We have come a long way in the past few years. Gender equality is a big deal nowadays, and rightly so. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, as they say. So how is it that we have come so far, but dads are still being forced to change their baby’s nappies on the floor of men’s toilets because there is no change table in the men’s bathroom?
A frustrated and annoyed dad has taken to Facebook to share his recent experience changing his daughter in a restaurant.
“I’m getting pretty sick of having to change my daughter on a disgusting floor because the only changing table in the place is located in the women’s bathroom. It’s crazy to imagine, I know, but there are guys who take care of their kids too, you asshats. If it’s a public place with public restrooms in the generation of equality among genders and races then how about making sure us fathers can change our children’s diapers on a goddamn changing table like the mothers can. Am I asking too much?”
Chris Mau had taken his family for a walk into town, well prepared for what the day might bring with young children. He and his fiancee had a nappy bag full to the brim with all the baby supplies that might be required at a moment’s notice, including nappies, baby wipes and a towel.
It wasn’t too long until Chris’ youngest daughter, Kali, 8 months, began to fuss. The parents realised she had a full nappy and needed to be changed. They found a family restaurant and split up, with Chris heading into the men’s room to change his daughter while his fiancee took the rest of the children to the play area.
Writing a piece for Love What Matters, the father-of-four explained that the men’s toilets in the restaurant were not equipped with a simple fold out change table and that he had to make a decision for the sake of his fussing daughter.
“As I entered the washroom, I noticed the two sinks crammed in the small counter space and a urinal across from them, and then behind another door was the toilet. I took my daughter out of her seat and grabbed the diaper bag and entered the stall, only to find nowhere to change my daughter.
“I was immediately frustrated with the ignorance of the facility and with Kali crying I had to make the hard choice between either making her wait until we found a facility that had a changing station, or ease her discomfort and change her in the bathroom anyway. The condition of the bathroom was less than sanitary, but the crying of my children eats at the very fiber of my being and I had to help her.
“So I grabbed the towel, laid it out and changed her in the stall, all while my mind raced at how unnecessary and preventable this entire situation is. I felt like they honestly don’t think a father is responsible for diaper changing or whatnot, and I recalled times in the past where we had traveled and run into similar situations where the public restrooms did not have changing stations resulting in the hassle of trying to change a diaper in the car, on a floor or looking for another place to try, hoping they had one.
“I completed the diaper change and walked out with a happy Kali once more. When I made it to the play place, I told my fiancee who was infuriated by the restaurant’s ignorance to a major part of having children, and made a quick but clear complaint on our way out. I won’t lie, even by the time we made it home I was still angry about the ordeal and made my post on Facebook to vent to my friends (the settings were originally set on private). One of my friends told me that something like this needed to be shared and seen by more than my friends, so I made the post public.”
After a quick Google, we have found that the regular price of a plastic foldout baby change table costs around the $750 mark. Not exactly an expense a family restaurant couldn’t afford to outlay. They only need one, after all.
Why is it so hard?
Mau’s story isn’t unique, there have been countless parents who have questioned why some public or venue bathroom’s don’t have changing tables for children.
In 2015, actor Ashton Kutcher posted a message on Facebook, how he could never find changing stations at men’s public bathrooms.
In 2016, Canadian group Dad Club London lobbied local businesses to add changing stations in men’s bathrooms, so men wouldn’t be forced to use the floor or sneak into a woman’s bathroom to change their babies.
In the U.S., the state of New York passed a legislation in 2017, making it mandatory for all men’s and women’s bathrooms to have changing tables.
“Being a parent is the most challenging and rewarding job you’ll ever have, and with the good will come the bad, but to have to form a last second plan for a diaper change in a public bathroom that decided not to install a changing station is unnecessarily unacceptable,” Mau wrote. “I honestly hope this post will reach all the right people and good things come of it for all parents and children alike.”
Source: Facebook/Chris Mau