Before our daughter was born, we, like many other parents, registered at Babies R Us/ Target. They offered (even back then) a very easy way to scan and add items to our registry list.
Among all the baby gear, from bottles to cribs, pack n play, car seats, high chairs and strollers the item that was the most angst-inducing to me was the diaper bag. The diaper bag is the pack mule of the newly minted parent. It is a muti-tool of child-rearing parents. It’s capacity and ability to carry are unequaled and what it is packed with will largely determine your success (or, failure) in family outings for the next few years. Equally important, the diaper bag is also shared by both parents. And yet, I loathed the selection of our diaper bag.
Before becoming a Dad, or even meeting my Wife, I worked for four years for the “biggest toy store on the planet”. Yes, Toys R Us. What was a 20 something doing working in a toy store? Well, that’s a story for another time. But, my time at Toys R Us was instructional and after seeing years worth of “pretty/cute” diaper bag after diaper bag, I came to one conclusion. If I had a child in the future, I would express my preference in diaper bag design and function.
Not that my manhood was on the line, really. But, I didn’t relish the thought of a pretty diaper bag slung over my shoulder. Maybe some view that as cute. But, I took a different view. Just too pretty for me. And really the wrong configuration. I didn’t want it over one shoulder… how about one that was a little more neutral in color, too? Something will a little less “style”, I guess? No, not dad jeans like, just with a bit more utility for the both of us.
I was very lucky, because when it came time to pick a diaper bag my wife and I had a good conversation. She understood that I would be spending a certain amount of time with the child and diaper bag and what my needs were. To me, we worked out a compromise that met my criteria and that she was happy to use as well. We selected a backpack style diaper bag.
And, I retained my man card. Does this mean that if you are carrying a “prettier” diaper bag that you are any less of man? No way! Carry it with a badge of courage and feel sure in the knowledge that there are plenty of other guys in the same boat as you. Carry on, brother!