Chris Mau is fed up with the lack of changing tables in men's bathrooms, and parents everywhere are nodding in agreement.
The New Hampshire dad of four recently decided to go for a walk in his hometown of Portsmouth with his fiancée and kids. About a mile into the journey, Mau's 8-month-old daughter, Kali, was fussy about her dirty diaper. Luckily for the family, there was a nearby restaurant with a play place, which would be perfect for the older kids to play in while the dad got his baby cleaned up. Or so he thought.
The 33-year-old dad took Kali and the stroller, filled with the basic necessities for his baby, to the men's room—only to find a urinal, toilet, an unsanitary floor and a counter space that only spanned the 3-inch gap between two sinks. There was no changing table in sight.
When this happened in the past, the dad would typically take her to the car or look for another place to try. But the family had walked (so, no car), and his baby was getting pretty upset.
Not only that, but he didn't know if there was a changing table in the women's restroom and his fiancée was tending to the other kids on the other side of the restaurant.
"With Kali crying, I had to make the hard choice between either making her wait until we found a facility that had a changing station, or ease her discomfort and change her in the bathroom anyway. The condition of the bathroom was less than sanitary, but the crying of my children eats at the very fiber of my being and I had to help her," Mau wrote on Love What Matters.
Thanks to his forward thinking, Mau kept an emergency towel in the stroller. He laid the towel out on the floor and changed her on it, all the time irritated that dads were once again an afterthought. He and his fiancée made a "quick but clear complaint" on their way out.
Mau vented about his experience on Facebook, where it quickly went viral.
"I'm getting pretty sick of having to change my daughter on a disgusting floor because the only changing table in the place is located in the women's bathroom," he wrote. "It's crazy to imagine, I know, but there are guys who take care of their kids too, you a--hats. If it's a public place with public restrooms in the generation of equality among genders and races, then how about making sure us fathers can change our children's diapers on a g--damn changing table like the (mothers) can?Am I asking too much?"
Mau isn't the first dad to speak out about the lack of changing tables in men's restrooms. Ashton Kutcher famously called for more changing tables across the country in 2015. And, last year, another dad was even called a "sicko" by a random mom just for changing his son's diaper in a family room.
The good news is, the government is finally acknowledging that dads change diapers, too. In 2016, President Barack Obama signed into law the Bathrooms Accessible in Every Situation (BABIES) Act to ensure that both men and women's restrooms in federal buildings are equipped with changing tables. Last year, the state of New York made it mandatory for all men's and women's public bathrooms to have changing tables.
But, as Mau's story shows, a lot of places still have yet to step up their bathroom game. Because it really does take a village, people.