The lack of changing facilities available for dads is truly shocking. It’s something that’s been at the forefront of my mind for a while now, especially when Jax goes out with his daddy, without me.
It's 2018 and I think we can safely say there are billions of dads worldwide who are more than capable of changing their baby’s nappy, dads do it at home all the time, so why is it so difficult to find a baby changing facility just for dads?
Jamie has shared his personal experience with me, here's what he had to say:
"I’m a stay-at-home/work-from-home dad, so over the years I've taken on most of the day-to-day responsibility when it comes to our kids, including changing approximately two million dirty bums when we've been out and about. Men’s loos are notoriously unpleasant (god knows why men can’t lift toilet seats or take better aim around a urinal), so in a perfect world, I’d prefer to see changing facilities in a unisex/family space. Some forward-thinking stores (IKEA for example) and restaurants have ‘family rooms’ which are ideal, but if that’s not feasible, the disabled loo would be a good option. At the very least a fold down table, with some privacy, should be supplied in men’s public loos. We're not talking much money or effort here... a changing table, a drill and a few screws... "
I can completely empathise with Jamie, especially as we’ve noticed this ridiculous trend ourselves. From laying hoodies on the floor, to changing babies in the back of the car – this really shouldn’t be a problem in the 21st century.
Nine times out of ten, baby changing facilities are located in the ladies loos, with no easy access for dads (unless they fancy strolling through the ladies toilets amongst a sea of dirty looks and gasps).
A handful of times I’ve seen “Family Toilets” in a few shopping centre's however it still feels like the world needs to catch up.
The struggle is so real, that father of three Donte Palmer created his very own hashtag (#squatforchange) in the hope that it would spark discussions.(it's since gone viral). Donte uploaded a photo of himself quite literally squatting, balancing his baby boy on his lap, struggling to change his nappy, in the men’s toilets.
I’ve been speaking with Donte regarding this on-going issue and how it impacts fatherhood for him. As a busy father of 3, he had this to say:
"For a long time fathers have been looked at as being absent in our children lives. Taking care of children has been a job deemed necessary for women. At times Society complains about the presence of fathers not being involved but in all actuality there are a ton of fathers willing to step up to the plate. So this message is very important because its bringing awareness, so us fathers can have fair and equitable rights."
I'm sure we can all agree that caring for our babies is hard enough; without having to deal with restricted facilities being available to us as parents. Basic requirements such as a clean safe space to change your baby should be available for both parents, in both sets of loos and it begs the question, why and how hasn't this been addressed yet?
I mean in 2018 we are all about equal opportunities, equal pay and equal rights… right?
A big thank you to Jamie and Donte for featuring on my post!