This article from Hannah Schlosser about a relaxation station provided by Sanford at the Fargo Street Fair is a little frustrating.
“New addition take stress off of mothers at the street fair,” the headline tells us.
The “new addition” is an area where moms can relax and feed their kids (including breastfeeding) and change diapers.
Not mentioned in the article? Fathers, notably. They’re mentioned in the news broadcast included with the article, but when talking about the feeding-and-diapering area specifically it’s described as “catered to moms”
“Part of the inside space is dedicated to moms,” Schlosser reports. “It has things like a formula filling station, breastfeeding rooms and diaper changing tables.”
Dads can’t breastfeed, obviously, but they can sure put formula in a bottle. And they sure as heck change diapers.
Even the organizers of the space seem to have forgotten about the dads.
“There’s typically not areas where you can feed and change your baby in activities like this. So, this is just a spot where moms get a chance to do that without having to leave the entire event,” Jackee Haak, a Sanford Manager of Lactation, is quoted as saying.
Based on this report, a single dad planning on bringing his kids to the street fair might not feel welcome to feed his kids or change their diapers at this location.
I’d be surprised if any dads were actually turned away – I don’t believe for a moment that there is discriminatory intent here – but as a seventeen-year dadding veteran who has frequently been challenged by the lack of diaper changing equipment in men’s bathrooms (as just one example) I can say that even rhetorical oversights are frustrating.
I’m glad Sanford is providing this service. It makes it easier for families to attend events like the street fair. But maybe we can recognize that dads take care of their kids too?
They’re not necessarily the incompetent, beer-addled, sports-obsessed doofuses just a rung or two maturity ladder from their children depicted in everything from movies to television shows to commercials.
It’d be a refreshing change of pace.