Every father has that “aha” moment. It’s not a great one, but it binds fathers rich and poor, in big and small cities across the country: the moment of “aha – there is no diaper changing station in the men’s room.”
This is usually followed by the second “aha” moment: “aha – I’ve got to change my baby on the floor of a bathroom stall.”
Dad blogger Scotty Schrier has a solution in the form of an interactive map of dad-friendly local changing stations at Dads Who Change Diapers. You can help other dads by adding a location to Scotty’s map when you find a changing station in the wild. And please do, because crowd-sourced stuff like this needs all the help it can get.
We’ve come a long way. Back in 1994, Associated Press reported on a “Mr. Mom” (big sigh) who sued a department store for the “blatantly sexist assumption that only women change diapers and men don’t, that only women are responsible for children and men aren’t.”
As Californians found out, the issue is sometimes hard to pass, even when it’s got support. In 2014, Governor Jerry Brown vetoed two bills that would mandate public places like shopping malls have equal access to changing tables in their bathroom. Brown called the idea “a good business practice, but not one that I am inclined to legislate.”
Even the rich and famous aren’t immune; on March 8, actor and father of a pooping-aged baby Ashton Kutcher, had his aha moment:
Changing diapers isn’t just mom’s job (and, uhhh, some families don’t have moms). Access to changing tables shouldn’t be a “mom thing” – it should be done by whatever member of the family is present and willing.
I don’t know a single parent who fights this logic. And if you’ve ever changed a diaper, you want two things: first, anyone else in your family to have access to change the diaper instead of you, and second, a clean, reliable place to change a diaper if you’re the one doing it.
“Dads don’t babysit,” said Scotty Schrier when asked about why this is an important issue. “Yet, more often than not, a babysitter would have easier access to a changing station.”
But while we get the laws and access hammered out, do us a giant 8-bit favor and head over to Dads Who Change Diapers and add a dad-friendly diaper changing table to the map.