A dad called out this 'moms only' parking spot in a brilliant tweet.

Justin Simard just wanted to pop in to the grocery store with his newborn son when he found himself in the middle of a parking spot conundrum.

After excitedly pulling into what he thought was a primo parking spot, he noticed a bright pink sign declaring it for "expecting mothers" and "mothers with small children" only.

The veteran dad only had one question for Sobeys, the Canadian grocery chain that had placed the sign there: Uh ... what gives?


While closer parking spots for moms with young children are a thoughtful gesture, they leave out a pretty important group of people: dads.

"The wording of the sign bothered me," he told The Huffington Post. "What about single fathers? What about same sex couples? It occurred to me that the sign could be more inclusive.”

Simard's Tweet struck a nerve, quickly racking up over 100 retweets and even getting the attention of Sobeys' marketing team. The brand quickly issued a clarification and offered to change the wording of the sign.

Simard, who included the hashtag #NotABabysitter in his original tweet, wasn't trying to be snarky: The age-old idea that parenting is a women's job hurts, well, everyone.

The National At-Home Dad Network estimates the number of stay at home dads in the United States is approaching 2 million, meaning it's far from rare for a dad to be the primary caregiver. It shouldn't be considered a rarity for any dad to bring his baby or toddler along while he does the grocery shopping or runs errands.

This way of thinking pigeonholes women into caregiving roles and lowers the bar for men who become fathers, to the point where they can be celebrated for something as simple as being in their child's life at all, or find themselves praised for "babysitting" the kids, when what they're actually doing is parenting them.

Attitudes on traditional parenting roles are slowly changing for the better. More and more men's restrooms are required to have changing tables inside, and better paternity leave options for men seem to be gaining support around the country (though we have a long way to go).

And then there's this:

Within a few days, Simard's local Sobeys had updated that specific sign, along with a promise to look into changing the signs at all of their locations.

It says a lot that people are paying attention to issues like this one, and taking dads seriously as caregivers. It'd be better if Sobeys didn't need to be asked to change their sign, but Simard says he doesn't hold it against them.

"I’m sure that Sobeys meant their signage to be inclusive of all caregivers in the first place, regardless of gender, cis or trans, sexual orientation, or however it is they came to be the guardian of a small child or infant," he explains over Twitter. "Their willingness and action to change it so quickly really speaks to that."

"Thoughtless sexism," he calls it. It's not meant to hurt anyone, but it needs to be called out and addressed all the same.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less

Simon & Garfunkel's song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" has been covered by more than 50 different musical artists, from Aretha Franklin to Elvis Presley to Willie Nelson. It's a timeless classic that taps into the universal struggle of feeling down and the comfort of having someone to lift us up. It's beloved for its soothing melody and cathartic lyrics, and after a year of pandemic challenges, it's perhaps more poignant now than ever.

A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

But British singer Jacob Collier recently added his own layered harmony tracks to it, taking the performance to a whole other level.

Keep Reading Show less
Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less