We all have laughed at the pictures that get circulated around the internet – the ones where the baby is ‘dad’handled. The poor kid ends up being taped to a wall, or gets facial foliage. While this is all in jest, the stereotype is being perpetuated that dads are not the best people to leave your baby around unsupervised.
Fathers have been called the ‘unreliable’ babysitters. And this is what got to Don Hudson, a dad of four from Oregon, USA. Having being called a babysitter once too often, he decided to prove once for all that this stereotype is, like all other stereotypes, just a stereotype!
According to Don, fathers are parents, not babysitters. They are not someone who take care of the baby part-time. They are not there to fill in when the mothers are not around. And that is why he opened a store, Seahorses – a baby store meant for dads and kids!
Don with his kids. (Image source: Facebook page of Seahorses)
For those of you who may not be aware, seahorses are amazing dads – in the sense, they literally take care of the eggs inside them and give ‘birth’ to young ones! Nature is full of amazing creatures where the males care for the young ones and the mothers take care of the nutritional needs of the family. And before the veil of civility of the modern world arrived, so did many human tribes. In fact, the Aka pygmy men are one of the best fathers in today’s world with 47% being available for the baby all the time!
And so, Seahorses is a store with a difference. It has all the accessories that an involved dad might need. In addition, it also holds workshops for dads, something many dads have come to appreciate. Don has been a devoted parent who believes in taking equal responsibility, and through his store, he is making this possible for other dads as well.
It is no wonder then, that Seahorses has become so popular. In fact, it has been chosen as one of the best places in Portland, Oregon to shop for kids. The customers are full of praises for this shop. I would like to see more stores like this all around the globe.
Are you thinking about getting more involved too, dads?
Fatherhood is awesome! I can personally attest to this. The sad thing is, dads choose their level of involvement whereas mothers assume the role of the primary caregiver. The latter makes sense, however, there are plenty of ways where dads can become better involved. And this can start right when you find out that your wife is pregnant.
Here are seven things that you can do to be more involved as a dad. Let me assure you, it is quite rewarding.
- Give your pregnant wife some awesome foot-rubs. She need it more than ever. You can also talk to your baby while doing so. Studies have shown that this helps the baby recognise your voice and remember your presence!
- Plan the nursery. Take the lead in planning and shopping for the nursery. You can shortlist a few items and ask your wife to choose. This is generally done in the third trimester, when your wife would be tired more often than not. Ease her work by leading the way!
- Enrol in workshops. There are workshops for what to expect during the delivery, how to bathe the baby, how to breastfeed and swaddle the bub. Attend these with your wife. You would not believe how much a workshop helps when the time comes!
- Take over the diapering duty. When the time comes, this is the least you can do! And trust me, it is not that bad!
- Cook. This ends up being cathartic when the baby comes and chaos sets in! Even when your baby is older, you can still cook awesome looking dishes while still maintaining the nutrition. In fact, a survey shows that children also love the meals cooked by their fathers.
- Be the bad cop more often. When it comes to disciplining the child, mothers end up taking the lead. When you, as a team, alternate as the admonisher, your wife would appreciate it more.
- Take an active part in education. Be it studies or sports, be more involved.
Mums and dads, what do you think of our suggestions? Do let us know in the comments below.
Also read: My one week as a SAH dad was a lot harder than I thought
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