Donte Palmer is a dad to three boys and he’s leading the charge in a call for better public baby change facilities for fathers.
“What’s the deal?”
“What’s the deal with not having changing tables in men’s bathroom as if we don’t exist!!” Donte posted on Instagram alongside a photo of himself squatting against the men’s room wall, changing his son’s nappy across his lap.
“Clearly we do this often because look how comfortable my son is. It’s routine to him! Let’s fix this problem!”
View this post on Instagram
This is a serious post!!! What’s the deal with not having changing tables in men’s bathroom as if we don’t exist!! #FLM #fatherslivesmatter clearly we do this often because look how comfortable my son is. It’s routine to him!!!! Let’s fix this problem! I Kaepernick drop a knee to this issue! @theshaderoom let’s show the innovation of fathers! #squatforchange
With more dads taking an equal or leading role when it comes to raising their kids, it seems that it’s taking quite some time for public policy to catch up with the shift.
Speaking to Yahoo News, Donte explained that he and his boys precariously change nappies like a well-oiled machine – because they have little choice.
On this day, they “had stopped at Texas Roadhouse for lunch and while my wife ordered food, my son Liam started fussing so I knew it was time for a diaper change,” Donte said, explaining that his eldest child Isaiah was on hand to help. “I usually lay Liam down on clothes I keep in the diaper bag or the bag itself, and Isaiah hands me wipes or throws out the dirty diaper.”
Read more about dad life:
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Fathers’ lives matter
Donte didn’t realise Isaiah had taken this photo, but once he saw it he was keen to share – and spark an important conversation. He tagged his image #fatherslivesmatter.
Other parents quickly chimed in on Donte’s Instagram post, with similar stories of tricky, contortionist nappy changes.
Some were dads …
“I have done the same thing with all three of our kids. Society needs to realize fathers take care of their kids and change diapers too.”
“That brings back some memories….I share your pain and your struggle …”
Some were mums …
“My husband carries just as much of the parenting weight as I do, and that includes running errands and public diaper changes. Unfortunately, he ends up changing the babies in the most awkward and inconvenient places, because he has no other options. Let’s start treating dads as equals in the parenting world and affording them the resources and support to be just that!”
But some were unhappy about the whole situation and thought there were much better alternatives then sometimes questionable public facilities.
“Daddy those changing tables are gross! I will change on my lap as you have done, change in the car or find a discreet place to change in the stroller.” Each. To. Their. Own.
This is the second time a post with this subject matter has gone viral recently.
Back in June, dad-of-four Chris Mau posted a photo of his crappy men’s room floor baby change situation – and it ignited similar important chatter.
We fully support Donte’s push for more equitable baby facilities in public bathrooms – and also hope that inclusive parents’ rooms become the rule, rather than the exception.
Here’s hoping the powers that fit out men’s rooms and build parents’ facilities are listening.