My eldest daughter is a fashionista, she comes by it naturally. My wife and I both worked in retail clothing stores as young adults, and looking good has always been something that was impressed upon me. My mom always made sure I was dressed well - as my Vuarnet shirt and Ikeda overalls will attest to. The understanding that there’s a difference between looking presentable and being obsessed with beauty standards is a tricky line to walk. Even as an adult, not looking like a frumpy dad is something I take pride in. Just say no to dad jeans!
Of course, it is important to teach our kids that beauty is only skin deep, and obviously, as the father of two girls I am always on the lookout to ensure they aren’t setting unrealistic beauty expectations. That said, it’s always good to look your best no matter the situation. We can’t all wear our dazzling personalities on our sleeves – I’ve tried, but my wit and charm wear out the seams.
We recently did some back-to-school shopping to pick out some new "fashionista" looks at Carter’s | OshKosh B’gosh. Once the initial shock of actually shopping for school in July faded (for me, not for her she loves school), we had a lot of fun.
Which outfit would your daughter choose?
My daughter loves dresses and skirts, so getting her into anything else is a challenge that has my wife pulling her hair out. To combat this, we found a pair of pants that are so colourful they could be a dress.
OshKosh B'gosh Embellished Flannel Top - $18
OshKosh B'gosh Puff-Print Top - $14
OshKosh B'gosh Super Skinny Floral Twills - $20
OshKosh Sparkle High Tops - $25
The key to this next one was the shoes. When in doubt, add sparkles. Getting her to wear leggings is a Herculean challenge but the promise of sparkly anything is like offering up ice cream for dinner...responsible parenting. Oh, and check the jean jacket, I had one just like it in 1989.
OshKosh B'gosh TLC Paris Tunic - $16
OshKosh B'gosh TLC Neon Sparkle Leggings - $10
OshKosh B'gosh Dip Dye Denim Jacket - $28
Carter's Glitter Slip-On Shoes - $22
The no pants thing is easier to overcome when sports is involved, which is why when we told her to pick out something for gymnastics, the enthusiasm was reflected in the outfit. Added bonus: dinosaur face.
OshKosh B'gosh Tee - $12
OshKosh B'gosh Printed Active Capri Leggings - $18
OshKosh B'gosh Jersey-Lined Active Jacket - $28
OshKosh Athletic Sneakers - $28
Though I have nothing against pink (I’ve been known to rock it from time to time), I try my best to steer my daughter towards some variety. Of course, the sparkly shoes are back again (this time in blue) but it’s a skirt, so everyone wins.
OshKosh B'gosh Mixed Denim & Sweater Dress - $28
OshKosh B'gosh Tulle PomPom Headband - $7
OshKosh Sparkle High Tops - $25
Finally, we decided that all this hard work and restraint deserved a reward so we let her pick out her favourite long dress (and her little sister too!). It’s more of a summer look, but hey it’s still 30°C in some Canadian cities in early September!
OshKosh B'gosh Bandana Dress - $14.99
OshKosh B'gosh Tiered Boho Maxi Dress - $18.99
The best part of the trip was how easy it was to get my daughter into a bunch of different styles that were outside her normal comfort zone. Carter’s | OshKosh B’gosh makes it ridiculously easy. Now, my only worry is that back-to-school shopping will probably only get more painful as she gets older!
What role do dads play in breastfeeding? I’m sure there’s a joke in there somewhere, but it’s not difficult to see how some dads might not find it funny. It’s hard to admit when something so pure, innocent, and natural makes you feel self conscious but that’s how I felt when my child was first born.
When you’re a dad you are given the role of active supporter, protector, and cheerleader. Nature and biology require that certain elements of bringing a child into the world don’t include you directly, and that can be difficult to handle sometimes.
When I found out my wife was pregnant I was overjoyed. The months and weeks leading up to my daughter’s birth were filled with anticipation, excitement, and preparation. However, no one prepared me for was how useless I’d feel in the first few weeks and months after the baby arrived.
Breastfeeding is a beautiful, intimate act of love between a mother and a child, and as a dad I mostly felt great happiness that my wife could share that with our daughter.
But I also felt unnecessary.
It was untrue of course, I was busy building IKEA furniture, ensuring my wife remembered to eat, and, you know, working to support my family. All important things. However it was hard to escape the feeling of being a third wheel at times. Some might call it jealousy, and I’m sure Freud has something to say on that, but to me it felt more like frustration at not being able to do more. It’s hard to top the direct, life-sustaining connection of literally feeding a child from your body, and somehow hanging a mobile perfectly centered over your baby’s crib doesn’t seem to come close.
Puttering around the house building things, cooking, and cleaning seems like small potatoes when your wife is spending hours a day staring into your baby’s eyes developing the most natural bond possible. Getting some face time in between feeding sessions and sleeping is difficult and they don’t even appreciate my jokes.
It is often overlooked that men too can suffer from postpardum depression. My case wasn’t so severe but I can see how such a thing would come about. For dads, they key to supporting breastfeeding is to remember that creating and maintaining a healthy, relaxed, and nurturing environment is exactly what your partner needs.
Now whenever I meet new or soon-to-be dads the number one tip I give them is: remember, your time will come. Be there for your wife, support her, provide your child with the environment she needs to feel safe and secure, but remember that no matter how useless you feel you are needed.