Thursday 23 October 2014


As much as I enjoyed the Open Nest Taking Care event, and I did, I came a way with more questions than I thought I would.
Please don't perceive this as naysaying because it isn't, I thought the day was fantastic and everyone I spoke to shared a similar view.

I confess to being perpetually confused by the disparity between Twitter names and 'real' names. Next year I'm coming in disguise as I felt significantly disadvantaged being an 'out' member of the community. I have being pondering the nature and reasons for protecting our identities and the underlying concerns and fears.

But my resounding question was, 'where are the menfolk?'.

In a room of over 80 attendees I counted perhaps only 7 or 8 men which clearly makes them significantly under represented. However, the attendees reflected the online community built around the excellent work of the Adoption Social and The Open Nest and the Twitter network that gravitates around them a predominantly female community.

I don't like stereotypes, however they can sometimes have a shadow of truth at their heart, 

Generally I find talking about my worries, stresses and strains, unhelpful. I prefer to escape on my bike and blow the proverbial tubes out. Like coming home from work the last thing I want to do is talk about my day, I want to leave it at work. This is true for the scrapes and bruises that I face with the family. Often I just need to be alone with my thoughts and only rarely do I talk to Mrs C or post to Twitter.  Perhaps I don't want to be perceived as not managing or or struggling. Maybe I just want to bury my head in the sand for a few hours or not to have every waking moment consumed by 'the kids'. 

But I dare not presume to speak on behalf of all the adoptive fathers and dad's. They're probably not even reading this so what does it matter. 

Are men struggling? I'm sure some are, I know I do. We have unique stresses we see our, generally female, loved ones bear the brunt of pain and anger. If we work we often are rendered impotent receiving texts and calls recounting behaviour at home; walking into homes after or during conflict or seeing our loved ones harmed emotionally and physically.
So, how do we provide support, how do we target support and do men want it? I'm just not sure.  
I'm not sure what I want. 

I spoke to a few women and they hinted that their male partners were perhaps on a 'different page'. Maybe that is part of the problem.
Maybe there is no problem. 

Maybe I need a ride on my bike to think it out.


  1. Unfortunately my husband was looking after Sqk (only a year in). If we can get someone to look after Sqk then he will come next year I think. It was a bit strange for me - I am used to being a room full of people professionally where I am one a few females - so nice to be other way round for once.

    1. I'm sure that it was a little odd. I know many men were on childcare duties interesting that for this event the duties fell on the menfolk.
      Twas good to meet BTW.

  2. Bumble here. I was looking after the boys so Honey could attend. I do struggle with the conflict of adopting our boys - particularly at the venom Waxy directs at his mum. What do I do about it? I give sanitised accounts to friends. I immerse myself in games and books. I'm wary of stereotypes, but I am definitely from Mars!

    1. Thank you for the comment.
      Walking through the front door into conflict is very different and the disparity between the 'stay at home' and the 'go to work' family member often adds to the strain.
      Like you I make light with friends or paint a palatable picture, they often lack the knowledge or appreciation to give appropriate advice. I find solace elsewhere.
      I'm from Mars and I like it.

  3. Vicki made me read this, as she often does with your posts.
    I don't think there is a problem - I don't go to training events etc because I have to go to work. My wife doesn't have a job in the traditional sense of the word, and so she goes to training/conferences/support groups. I could spend my annual leave going on courses, but I prefer to reserve that for when my wife needs respite in the school holidays.

    And also I think my wife would prefer to go to a predominantly female event - she's more likely to open up and get the empathic support she's looking for.

    Would a men only event work? Would we be up for it? Would this be a solution to the (non) problem?

    The NC, from The Boy's Behaviour

    1. I apologise that I'm used a form of homework!

      Your comment hits many of the points that I think are at he crux of the issue. Like you I worked full time for many years and it was impractical or just not possible for me to attend training or support groups. When I did get time off then I would be reluctant to spend it on 'training' like you. If we had to choose then Mrs C nearly always went, for respite and because she probably would get more from it.
      I believe what men want, or need, is different. Presuming that they want it at all.
      The thought of a men only event sends me cold and I'd be less likely to attend, sounds a bit 'free masonish'. Support comes in many forms and models but the minute we receive or participate under duress then it becomes useless.
      As you say the whole issue may not even be an issue, I guess that is a personal thing.
      My post was not intended to be used as a 'whipping rod' rather provoke a conversation, which it appears to be doing.

      Thank you for the comment.

  4. Oh no not homework, I just don't have the time to read much so rely on Vicki to point me towards the more relevant and thought provoking posts.

    I agree that a men only event might require funny handshakes upon sign up, but I'd be interested to see if others might find it beneficial?

  5. I would be interested in 'men' identifying what, if anything, they would want from support groups or the like.
    Like you I'd get Mrs C to read the books and attend the training and give me a 5 minute summary. I'm just plain lazy.