Some weeks ago, I saw the world’s best dad. He came in for his newborn son and was enrolling the baby to our program. For my work, I generally see a single mom struggling to take care of her kids on her own. It’s a sad story that I see repeated. It seems comical to encourage her to breastfeed her newborn when she needs to return to work within 2 weeks. If she doesn't, she may lose her job. Making matters worse, I rarely see the father come along. When I ask about him, I see flashes of regret followed by a combination of words that tells me he’s not around. But this man came in, and although I did not see him, the bits and pieces I heard him say warmed my heart. It’s rare seeing men in our centers let alone a man coming in for breastfeeding help for his wife. As he took out pictures of his wife’s breastfeeding latch & positions, we asked why he was making such an effort and he said, “I want him to grow big like me, or even bigger”, and “Why shouldn’t I? He’s my son”. This surprised us.
This event makes me sad a little because he is an anomaly in my reality. I often see a single mom with 3 or 4 small children all born about 1 year apart. They usually have disinterested looks on their faces. As I counsel the mothers about healthy eating, most of them look like they’re not listening. Generally their kids are going wild as well. This leads me to believe they may have something else on their mind because their lives are so unstable. It’s disheartening, so when this dad came in, it brightened my day like no other. I hope more like him show up in the future.