You love being with your baby, you really do. But even the most creative parent runs out of ways to keep her entertained for hours on end (to say nothing of your own enjoyment). Next time you hit a rut, remember these two words: dance party.
But don’t thank me for the genius idea — the credit should go to Chris Fabregas and Matt McCarty, two California dads who are both home with their babies on Fridays. (Fabregas, an actor and model, is on six-week paternity leave, and McCarty finagled Fridays off from his job as a personal trainer.)
The long-time buddies naturally enjoy each other’s company and started meeting up every Friday with their kiddos for “daddy day care” — i.e. breakfast followed by beach time (or what the rest of us call a vacation). As fun as it was, the men wanted to spice up their weekly routine, according to ABC News. So they turned on “Sugar” by Maroon 5, scooped up 5-month-old Hudson, and 9-month-old Victoria, and hit record.
The result? The jolliest, sweetest dance party video I’ve seen all week — no wonder it’s already gone viral. It has everything: twirling, pop-ups, toothless smiles, and some pretty decent choreography. It reminds me of something my husband and every other dad I know would do. But don’t take my word for it — check out the cuteness below:
Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up.Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+
Tell us: What fun things do you like to do with your baby?
Screen shot of Chris and Hudson Fabregas and Matt and Victoria McCarty courtesy of Chris Fabregas via YouTube
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.
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?
How to Change a Diaper
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Image of dad changing baby’s diaper courtesy of Shutterstock
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…)