Vulnerability is key when connecting fathers 💚 Bruce Muchelule, DADing Different
Get Together
Mon, April 12, 2021
Podchat Summary

DADDING Different: A Community for Young and First-Time Dads

In this episode, we sit down with Bruce Muchele, the founder of DADDING Different, a community of young and first-time dads who support each other on their parenting journeys. Bruce shares his personal story and the inspiration behind starting this community.

Finding Support as a Father

Bruce opens up about his own struggles in finding his place as a father and the lack of support he initially experienced. Frustrated with the absence of an existing platform, he took matters into his own hands and created DADDING Different.

Organic Conversations and Honesty

DADDING Different is all about fostering organic conversations and promoting honesty among its members. Bruce discovered that it was often easier to have deep conversations with strangers rather than close friends, which led him to create a space where dads can connect and share openly.

The community primarily communicates through WhatsApp and Instagram, with occasional Zoom calls. Bruce intentionally adopts a less structured approach to allow for more open and vulnerable conversations.

Challenging Cultural Expectations

Bruce discusses the cultural expectation that men should not struggle or ask for help, which he faced when building the community. Overcoming this expectation and creating a safe space for vulnerability became a crucial aspect of DADDING Different.

Advice for Aspiring Community Builders

Bruce shares his advice for aspiring community builders, emphasizing the importance of being open and free with sharing insights and experiences. He believes that exchanging ideas can benefit everyone and that similar communities should not be viewed as competition.

Join the DADDING Different Community

If you're a young or first-time dad looking for support and connection, reach out to Bruce on Twitter or Instagram @BruceMuchele to join the DADDING Different community.

The Power of Community in Parenting

Through DADDING Different, Bruce has learned that parenting is a shared journey and that connecting with others lightens the weight and accentuates the positives. He shares how the community has positively impacted his relationship with his daughter and wife, making their parenting experience less of a struggle.

Original Show Notes

“The journey is not so much about how many people respond. You can just impact one person and they can impact you back.” - Bruce Muchelule

When Bruce became a dad, he wasn’t quite sure how to know if he was doing things right. He reached out on Twitter to see if there were any support groups or places for dads to find peer mentorship. He couldn’t find one, but he did receive DMs from many fathers looking for a community like Bruce.

DADing Different began as a space for young and first-time dads to exchange notes, share experiences, and support each other on their journeys. Bruce has found vulnerability to be key to meaningful sharing, and he designs the community to encourage that. Too many structures and processes can be off putting for a community. Bruce opts instead for serendipity and asynchronicity in a WhatsApp group.

We talked with Bruce about creating a space that is “member-led” not “leader-led” and opting for a small group of engaged, eager members. 

Highlights, inspiration, & key learnings:

  • You can’t fake the funk. How Bruce started DAD-ing Different.
  • Peer-mentorship. A space to learn together.
  • Watering hole. WhatsApp as a home for conversation and a place to connect 1:1 with other dads.
  • Getting started. Building confidence at the outset of organizing.

👋🏻Say hi to Bruce and learn more about DADing Different.

✨Say hi to Whitney, “Get Together” correspondent.

📄See the full transcript 

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