When my kids were born, I opted to stay home to care for them while my husband worked. This meant I handled most of the day-to-day baby care but my husband was an active and willing participant. Nowadays, more men choose to play an active role in childcare so it surprises me that gadgets like The Ultimate Change Table enter the scene.
This weekend Dove Men+Care introduced The Ultimate Change Table offering dads an interactive changing table experience. The idea, I believe, was to encourage dad to take his turn changing his bundle of joy. The souped-up change table included a video screen so dad apparently didn’t miss a moment of the game, plus he could time his diaper changing abilities with the Best Diaper-Changer scoreboard.
According to a recent study by Dove Men+Care, men have tripled their involvement in childcare over the last four decades. I agree, with dad taking more of an active role with his kids, I think more change tables should be installed in the men’s washroom facilities. Do we really need to bribe dad to share in the care of his children?
I know not all aspects of taking care of our kids is enjoyable and sometimes these moments appear at the most inopportune times, but in my mind that’s the role we play as parents. I know personally how technology can keep you connected to everything but what’s really important, unless you make changes. Is it not possible to assume dad can step away from a game for ten minutes to handle a diaper change and be there completely for his child? Are we not taking a step back and falling into old stereotypes? Where’s my Ultimate Change Table with an online shopping feature? Just like moms are breaking out of stereotypical roles around the home, so are dads. We should be applauding them not making fun of them.
I understand that The Ultimate Change Table was a gimmick, brought out for a one-off appearance during a the Maimi Heat – Toronto Raptors game as a ‘light-hearted way to call attention to the brand’s campaign to support real men and their changing role in today’s society.’ I see this as a step backwards. I know many dads who are ‘real men’ as Dove likes to refer to them, and they don’t need games and video terminals to encourage them to spend time with their kids. I don’t think Dove understands dad’s new role and the effort men have made to make these changes. I think Dove needs to rethink their definition of Real Men.
Perhaps I’m over reacting. What do you think? Is this an issue of me lacking a sense of humour or do you agree that this is a fall into a negative stereotype for dads?
Image from Dove