Mark Zuckerberg has done it again – the social media baron turned doting daddy has posted another photo of him parenting to his Facebook page. The Internet was awash in awwws at the image of Zuckerberg changing baby Max’s diaper, complete with burp cloth over his shoulder. The post was adorably captioned with, “One more down, thousands to go.”
If you’ve been following Mark and his wife Priscilla Chan’s parenting journey, you already know it’s been a long one. They suffered several miscarriages and, through their publicizing of this common yet typically private misfortune, garnered tremendous public support. Then came announcements of sizeable charitable donations and lengthy paid paternity leave at Facebook, and their popularity among parents skyrocketed.
This was evident in this latest diaper post, which has currently earned over 1.6 million likes. The current top comment on the post is, “Father of the year goes to… Mark Zuckerberg.”
Okay, clearly Zuckerberg adores being a dad, and he also must enjoy that for the first time he’s receiving nearly universal positive publicity. But please: why are people still so impressed when a dude changes a diaper? Must we always commend fathers for just doing basic parenting jobs? I admit that it’s nice to see someone who could afford to employ all of the world’s nannies going for the less savory parenting tasks. But how many likes would Priscilla earn with the exact same post but with her smiling face hovering above her baby’s butt? She’d probably earn a collective yawn.
We all want to encourage dads and assure them that their efforts don’t go unnoticed, but there comes a point when in order to progress beyond the more traditional and accepted parenting roles we have to behave as though changing diapers (among many other duties) is just a dad’s responsibility. I’m on board with Zuckerberg’s excitement and I’ve got nothing against the heaps of support he’s been receiving from his admirers, but I hope his enthusiasm for parenting – and sharing it – continues past the cute stuff. He has an opportunity to continue to normalize a father’s parenting responsibilities throughout little Max’s life: after all, he’s got quite the platform.