A man and a woman’s restroom have a lot of differences. For starters, a man’s restroom has a toilet for peeing and another toilet in case he needs to do number 2. A woman’s restroom, however, has the same toilet for doing number 1 and 2, has a vending machine for their hygienic needs, and a changing table for their kids.
Donte Palmer, a 31-year-old teacher based in St. Augustine, Florida and a father to three boys, shared how public bathrooms are not father-friendly at all. Through the picture he uploaded on his Instagram account, Donte has unknowingly become the face of a movement, a call to install changing tables in men’s restrooms all over the world!
Weeks ago, Donte, together with his wife and three adorable sons, went out to have a nice dinner at a local Texas Roadhouse. Amidst the good dinner they were having, his 1-year-old son, Liam, began getting fussy. The husband and wife checked the reason behind their youngest son’s discomfort.
“That’s when I realized he was either hungry or needed a Pamper change,” Donte shared in an interview with BuzzFeed News. “So I did what any parent does and took him to the bathroom.”
The father of three sons shared that whenever he would take Liam to the restroom, he always need to tag his 7-year-old son, Isaiah, along to help him change Liam’s diaper. The reason why? because often times, men’s restroom does not have any changing tables.
To change the diaper of his son, Liam, Donte had to squat down and balance Liam on his legs. It was at this moment when Isaiah began taking pictures of his dad, who was changing the diaper of Liam inside one of the men’s bathroom stall.
“We got back to the table and that’s when [Isaiah] showed me the pictures,” Donte shared, he also said how he found the picture quite amusing. However, his wife does not. In fact, she even raised a serious concern about the pictures taken by Isaiah.
“We as women, we don’t have to come up with creative ways to change a diaper, and you have to get a ninja squad to change Liam,” his wife expressed. It was at this time that Donte felt the need to share the photo on his Instagram.
“What’s the deal with not having changing tables in men’s bathroom as if we don’t exist!!” Donte wrote in a caption accompanying his photos.“Clearly, we do this often because look how comfortable my son is.”
Soon after, his struggle captured in the photo was reshared and became viral. Surprisingly, it seems that Donte is not the only one who is struggling with this concern. A lot of father across the globe finds Donte’s photo inside the bathroom stall very relatable.
A lot of people, on the other hand, are very surprised by this problem. It seems that it was only at this moment that they realized the struggles that fathers are facing.
Kresa_C, an Instagram user shared how she and her husband used to change their kids’ diaper while they were standing up. This is due to the fact that no changing table is available on men’s restroom.
Another Instagram user, Myfoutspamm_ shared how surprised she was to know about this problem that challenges the fathers all over the world.
Donte also admitted that it was only until after his picture has become viral that he took his situation as a concern. “If there’s no changing table available, then I do what I do to get it done,” Donte said. But after receiving messages and comments from other fathers, he finally realized how unfair the situation was.
“As a father, we need to be seen as an equal,” Donte said. “We’re more than just protectors and providers… We’re the stroller pushers [who] get up at 4 a.m. to warm bottles.” He added, explaining that his role as a father goes beyond providing for his family.
“My wife and I, we share everything equally. We cook and clean. We work hard — equally. Why do we share equal responsibility but society views us differently?” Donte asked.
Now, Donte is asking other fathers who experienced the same thing he did, to share a picture of themselves changing their kids’ diaper without any changing table. Donte asks to post the picture together with a hashtag #SquatForChange in an effort to raise awareness to their problem.
Donte, and the parent community hopes that establishments will take their problem seriously so that no father has to change their kid’s diaper without using any changing table.
“I believe as many fathers will continue to do this around the world…change will happen,” he said, hopeful that his cause will be heard.
Hopefully, a day will come that all comfort room, even for males, will have changing tables. Because since the beginning of time, a kid always has two parents- a mom and a dad. Today, fathers are taking an even more active role in the life of their kids, and that includes changing their diapers. It is only right that public establishments catch up with this parenting development!
Do you find Donte’s struggle relatable? Share a picture of yourself or an experience you had facing the same struggle down on the comment section. We would love to hear your thoughts!
Photos | Donte Palmer