Dad's night out

The more keen eyed amongst you may have noticed that I failed to get a blog up last week, and for that I apologise. You wouldn't think it would be that hard to pump out one 5-or-600 word piece over the course of a week, and ordinarily you'd be right. But last week was a bit full on. We took the opportunity of the long weekend to make a trip to Tauranga to see relatives, and Rotorua to see lion cubs. By the time we got home on Monday night, writing a coherent blog post was beyond my ability, as was seeing straight and standing  up without making a noise something like "unghhh". (Long drives do that to me these days)

The rest of the week was one of those rare (think Transit of Venus rare) weeks where I had something on every night. Tuesday night was quiz night, (as a side note, Wednesday night was an advanced screening of Prometheus, for which I had won tickets, and gave me a chance to see it before spoilers started infesting the interwebz. Amazing!)

So I didn't get a blog post up, but I did get to hang with a bunch of good blokes at the Tote on Tuesday night: the guys from my antenatal class. We all met nearly three years ago now, in a small room in the local YMCA. Most of us were starting our parenting journey for the first time, and we were from a  range of ages and backgrounds. One thing that I guess you could say we have in common was that we didn't have much of an idea what we were getting into for six weeks of antenatal class, let alone years of parenting.

I've heard that it's pretty common for the mums in an antenatal group to continue to catch up for coffee afternoons well after the babies are born, but less common for the dads to keep in touch. Our group saw the mums catch up weekly, and the whole group come together as families around every other month for a weekend activity like a barbecue or outing. We dads get together much more sporadically, but we've recently found an enjoyable excuse to get together more regularly with quiz night at the Tote. We haven't made it a weekly thing - we're just not that organised - but it does look like something that will happen reasonably regularly.

Having other dads around that are at the same stage of parenting as you are can be invaluable. There's nothing quite so reassuring as hearing guys that you know relating stories about the things their kids are getting up to, and seeing it reflect your own experience. Besides, once you've seen a guy spending an evening wearing the "baby belly", there's nothing you can't share after that. We had no choice but to become mates really!

Antenatal classes were a big help in getting ready for life with a baby, and going through it with good people was a real blessing. We shared a really important time together and it would have been strange to have just parted ways with them once our babies arrived - especially since a couple of babies arrived while classes were still going!

Oh, and the name of our quiz team? Dad's Night Out.

Did you go through an antenatal class? Do you keep in touch with them?