosting “couples nights,” to fostering those occasional activities just for the dads.
- Children: To be a vehicle for getting the kids together on activities and playdates, helping our children to foster friendships of their own, regardless of background or life experience.
- Charity: To perform an ongoing community outreach, with the goal of assisting charities and programs that support children and families in Pensacola and throughout Northwest Florida.
We had a little meet and greet a couple weeks ago, and although we only had 4 dads come out, I was encouraged. Our next event is on July 14th. We will be meeting up, with the kids, at Sanders Beach Park for a BBQ and park day. The event will be from 10-2, and we welcome any and all dads and their kids (wives, GFs, significant others are also welcome) to join us for a fun day of swimming, playing, and food. We are excited about the possibilities of this club, and hope to plan at least two “with kids” events each month (eg: bowling, fishing, park days, etc.), as well as “dads only” events (eg: poker nights, meet-ups, etc.).
So, if you’re a Dad in the Pensacola area and you’re tired of struggling to find fun activities you can do with your kids, or just tired of going places with your kids and wishing they had more kids there to play with, this is the group for you! We are all inclusive; welcoming married dads, single dads, dads sharing custody…if you’re a dad, you’re in. Come out and join us on the 14th, or come fund us on Facebook and join up at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1548946315244669/