How Becoming a Father Affected JPMA's Director of Regulatory Affairs
It’s something I kept hearing from everyone in this industry, “When you become a father, this world of ours will take on a whole new meaning.” Spoiler: They were right.
As Director of Regulatory and Legislative Affairs for the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA), I have the privilege of representing a group of individuals comprised of parents, grandparents, and care-givers who have dedicated their lives to the safe use of products intended to keep your children safe.
This Sunday, I will be celebrating my first Father’s Day with my six-month-old son. Sure, a lot has changed since he arrived; mainly sleep is more of a privilege than a right, but as any parent will tell you…it’s worth it. Date nights have become more of the “Netflix and Chill” rather than “Let’s try this new restaurant,” and somedays simply saying you took a shower can be viewed as a win. Becoming a parent has also given me a new appreciation for my own father who continues to show me what it means to be a husband, a provider and a dad.
One thing that hasn’t changed, since becoming a dad is my faith in the products that our manufacturers make. I know that the high chair in our home has met rigorous safety standards. I know that every time I buckle my son in his car seat that he is safe when we hit the open road. I know that the stroller won’t tip over while he is in it. I know this because I know our manufacturers, and more importantly I know what they go through before a product ever reaches the retail floor.
They test. They re-test. They innovate, and they improve. They think like parents because they are parents. They use the same products we do, and they take your trust in them seriously.
When I advocate to Members of Congress or the CPSC, I advocate not only as JPMA staff, but I advocate as a parent myself. My promotion to “Dad” makes me more passionate about the work we do day in and day out.
I often say, we all share the same goal: to have safe products available for the consumer. Being a parent has allowed me to see and understand legislators and regulators concerns in a different light. Product safety is a team effort. It takes advocates, it takes manufacturers, it takes legislators and regulators, it takes retailers, but it also takes parents accepting responsibility and being active parents.
Father’s Day isn’t one day for me, but rather Father’s Day is every day that I wake up and look at my son, and realize I have the gift of being a parent. I’m grateful to work for and advocate for an industry that feels the same way.