You know it’s a meeting for men when the food is meat lovers pizza and there is 4 kinds of soda, none of which are diet. That was my first thought walking through the door of Eastern Maine Medical Center’s Daddy Boot Camp.
I have to honest. Walking in I really thought the class would be kind of a joke. A big ol’ waste of my Wednesday night. I didn’t get a lot out of five weeks of labor class and I thought this dad-to-be bonding session would be even more pointless. I half expected a bunch of 17-yr old state cases who were there for the free dinner and to get tips on raising a child in their parent’s basement.
What I did get was several men who were educated, informed and interested. Everyone there had real concerns about proper care for both baby and wife. Several of them were more informed than I was on a few topics and were able to give advice or resources for the questions I had, and I felt like I was able to offer up some good advice as well.
The class brought in a new dad who had with him his 10-week old daughter to talk as well. His on the job training and candid answers to our questions was some of the most helpful advice I have received. The conversation was genuine and flowed very organically from topic to topic.
What I realized after the class is that I had it all wrong. Any man who would spend three hours at a hospital in this sort of setting obviously wants to be the best father they possibly can. I may not have all the answers but feel better now and have a few more resources at my disposal. EMMC and Penquis did a great job putting this together and I’m glad they have such a program. I would recommend attending to any fathers to be out there.