This is something that women have been moaning about for years. I know, because I was one of them. In fact, what mother hasn’t moaned about this following issue?
When my daughter, now fifteen, was in diapers and I was still with her father, whenever we’d go out to eat dinner it fell on me to take her to the washroom to change her diaper. Every. Single. Time. The same thing happened when my son was born six years ago. They had ‘family washrooms’ by then, but mostly in malls and airports, and definitely not in most restaurants, even the super family-friendly ones.
I always thought it was entirely unfair and couldn’t understand why restaurants didn’t have change tables in men’s restrooms. It just seemed so backward, even 15 years ago. But now, a dad has spoken out and has gone viral, after he posted Instagram photos of himself having to squat down on the floor in public restroom, with his ‘squirmy’ one-year-old across his lap, attempting to change a diaper.
The Washington Post covered this story, along with numerous other media outlets, about a week ago. In the article, they write, “Unlike in many women’s restrooms,” the 31-year-old father from St.Augustine Fla., said, “it’s common to walk into a men’s restroom armed with a diaper bag and a wet child only to discover that there are no diaper-changing stations.”
Well, duh. This is what us mothers have been griping about for years. What woman hasn’t sighed disappointedly when they realize that only the women’s washrooms have change stations, and no, they can’t enjoy a dinner out with a baby without having to get up and change a diaper. Mothers have been speaking up about this for years! So why did it take a man to finally complain about it on social media in order to have any kind of movement or attention behind getting change stations in men’s restrooms?
The father who went viral, Donte Palmer, said that when he became a father, more than ten years ago, he learned to “think outside the box,” when it came to changing diapers in men’s washrooms. Meaning, “stretching babies across sink counters, having older children stand, and polishing his perfect man squat.” What’s a perfect man squat? “Changing a kid on a levitating lap.”
When his older son took a picture of him trying to change his other offspring on his lap and posted it, men cheered him on. Finally!
Since Palmer posted the photos of himself awkwardly changing his baby, “hundreds of fathers have reached out to show their support – and their own squats.” Palmer is advocating for more businesses to install diaper-changing stations in men’s restrooms, something mothers have been advocating for, for years.
Still, I applaud Palmer who goes on to say that when it comes to raising babies, “We are active fathers,” but that “we don’t want to have to get in the man squat to change diapers the rest of our lives.” In his Instagram post, he wrote, “This is a serious post!!! What’s the deal with not having changing tables in men’s bathroom as if we don’t exist!! #FLM #fatherslivesmatter clearly we do this often because look how comfortable my son is. It’s routine to him!!!! Let’s fix this problem!”
Men are rallying for change stations in restrooms. Something us mothers have been moaning about for years. Who wants to change me?
Trust me, all mothers know that you dads exist! We also know that change stations in most men’s washrooms do not exist. I love, too, that Palmer is feeling left out – it’s as if we don’t exist – because, wow, who would have thought that a man, or woman, for that matter, would feel insulted by not being able to change their kid’s diaper in public restrooms? Yes, of course, it’s only fair that change stations be in both men’s and women’s washrooms, but, actually fighting for the right to change a soggy, shit-filled diaper? Now THAT’S a real man!
Palmer garnered thousands of likes by sharing his view. Since, men have been sharing their own photos, using Palmer’s hashtag #squatforchange, highlighting fathers with diapered children draped over their laps in restrooms and other spaces, without change stations. What can I say, I applaud this guy.
At the same time, why did it take so many years, and one male to go viral, for people to actually maybe take serious note of this inequality? And perhaps make a change? (No pun intended.) In Canada, another male made the news about fighting for change stations in restrooms for men as well.
This summer, a Montreal-based father started a twitter rant with Tim Hortons, and celebrated getting not only an apology from Tim Horton’s but a commitment from them to install a diaper changing tables in the men’s washroom of his local Tim Hortons.
“It’s 2018. Dads change diapers,” he told CBC Montreal’s Daybreak, at the time. Well, Dads were also changing diapers 2 years ago, five years ago, and fifteen years ago. Just sayin’.
Tim Hortons responded in a very timely manner, firing off a statement affirming that diaper changing stations in men’s washrooms are “part of its new layout.”
“Obviously as a family brand, we need to make accessible changing tables available for all of our guests. This is now standard in our new restaurant design that is rolling out across Canada,” the statement read.
I’m no longer in the stage of changing diapers anymore, but I’m glad men are advocating on behalf of themselves and their kids. I just wonder why no one ever listened to us mothers.
Then again, I’m not going to fight dads who are fighting for change tables. Let the next generations of moms enjoy sitting for an entire meal, without being the one who has to get up. The times are (finally!) changing.