Wednesday, October 29th, 2014
This is a guest post by Daddy Doin’ Work blogger Doyin Richards.
As you experience the joy, frustrations, pressures, and fears of being a new mom, oftentimes there’s a dad who shares the same joy, frustrations, pressures, and fears that you do. Additionally, he’s trying to find his way and solidify his identity as a father. He wants to be helpful, he wants to be nurturing, and he wants to love his new baby.
But then it happens.
Dad asks if mom can express breast milk into a bottle so he can feed the baby, but she declines. Mom hovers over dad like a hawk while he changes the baby’s diaper to ensure it’s done “correctly.” Mom gives dad a 10-minute briefing on the importance of head/neck support for the baby during bath time.
You get the idea.
Does every new mom act this way? Of course not; but I’ve lost count of the number of dads who’ve reached out to me, since I started blogging, just to vent about this issue. One dad told me that his desire to be a father has waned significantly due to his girlfriend’s incessant micromanaging. Another dad expressed that he’s so unhappy with his wife’s parenting critiques that they’re currently in counseling in hopes to save their marriage. The constant second-guessing, fear of messing up, and feeling like an idiot on a daily basis becomes too much to take. Whenever I ask these men what their partners can do to make it better, the answer is always the same: “Just let me do my thing.”
My wife is similar to most moms in the sense that she’s not a demon hell-bent on crushing the spirits of new dads all over the world; she just wants what’s best for her kids. But there were plenty of times when I had to remind her in no uncertain terms that, “I got this.” Because (you guessed it), dads want what’s best for our kids, too.
Most men would agree that the best gift new moms can give is to let them be dads in their own way. Yes, these dudes will make boneheaded mistakes as parents (I know I do), but guess what, moms? So will you. Unless the baby’s life is in danger or there’s serious risk of injury, please back up and let him connect with his child. The world needs more men who are intrinsically motivated to be great daddies, not fewer.
The best part about letting a dad be a dad? The bond he will form with his little one will be impenetrable, he will be a more engaged partner, and most of all – he’ll be happy. That’s a gift that keeps on giving, and your family will reap the benefits.
Doyin Richards is an author, blogger, public speaker, husband, and daddy dedicated to creating a world of good, involved fathers. His first book, Daddy Doin’ Work: Empowering Mothers To Evolve Fatherhood was recently released and you can follow his adventures in daddyhood on his Daddy Doin’ Work blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Image: Courtesy of Doyin Richards
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Tuesday, June 24th, 2014
It’s a scenario too many of us parents are familiar with: You’re out together as a family, when you realize the baby needs new diaper. Since the only changing table in the place is (of course) in the women’s restroom, diaper duty falls to mom. Again.
But a recent spate of laws and legislation could end the it’s-your-turn-to-change-the-baby debate. Already, there are a few local laws that require certain new or renovated businesses to ensure that changing tables are accessible to men and women, reports Today. (Way to go, Miami Dade County, Pittsburgh and San Francisco.) And while there are currently no federal or state laws that address this disparity, California lawmakers are considering two so-called “potty parity” bills that would provide moms and dads with equal access to diaper changing tables, whether by installing tables in men’s room or building family restrooms. The legislation has already passed the state Senate and is now with the state Assembly.
If passed, the bills would be a major score for today’s fathers, who are more involved than ever with raising their children. According to a recent survey conducted by the CDC, some 90 percent of dads who live with their kids say they bathe, diaper or dress their children every day or several times a week. Similarly, Today surveyed about 1,000 fathers and discovered that more than half of them change diapers (compared to the 37 percent who say their fathers did).
Personally, I’ve had to change countless diapers in public restrooms, not because my husband is hands-off or lazy, but because the changing station is in the ladies room. We’ve started to take note of places that offer family restrooms or changing tables in the men’s room, and we frequent the heck out of them whenever we can. This setup doesn’t just let us take turns changing our son, it also keeps my husband from having to use a gross bathroom floor to change the diaper if he and my son are out alone. Even though I live in New York, I’ll be watching what happens in California very closely. Hopefully my lawmakers — and yours — will be doing the same.
Tell us: How do you and your partner handle diaper changing when you’re away from home?
Have a burning question about your baby? Check out our helpful Baby Q&A.Whether you’re wondering about a persistent rash or sleep training methods that work, we’ve got answers from the experts and parents who have been there. And keep up with the latest baby news by liking All About Babies on Facebook!
Image of dad changing baby’s diaper courtesy of Shutterstock
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Tuesday, June 10th, 2014
My husband (an awesome dad!) regularly gripes about how dads are portrayed in the media. And he has a point—it seems like the media image of dads hasn’t progressed beyond the “doofus dad” mode, even after a major diaper brand took the heat for insulting dads by showing them as completely incompetent when it comes to diaper changing. (Heck, even manly-man actor Channing Tatum spent a good part of an interview crowing about his diaper-changing prowess!)
Maybe there are pockets of these retro, hands-off dads out there, but all the dads I know and love are thoroughly involved in their kids’ lives—spending hours crafting Lego creations with their kiddos, taking late-night sick duty, and yes, changing diapers. (more…)
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