When I heard that the team over at The Dads Net were starting a campaign about baby changing facilities in men’s toilets, I immediately wanted to get involved. Not because I need such facilities these days. More because on a social level it should already be happening. So, not my normal type of blog today, but something I am passionate about.
Long gone are my days of needing nappy changing facilities for the kids. However, having been a single Dad for over 7 years. I have needed such facilities on numerous occasions, for at least one of my lot. I know the struggle.
Picture the scene.
Actually, don’t picture the scene because it will put you off your lunch or dinner.
I am out shopping, three kids in tow. Age’s 5, 4 and 1 and the little lady needs her nappy changed. The two boys and myself concur, that this needs doing sooner, rather than later. What do we do? Well, he are our choices.
1/ Mens toilets, no changing table. In a cubicle on lap, or floor.
Now, fast forward 7 years and guess what? NOTHING has changed.
I have never been shy at coming forward and on the odd occasion, I will admit, that I may have frequented the ladies toilet. For the purpose of changing facilities only. I promise! Sometimes however, that wasn’t an option. I am just happy, that my daughter is not mentally scared for life, after some of her past nappy changing locations.
As many of you know, I write fairly frequently for Don’t Believe The Hype Magazine and the team over there drew up a Dadifesto.
The World’s First Agency Of Dad – Don’t Believe The Hype – For When New Lad Became New Dad.
“There are over 6 million dads with dependent children in the UK, yet the majority of brands still treat us like we are buffoons – Making lame jokes, saying we can’t dance or change a nappy. Our aim is simple; we want to change this.”
Don’t patronise us telling us that we don’t know how to change a nappy.
Do not tell us we babysit. We parent.
Stop sniggering at the fact that you think we can’t dance. Believe us; we can.
You’ve just been looking in the wrong places or talking to the wrong people. That’s where we come in. We know Dad 2.0 because we are Dad 2.0.
While this doesn’t cover the same topic. It does equate to similar things.
Dad’s do take kids out, we also like coffee and until the time that babies have evolved enough to only need to go to toilet when Mum is around, we also change nappies. Fairly regularly too.
I know right! You blink for a second and suddenly it’s the not The Stone Age anymore. Except it seems, in any given Starbucks, Costa or Cafe Nero. There, you could be forgiven for not realising times have changed. In fairness, they changed before these companies opened the doors of their first shop. But we wont go there.
I also wont go to my conspiracy theory, that the staff of these coffee shops, are trained to spell names wrong on the takeaway cups. Thus enabling a frenzy of free advertising via social media sharing. That can wait for another blog post.
Back to the case in point and as it turns out, the cost of a changing table is’t too bad for these establishments. It appears they could get one fitted for around £150 in any one of their shops. That equates to about 40 coffees. Which in turn equates to roughly a queue of people waiting in line. Well, it always seems to be that long, when I visit them. I appreciate that I have simplified it here. But the point is, changing tables don’t cost much to install and these places need them.
The list mentioned in this campaign isn’t exclusive, they are loads of places that don’t offer changing facilities for Dads. Yes, some places do and I applaud them. They make it to the list of Dad friendly places that I regularly frequent.
Just think. In the short time that I have been waffling on in this post. Another Dad has had to change a nappy on the FLOOR, of a male public toilet and This needs to change.
This is why I will support this campaign and please, please, please, if you feel strongly about this, sign and share the petition.