'Being a dad can be quite a lonely life,' says father who set up dad's social group 2 years ago

'Being a dad can be quite a lonely life,' says father who set up dad's social group

Are dads isolated in the world of parenting?

Given the fact that women are still more likely to cut back on work or give it up completely for childcare purposes and with so much of what's aimed at parents - from products to days out - being marketed with mums in mind, it's little wonder that some dads find it difficult to socialise with each other.

In Ireland, just two per cent of parents who stay at home with their kids are men but that represents a steady rise in the number of stay-at-home dads in Ireland.

The numbers of stay-at-home dads in Ireland almost doubled from 4,900 to 9,200 in the ten years up to 2016, according to the census.

One father in the UK is working to combat what he calls the "lonely life" of being father by creating a social group to allow dads to mix.

"Being a dad can be quite a lonely life, but men don’t like to talk about that," Dan Flanagan from West Sussex told Huffington Post.

'Being a dad can be quite a lonely life,' says father who set up dad's social group

"But once you get over those initial barriers and have conversations, these common themes keep coming up, such as ‘I had to miss the parents evening or sports day because I couldn’t get home from work’ or ‘I only get to see my son at bedtime and I don’t know what to do’.

"When you open up those conversations, you start to realise there’s a different side to blokes - we don’t just want to talk about beer and the World Cup."

He gave up his job three years ago to spend more time with his son but found few social outlets for fathers.

"When I became more of a stay-at-home dad I had access to mother and toddler groups, but there were very few dads there and we were not made made to feel very welcome," he said.

His father and child group Dad La Soul meets once a month for different activities.

He hopes the idea takes off so that dads everywhere can meet and socialise together.