What to expect when you’re expecting to be treated like a parent

whattoexpect1If WhatToExpect.com truly offers information, as it says, on “pregnancy and parenting,” then why is it singling out one gender and hosting the annual “Moms Love-It” Awards?

It’s confusing how things ended up this way.

Originally, Heidi Murkoff conceived the idea for the famed book, What to Expect® When You’re Expecting, during her first pregnancy as noted on its website: “Determined to write a guide that would help other expectant parent (sic) sleep better at night, Heidi delivered the proposal for What to Expect® When You’re Expecting just hours before delivering her daughter, Emma.”

It’s admirable that the site uses the term “parent” when speaking about Murkoff’s original ambition. Murkoff seems like a fantastic, dynamic, successful woman on a mission to improve lives.

However, somewhere along the way, parent was replaced with mom, leaving dad as the one parent who apparently isn’t on equal footing. It’s a bias we’ve seen elsewhere and remains as unfortunate mistreatment.

Check out the “About What to Expect” page, where Murkoff’s commitment has wavered from its initial care for parents, to now only moms: “Heidi’s passionate commitment to moms and babies…”

And now with the relatively new “Moms Love-It” Awards (launched 2013), it makes expecting fathers feel like they simply don’t matter, underscored by the various award-winning companies from whom expectant dads everywhere will be purchasing their baby needs. Yes, indeed, dads shop too.

whattoexpect2What’s more, this is again yet another example of a website offering a “For Mom” section, with dad information buried elsewhere. Even the “Military Mom” section offers a one-sided look that ignores fathers. Why not offer a “For Dad” section with equal prominence instead of burying it under “More”? How about a “Military Dad” section?

If marketers so often like to falsely earmark dad as the parent who isn’t as smart when it comes to babies or who isn’t as involved, wouldn’t those fallacies be all the more impetus to offer solid information to fathers?

Everyone wants to be treated with respect and dignity, but how can dads find it here? Of course, dads aren’t actually carrying the baby, but that doesn’t mean they’re less important, or don’t matter to the pregnancy – they’re totally, equally important to the child. And the “Moms Love-It” Awards are only two years old. How about renaming them the “Parents Love-It” Awards before another company beats them to it?

Dads have a lot of options when it comes to parenting information, and those companies who choose to actively engage with them will be the true award winners.