Jason Toon


quality posts: 19 Private Messages Jason Toon

So, I tried to make this point humorously in the writeup for today's Jam Packed Diaper Backpack, but I think it bears thinking about in a little more detail. Before feminism (and the need for two paychecks for most families to stay afloat), not a whole lot was expected of men in the parenting department. To vastly oversimplify, Mom handled meals and clothes and diapers and homework and most of the discipline; Dad brought home the paycheck, threw the ball around, and dropped the hammer on particularly egregious misbehavior ("wait 'til your father gets home"). Childcare was woman's work. And nobody expected to sell diaper bags to men.

Now that Dads are supposed to at least try to shoulder half of the parenting load, we'll see more products like the Jam Packed Diaper Backpack. It's rugged enough to take camping. It's almost military in its profusion of pockets and straps and panels. And while it comes in pink, it also comes in hunter's orange and Henry Ford black. It's clearly aimed at people who are more interested in efficiency and durability than in cuteness.

Of course, those people could just as easily be women. Maybe it's the product of the general trend in consumer marketing to present every product as a marvel of structural engineering. It's certainly not the first product to fetishize its rather mundane materials (polyester) with impressive-sounding acronymic names (600D / PU ripstop). Maybe it's actually an acknowledgement that mothers, too, expect to be more active and rugged these days.

But I can't help feeling like at least some of the Jam Packed Diaper Backpack's appeal lies in making parenting seem a little less feminine and a lot more virile. You could say the same about those Jeep strollers (we have the side-by-side double-stroller ourselves). Have you seen any other examples of this sort of thing, or am I totally missing the point?

                 

fait


quality posts: 16 Private Messages fait

You haven't missed the point at all. I have a friend who recently posted pictures of his kids carseat on his Facebook page. Not the kid - the CARSEAT.

It was one of those fancy Recaro seats. All of the comments came from dads who had carseat envy. I LOL'ed until I realized how many of the comments had to do with the safety of the seat, then I was impressed.


And as a modern-day mom, I'm thankful for this trend. Not just because it entices dads to get involved, but also because I can't stand the babyish junk out there. I don't carry a Hello Kitty briefcase, and I'm not going to rock a Peter Rabbit diaper bag or a Classic Pooh stroller. Give me basic black and make it multi-purpose, thank you.

archshrk


quality posts: 7 Private Messages archshrk

I agree with the post and fait's comment. Father's are more actively involved in the day-to-day care of their kids and often shoulder the burden of carrying the load (no pun intended). But I think the best thing about this shift (which fait touched on) is how men's growing involvement shifted attention away from making products appeal to women's aesthetic eye and focused more on men's practical nature. Thus making dad's and dissatisfied mom's happier with their choices. Quality was never an issue, but functionality seemed to take a back seat to cuteness.

Visit archshrk.com. You know you want to.

Lizander


quality posts: 0 Private Messages Lizander

Agreed! One of the dad's in our circle got the Jeep frontpack, and all the other dad's were all huddled around him discussing it, with the kid just staring up at them bewildered- it was hysterical. My boyfriend still hasn't forgiven me for not letting him get the $300 Kelty backpack he wanted with all the bells & whistles! (We got a perfectly good basic model Kelty given to us, so... practical mom.) I agree- no Winnie the pooh diaper bags for me! (I'm the one carrying it, not the kid, so why does it have that stuff on it!) I think it has benefited us as consumers, because men are less likely to be swayed by cutesy stuff, and are more interested in functionality. I think its also a way that dads-to-be can get involved in the planning for baby. It sure was in our case. Now maybe if that big fancy Kelty shows up on Woot.....

cheapmom


quality posts: 0 Private Messages cheapmom

Totally agree with all of the above.

Now can someone figure out how to market diaper changing stations (Koala Care, Diaper Deck, etc.) to restaurants for their MEN'S room??? It is not always my job to change the diaper, and my husband would prefer not to have to do a change on a wet bathroom counter or the icky bathroom floor.

camelsamba


quality posts: 2 Private Messages camelsamba
cheapmom wrote:Totally agree with all of the above.

Now can someone figure out how to market diaper changing stations (Koala Care, Diaper Deck, etc.) to restaurants for their MEN'S room??? It is not always my job to change the diaper, and my husband would prefer not to have to do a change on a wet bathroom counter or the icky bathroom floor.



Letters from patrons often help - we got changing tables redone at a museum in our town with some letter writing. Or, at a restaurant, have the dad walk up to the manager while holding baby. Say "I need to change a diaper, and there's no diaper deck in the men's room. Can I borrow your office?"

jakewalczak


quality posts: 8 Private Messages jakewalczak
camelsamba wrote:Or, at a restaurant, have the dad walk up to the manager while holding baby. Say "I need to change a diaper, and there's no diaper deck in the men's room. Can I borrow your office?"



Awesome!

lordbiv


quality posts: 0 Private Messages lordbiv
cheapmom wrote:Totally agree with all of the above.

Now can someone figure out how to market diaper changing stations (Koala Care, Diaper Deck, etc.) to restaurants for their MEN'S room??? It is not always my job to change the diaper, and my husband would prefer not to have to do a change on a wet bathroom counter or the icky bathroom floor.



Amen, cheapmom!

hollydolls


quality posts: 0 Private Messages hollydolls

We got the jam-packed diaper backpack in pink (we can pretend this is because we have a daughter, but really it is because it was the only color available when we finally bought one) and my husband wears it proudly

hollydolls


quality posts: 0 Private Messages hollydolls
cheapmom wrote:Now can someone figure out how to market diaper changing stations (Koala Care, Diaper Deck, etc.) to restaurants for their MEN'S room??? It is not always my job to change the diaper, and my husband would prefer not to have to do a change on a wet bathroom counter or the icky bathroom floor.



AMEN SISTER!