From the Mommy Files…

Well thank you, Ashton Kutcher

Posted on: March 24, 2015

It’s about time that this issue gets some traction.

And now that an A-list celebrity – and a man – has raised the issue, maybe there will finally be some action.

If you missed it, you can read it here.

Mr. Kutcher sounded off about the lack of diaper changing facilities in men’s bathrooms.

And he’s right.

I’ve been talking about this for years.

I’ve heard a few dads lament that they can’t take their infants to the store with them (giving Mom a much-needed break); what would they do if Junior needed to be changed?

And now that we have stay-at-home dads, what are they to do? Never leave the house?

That’s not practical.

I remember when I was a kid, there weren’t many (ladies) bathrooms with diaper changing facilities.

My dad owned restaurants, and in many cases, the restrooms were too small to include one.

So what did moms do?

They’d perform a feat of wonder—changing a squirmy baby on a small sink top. Some, in desperation, used the floor. Or they took their kids to the car to change them, and came back.

That’s all fine and dandy unless it’s raining, snowing, or bitterly cold.

What's all this potty talk? Go Ashton go!

What’s all this potty talk? Go Ashton go!

Back when I was a kid, my dad didn’t change diapers. He was always working and barely ever home.

Today’s dads do change diapers, and are more involved.

So what do we do?

The babies can’t be changed unless there is a female around to change them?

Who wants to smell – and listen – to that?

Dads should be able to take their babies to the bathroom to change a diaper.

Those men’s bathrooms that have the physical space, should absolutely add a diaper changing station.

And I’d like to take this a step further.

I have two daughters.

This has always been an issue for us when we go out with the kids. When one of them needed to be changed, and now that they are older, when one needs to use the bathroom, guess who has to go?

Doesn’t matter if I’m in the middle of a conversation, eating, or whatever.

Yup.

It seems like whenever we go out to eat, my older daughter has to use the bathroom right as I begin to eat.

I tell them to go before we leave the house.

I even ask them if they need to go, before my food comes.

Never fails.

And my husband sits blissfully on the other side of the table, eating his meal uninterrupted.

We discussed this once.

The response?

They are girls and they can’t go in the men’s bathroom.

I get it.

But if they were little boys, I’d still probably be charged with taking them to the restroom.

The solution?

In all new structures and build outs, (stores, restaurants, park district facilities, stadiums, etc.) family bathrooms should be installed.

This way, Dad can take any of his kids to the bathroom – baby, young boy or girl – to take care of business.

This also frees up Dad to take his daughters out more often – no need to worry about the bathroom issue.

Now I realize that some men will balk at this – “this is the ladies’ domain” and all that.

And businesses and facility directors may react adversely to the additional expense or loss of space for something else.

But I have news for them.

This opens up additional revenue.

The stay-at-home dads, the awesome dads who wish to give moms a break and take the kids out, and the single and divorced dads who are out with their kids, all have money to spend.

And they are more likely to spend it at an establishment that has the proper facilities for these, um, delicate matters.

The roles of dads are evolving. This wasn’t an issue 15 or 20 years ago. Maybe not even 10 years ago.

But as their roles evolve, shouldn’t we be accommodating?

It’s a win-win.

So go sing your song, Ashton. Sing it loud and proud, to anyone who will listen.

And thank you.

Have you ever dealt with this issue? What do you do when there isn’t a changing table? Have dads encountered a lack of accommodation for them? What do you think? Please share in the comments below.

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