The Reemergence of the Renaissance Man

September 27th, 2015

As soon as we heard about the National At-Home-Dad Convention, we knew we wanted to be a sponsor. Our co-founder, Gerry Hays, hopped on a plane out to Raleigh, NC, unsure of what to expect, but very excited to see what the weekend would bring. Below is Gerry’s recap of the weekend:

I have only one word to describe my experience: Wow! In the span of 36 hours, I had the opportunity to meet, break bread, and trade father stories with some truly amazing gentlemen. It was so refreshing. In the at-home-dads world, hidden agendas and hubris are not welcomed. Hugs, tears, laughter, and authenticity are. Come as an open book and you will be embraced.

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And, while these guys take their day job really seriously (learning CPR, how to braid a daughter’s hair, etc.), there is an amazing entrepreneurial side. I met a guy from Portland writing awesome books for children; several that have launched podcasts with growing audiences; and even met a few who could put social media experts to shame with their understanding of when to use hash tags, how to acquire followers, etc.

I had the opportunity to speak at length with the NAHDN (www.athomedag.org) president for the past 4 years (and who is now making room for the next generation of leadership). While the responsibility of building an organization is not a “part-time” gig, there is no money in the budget for a staff. Despite that fact, in his closing remarks as President, he could barely keep his composure when saying this experience has made him a better husband, father, and person. I think this is when the tears started flowing (mine included).

During the social gatherings, the conversations moved to lighter (but no less complex) discussions. Understanding bourbons and brandies, for example. Even learned about the powers of various colors. And these guys know what they’re talking about….almost as if they are re-wiring their brains to pay attention to the nuanced….slowing things down enough to appreciate each experience. Makes me a bit jealous.

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On a deeper level, every man I met not only is committed to raising their children, they are deeply devoted to their spouses and want nothing more than their success. I met a great guy from Newark who is in the process of going through a separation (after nearly two decades of marriage). He admitted to me that, no matter what happens, his wife will always be his best friend. Brothers (and sisters), if that doesn’t inspire you to be a better, more loving person, I don’t know what will.

So why did DinnerCall sponsor the Stay-at-home Dad’s conference? Well, we believe that the lines between parental roles will become increasingly blurred in the coming years, which opens the door for families to return to a world in which at least one parent is home for our children….and this time around, the men are going to step up in full force to take on the challenge of being the primary caregiver (and without the stigma). This conference is where the “early adopters” and leaders of this movement are meeting and we want to be in on the ground floor. It fits so well with our passion of bringing families back to the dinner table for soul reconnection and enrichment. It’s really a perfect fit for DinnerCall.

But, here’s the point I really want to make. I didn’t just attend the National Stay-at-home-Dad’s conference. After learning about the incredible things these gentlemen are doing (in addition to parenting), I feel like I’m witnessing the reemergence of the “Renaissance Man”. Yes, I’m making a call right here and now. We should stop using the words “stay-at-home dad” because it doesn’t come close to capturing everything these guys have going on. Let’s start using the term “Renaissance Man”. Which means, I now know Renaissance Men in about 15 cities that I didn’t know before….even Anchorage, Alaska!

During my brief time on stage, in reference to our Sponsorship of the Saturday night dinner, I told the room that another brand will have to pry this sponsorship slot from our cold, dead fingers. Which means we better get busy building DinnerCall®. – g


Written by Camryn Walton
September 27th, 2015

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