It's a mum's world and i am just a dad living in it.
As a parent, you are suddenly thrust into a different world that you took absolutely no notice of before. Nappies, baby care products, pushchairs, toys, developmental stages, weaning... it's a minefield, it's never ending and at times a little overwhelming.
When i knew i was about to become a dad, all of the above was catapulted right to my front of mind. And i loved it. It all felt so exciting! But one thing i noticed was that everything and anything was targeted and aimed at 'Mum'.
I get it. I do. Historically it was all about mum. Dad would go to work, pay the bills and mum would keep the house and stay at home with the baby. Done. And it is bloody hard staying at home with the baby and trying to keep a house in ship shape. When i have had my son to my self for a weekend, i am shattered by the end of it. The house can quite easily become like a scene from a war movie with a toddler and the lack of adult interaction can be really difficult. But we're in such a different place now than we were twenty, maybe even as little as ten, years ago. Dads are now more vocal. More present in their children's lives than ever before. And they are more sensitive. The digital age we live in has given rise to this. Just look at any social media channel for dad groups and all the dad bloggers out there. We feel we have a voice now, whereas before did dads just shut up and provide for their family? Was that all that was expected of them..? (that is a huge task in itself don't get me wrong!)
What about the dad that earns less than his female partner? Say that he is on parental leave and the mum went back to work. He goes to the local 'mum and baby group'. I know it's only a name and not much in it... but what about 'mum and baby changing rooms'? Can us dads not use them? Well sod that, i always use them. What shocked me the other day was a 'mother and baby' space in the car park! Can i not use it then? I'll park in a tight spot and have difficulty getting my son out of the car seat, that's fine. Um... no.
I have even heard an example of some NCT groups offering coffee meetings for the mums with their kids and mums-to-be. For the dads they organised a night at the pub with a curry. I would 100% prefer hanging with other dads and our kids at the local park and having a coffee than being forced to the pub to talk crap for a couple of hours. It's such a dated outlook on dad life. I can tell you now that all the straight dads i know would probably say the same thing... it's a dying stereotype.
I completely understand the reason why brands target mums. Because women are more likely to be at home or be the main carer for the child/children, that's a fact of life. Things will always be targeted towards the majority, that is marketing 101. But some organisations get it completely wrong. I want to know where the gay dads fit into this? There is no mother involved in that family dynamic. Our kids need to see examples of all family types. The single parent, the gay dads, the gay mums, mixed race families... and brands are failing us. I can't remember the last time i saw a good example of a mixed race family in a nappy ad or a same sex couple in the kitchen cooking dinner for their kids because when you do see it you really notice it due to it being so rare. I wonder which baby/parenting brands will be the bravest and show this reality to consumers? As far as inclusion of the 'minorities' goes, we are getting better. I have seen the likes of Apple and Coca Cola show hints of diversity (gay couples) in their ads which is great. But in the parenting world, I have yet to see this truly reflected...
*DISCLAIMER* This is by no means a dig at mums. I love mums. None of us would be here if it weren't for our lovely mums. This is an observation as a dad. A gay dad. What are your thoughts on this matter from a mum and a dad viewpoint?