Last weekend K had her first ‘day off’ in 9 months. She met an old friend and they went hiking for the day. AN ENTIRE DAY! Eager to seize my time alone with the Wee Baby T, I had already planned out the schedule – Play time in the morning, the Baby-time show in the afternoon, maybe squeeze in a jog before his 4 PM nap. It was going to be great.
It was gloriously warm out, a fitting end to March. I loaded T up in the stroller, diaper bag already packed, and we ventured off to the Baby-Time Show. We wandered past the displays, vendor after vendor of adorable onesies, accessories, car seats, and strollers. Oh, and insurance companies. So many insurance companies!!
We arrived early on Sunday, so it wasn’t overly crowded. I paused at some booths to look at this or that, T reached out to feel the very odd lion-fur nursery rug, or try to get his hands on the toys strategically suspended at stroller height. But despite our clear interest, not a single person approached me. Booth after booth I lingered, initially curious about their wares, but then more as an experiment. Vendors would simply walk past me to engage a mother standing just behind me.
I turned to wander down the last aisle, navigating the stroller through the line of parents-to-be waiting for their free swag when finally I hear ‘Hello!!’
I’m not sure what surprised me more – the fact that a vendor had finally engaged me, or that it took so long. Eager for the social interaction I quickly responded. I felt like that guy at parties who hangs out by the punch bowl so people have to talk to him.
I was lucky enough to have been stopped by Rose, the founder of Fidgets – teething jewelry and pacifier clips. After a quick discussion about the show itself we started talking about her products. Coincidentally I was looking for a new pacifier clip! $15 later our exchange was complete and T was gnawing away, we bid Rose adieu and continued on.
Revitalized by this human interaction, we struck out again. As we neared the end of the show, the exit looming, we found the BabyBjorn booth, and were greeted with smiles and a great demonstration of their new line of carriers, but what struck me even more than the carriers themselves (which are brilliant and reviewed HERE) was how appropriate the campaign that BabyBjorn sponsors is: #dadstories.
When T was born I held him for the first 4 hours of his life. If he wasn’t in my arms it was because the doctors had wrestled him away because they “need to do tests” or “he has to nurse”. As we sat in the blue plastic reclining chair I realized my life was so different. I wanted to be better than myself, better than what society thought I should be.
We are a part of a bigger story, a change in the way society views fathers and their responsibilities. I didn’t take my son to the baby-time show to be a hero, I went because I’m a father, I wanted to see what was available, I was ready to buy toys, clothes, books, and accessories for my son. Hell, I might have even bought some insurance! Although, probably not… But I was ignored, passed over time and again for the mothers in the crowd.
This is my #dadstory, a hopeful tale of fathers being a bigger part of their children’s lives. A growing community of dads who want to be seen as more than babysitters. We try so hard to level the playing field, to be involved. Time and again we are disregarded. I see hope though, while Huggies continues it’s matronly focused marketing, companies like BabyBjorn have embraced the role that fathers can – and want to – play. If other brands follow the path that BabyBjorn is blazing for fathers, we’ll get there eventually.
What’s your story? BabyBjorn wants to know! Share your story on Instagram with #Dadstories and enter to win a free BabyBjorn One carrier from the new Spring Collection below!
#Dadstories Baby Carrier One Giveaway!
Good luck out there.
Disclosure: I received compensation and a carrier for myself and one to give away from BabyBjorn to facilitate this review and giveaway. All opinions are my own.
I linked up, you should too!