Picture this: My husband and I have ventured to a family restaurant with our two young children for some lunch. I’m holding the baby and trying to eat my food at the same time—something every mom is familiar with. Our son, who is less than two years old, has just pooped. My husband being the gentleman and awesome dad that he is, gets up and takes him to the restroom.
Except there was no changing table in the restroom.
There wasn't even a square foot of clean floor for our son to lay down on to get his diaper changed. So my husband had to take our son to the parking lot where he changed him in the back of our SUV.
You guys, it was a mess. And I can’t tell you how many times we encountered this problem before our kids were potty trained. It was frustrating for both of us that he couldn’t simply take our children to be changed in the restroom. It just didn’t make sense to either one of us.
How absurd is it to assume that only women change diapers? Plenty of dads these days don't even bat an eye at diaper changing. What’s more, dads often venture out into the world alone with their children and no mother around at all.
It’s not unheard of that men can also be caregivers. So what are these dads to do if there's no changing table available to them when baby needs a new diaper?
Thankfully, politicians are finally making a change to this terribly outdated situation. On October 7, President Obama signed into law the Bathrooms Accessible in Every Situation (BABIES) Act which makes sure that both men and women's restrooms in federal buildings are equipped with changing tables.
It’s not unheard of that men can also be caregivers.
According to Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), who introduced the bill back in April, “Government needs to do more to ensure that public buildings are family-friendly. No mom or dad should ever have to worry about finding a safe, sanitary place to change their baby ― least of all in a federal building that’s paid for by taxpayers. The BABIES Act is a commonsense proposal that makes government buildings more welcoming for families and helps promote good public health.”
And that's exactly what it is—common sense.
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As a mom, it makes me feel validated in my concerns about equal parenting between moms and dads. And while the BABIES Act only covers federal government buildings, it's my hope that the private sector will soon take note and follow suit.
Because wouldn't it be nice if babies could be changed in a safe and sanitary place no matter which parent was taking care of them?