A generation ago, dads would boast that they had never changed a diaper, and their wives likewise considered this fact a point of pride themselves (I’ve got those kids handled!).
Today’s dads take a different view. Happily, most of our parenting partners want to be involved. A statement about never changing a diaper would be met with the ridicule it deserves.
There is a great inequity out there, though, and that is the availability of changing facilities in men’s restrooms. I know a mom who took her girls to every event until they were pre-teens because she and her husband apparently agreed he just couldn’t take them and risk a diaper change/restroom occasion.
I’m happy to say my husband has never been deterred by men’s restrooms without changing facilities or having a young daughter along to accompany him. He has diapered bare bottoms on car seats, truck beds, and even balanced them on one knee.
It shouldn’t be so hard, though. Why have we accepted that there aren’t diaper changing facilities in most mens’ restrooms? And don’t think some dads aren’t taking advantage of the situation. I’ve seen moms in restaurants leave their piping hot fajitas to go do a diaper change while the dad enjoys his own hot meal with no guilt. After all, if the men’s room doesn’t have diaper changing facilities, he’s automatically excused. This episode can’t be counted as His Turn.
Moms, let’s work to end this complicity that keeps us as the designated diaper changers. Let store owners and managers know that we expect diaper facilities in the men’s restrooms and/or family facilities, and encourage dads to do the same. The sooner these places realize we are unhappy, the better for all of us. Dad should be able to take the kids with them to share time and experiences at the ball park, a restaurant, and yes, even the mall. (Just think about the single dads or those sharing custody who have to restrict their plans due to inadequate changing facilities for the kids). Likewise, moms shouldn’t have to accept diaper duty everywhere the family goes.
BirminghamMom.com applauds these establishments for providing family restrooms or diaper changing facilities in both men’s and women’s restrooms:
- Cracker Barrel
- YMCAs (newer)
- Aldridge Gardens
We’ll keep adding to the list. Shame on all the ball parks and rec centers that haven’t installed facilities already. Moms are already keeping up with uniforms, packing snacks, and things like pitch count. These are spaces that dads could utilize more frequently if they had proper facilities.