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On a crisp Thursday morning in Bangalore, on November 17, 2016; I was invited to attend a Bloggers Meet jointly organised by MyCity4Kids and P&G’s bestselling brand Pampers! The occasion was the launch of Pampers’ new campaign #ItTakes2, highlighting the importance of inclusive parenting and the role it plays in a baby’s holistic development. With the thought at the heart of the campaign being - when it takes two to make a baby; it should take, at the very least, two to raise one!
This was smething I could happily relate to; and something I firmly believe in. In fact, I have already written about how today’s ‘dads’ are very different from the dads of even a generation earlier; how they are happy to be, rather prefer to be “hands-on dads” and buddies to children, rather than a distant presence in their lives. And that is why, I was extremely happy to attend a meet that talked about the importance of the involvement of both the mother and the father in baby chores and spending quality time with the baby in order to boost the baby’s cognitive, social as well as emotional development.
Of course, I was also excited to meet fellow Mommy Bloggers from Bangalore, whose blog posts I have read and appreciated over time, but never had a personal interaction with them.
And so there I was, in the lobby of this plush hotel, being escorted into the conference room where Shavet Jain, Head – Blogger Community and Social Media and Ankita Choudary, Brand Solutions Manager for the MyCity4Kids Team warmly welcomed us and introduced us to fellow Mommy Bloggers as well as Lakshmi Datta Arun, our very own Bangalore Editor and Mr. Asif Mohammed, co-founder, MyCity4Kids!
Soon, even as we bloggers were catching up, the event was underway; with a representative from Pampers giving us a brief history of the brand through some heart-warming AVs; and introducing the theme #ItTakes2. The campaign, he said, had its basis in a survey conducted by AC Nielsen in association with Pampers across India’s top metro cities, which brought to light that these two important points:
The campaign, is also said to be backed by a survey commissioned by Pampers in association with POSOS, which highlights that
We were then introduced to the esteemed experts, Ms Aneesha Babani, a trained Clinical Psychologist and a certified Art and Play Therapist, Dr. Debmita Dutta – MBBS, MD, a practicing clinical and a Parenting and Wellness Consultant; as well as Maitabi Banerjee, our very own Mommy Blogger from Namma Bengaluru, representing us parents in the discussion which was curated by Ganesh Vancheeswaran, Author and Daddy Blogger (yes, #ItTakes2, right?)
Right from the very beginning, the tone of the discussion was very friendly and inclusive; with the experts speaking a language that we parents could resonate with. The discussion touched on several topics about and the advantages of inclusive parenting and how this helps in raising a happy, healthy child, strengthening the bond between fathers and their babies and also how it helps men evolve as ‘dads’ when they too share the center-stage with mums in caring for their babies!
Speaking about the changing times, Ms Aneesha Babani mentioned that there is more awareness today among dads, thanks to the increasing reach of social media and otherwise more openness among people to talk about our lives; and this is making more and more fathers feel involved in raising their children. She also mentioned how the fathers’ own conditioning plays a vital role in what kind of a father a man turns out to be – “if he had an uninvolved, distant father himself, he feels he should contribute more to raising his own children, or if he had an involved, friendly father himself, he would be more open to the idea of spending time with his own children.”
Dr. Debmita Dutta, approached the theme from a very different perspective. She alluded to "the need of a father to feel needed" and said that that can be one of the reasons a father is more willing and wanting to be involved in raising his baby the right way. She also mentioned that it was many times found that although many parents, especially dads are well-informed in today’s day and age, they are still scared that they would mess up and that could be one of the reasons not many of them actually get so thoroughly involved.
Once the ball was thus set rolling, the discussion then continued, touching on several topics. The experts agreed that involved parents who worked as a team brought stability to the marriage, enhanced emotional development of the baby and had long lasting effects on the baby’s life – helping him/her understand, from a very young age about how perspectives can be very different and yet, both could turn out to be alright – different was not wrong – and eventually help in raising a child who would be more excited facing the world as a grown up, than being anxious. The panel was also unanimous on the thought that children always notice and decode parental actions and the core memories that are formed during this young age, even before the baby is able to talk; are positive and encouraging ones when both mum and dad are involved in baby care right from the start.
Before we knew it, it was time for Q&A and a lot of questions came up, beginning with the environmental impact of diapers in general; to how, despite so much awareness already created, there was still need for more to be done. The representative from Pampers answered the question about the environmental impact positively by saying that the company was working on a self-sustaining mechanism where the company plans to roll out machines across the country for the disposal of diapers that would help in recycling them without harming the environment. While everyone present agreed, that it was upon parents like us to create more awareness about involved parenting – maybe women should not hesitate asking for help, even if it is for a diaper change; and men shouldn’t hesitate getting their hands dirty (literally)!
We would’ve loved to spend the whole day there, discussing and contributing, but time was of the essence and soon it was time to wrap up and head for the delicious lunch that awaited us, (not to forget the P&G goodie bag)!
The biggest takeaway from the meet for me, apart from getting to meet all these warm people I virtually work with, of course; was that my belief and faith that a baby is not merely a mother’s responsibility, but that of the mother and the father was reinstated and I was able to congratulate myself that I had been in the right all along!
My sincere thanks to MyCity4Kids for inviting me for this meet and I wish all the very best to Pampers for the #ItTakes2 campaign!
And as for MyCity4kids, more power to you guys!