Changing A Dirty Diaper Does Not Make You A Superhero

Despite what recent headlines have been saying, being an equal partner doesn't make you a superhero

How is it that the media can manage to, in one single article, exalt and demean men and their role as dads? In two recent entertainment related stories, two dads were caught being parents and were given superhero status for it. Excuse me as I roll my eyes.

Ryan Reynolds, who was notoriously slammed on social media last year when he posted a picture of himself incorrectly wearing his new baby daughter in a baby carrier, was this week given serious kudos for being okay with changing poopy diapers and waking up with baby James overnight. He is, I guess surprisingly, “fine with that, you know, all that stuff." That’s apparently such a rarity that the headline on this ‘news’ story says “Ryan Reynolds Is a Super Dad to Baby James: ‘I'm Happy to Do the Dirty Work.’”

Why is this news? That he considers it his role to equally participate in all that goes into raising a baby should not be newsworthy. Nor should it make him some super parent. If I change a poopy diaper do I get called Super Mom?

I get it, diapers are gross. No one WANTS to change a dirty diaper but he says he’s happy to do it, so maybe that’s what makes him some superhero?  

I’m still not convinced. To me it seems like any act of interacting with a baby somehow makes a man Super Dad—reminder we are talking about them interacting with their own babies.

Case in point: The Rock. According to Pop Sugar, “Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Proves That He's Superdad in His Latest Instagram Post.” So you wonder, before seeing said Instagram post, what could he possibly be doing that makes him Superdad? Is he hand-making costumes for all of the kids in the school show? Is he working three jobs while raising money for children’s charities and still able to find the time to help his children with their homework and volunteer in their classroom on a weekly basis?

Nope. He’s feeding his baby. That’s it. That’s all. He’s feeding his child. “Superdad.”

I don’t know what’s more obnoxious; that these men are considered extraordinary for doing entirely ordinary things or that in so do doing they are superheroes. My head would explode, like actually explode, if I ever saw a picture of a mom feeding her baby with a bottle called Super Mom. For us, being a superhero means managing to be in thirty places at the same time, being all things to all people, doing it with ease while looking like a million bucks. What we need to do to get that title is to literally do the impossible. But all a dad seems to need to do is feed their baby.

I would think this falls well into the category of commercials that make dads out to be bumbling fools. I somehow doubt the average dad thinks, “Look at me! I’m feeding my baby! Someone, grab my cape!”

I would think most dads would see a man feeding his baby being called a superhero and be annoyed by being made out to be somehow incapable of being an equal partner such that putting a bottle in their baby’s mouth is as exceptional as the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

I 100% appreciated the unbelievable support and partner my husband was (and still is!) in the baby days. He was up with my daughter rocking her so I could sleep when she was in her days of 45 minute stretches of sleep. He fed her once I introduced bottles without question. He changed diapers that needed to be changed. It makes him my superhero but it doesn’t make him a Super Dad. He’s my superhero because I can’t fathom how I would have gotten through (or how I might be expected to get through!) those trying days without an equal partner. I am thankful every day that changing a poopy diaper and feeding a baby isn’t an extraordinary circumstances in my house. 

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