When my son was little I wrote a post about how our church didn’t have a changing station in the men’s bathroom (read about it here). That was almost two years ago and I have been able to change a lot of diapers in a lot of different places and I have come to one major question, “Where’s the men’s room changing station?”
In 2014, by contrast, an estimated 1.9 million fathers remained home with the kids — accounting for 16 percent of the stay-at-home parent population, according to a HuffPost analysis of U.S. Census data. So you would think with such a high number of fathers staying home with their children that businesses would think it was time to start putting changing stations in men’s bathrooms too.
I can’t tell you how many times I have gone into a restaurant with my kids and I never expect my wife to have to go change their diapers. I am just as capable of doing it as she is. The major problem seems to be though there are rarely changing stations in men’s bathrooms. So I end up changing them on a sink counter, or I take them into the stall with me and change them on a mat that I have in my diaper bag on the floor or I will sit on the toilet and change them on my lap. Not an easy task, but it’s better than having to put them on the gross floor of a public bathroom.
Ashton Kutcher was in the news last year because he went to a store that didn’t have a changing station in the men’s bathroom. He wrote, “There are NEVER diaper changing stations in mens public restrooms. The first public men’s room that I go into that has one gets a free shout out on my FB page! #BeTheChange” I know he is a major public figure, and I thank him for taking action on something that most wouldn’t. But why does it take a big named star to try to make a difference?
I have been to many local grocery stores with my kids, because my wife was doing something and I had the kids (it’s called being a parent) and the restroom didn’t have a changing station for me to use. It makes things that much more difficult for me as a parent when I have to try to figure out how I am going to change a diaper in a place that is used by all. Grocery stores are not just used by women, men shop there too. Same with restaurants. Men frequently go to restaurants and may in fact have their kids with them. You never know when a kid is going to fill up a diaper and having a changing station easy to access as a male is somewhere I would frequent and promote.
This is why I love shopping at Nordstrom. They have an amazing changing station in the men’s bathroom that has a great pad on the table making it comfortable for my children. Forget to bring a diaper, wipes, ointment, etc? Don’t worry, Nordstrom has a dispenser that has all this in a bag and only costs a dollar.
In the summer we were at my father-in-law’s art gallery in down town Salt Lake City. My son had filled his diaper up and I didn’t want to have him walking around the show smelling the place up. I grabbed the diaper bag to go change him only to find that there wasn’t a diaper in there. I panicked because I didn’t want to have to drive all the way back home just to change him when suddenly I realized, Nordstrom was just down the street. I jumped in the car and purchased a diaper pack in the men’s bathroom. I was able to change my son’s diaper and return to the art show without having to miss much.
It is time to start making a change. It’s time to get diaper changing stations put into both men and women’s restrooms. When we are only putting them in women’s restrooms we are saying that only women should be changing diapers and I personally do not feel that way. I am just as capable of changing both my kid’s diapers and when there is no changing station in the men’s restroom it’s disappointing. #bethechange