There I stood in the parking lot during a gnarly October rainstorm under the open hatch of my Escape thinking to myself, why?
While staring down at my half naked son on his second birthday, as if staring down the barrel of a loaded gun, there I was uncomfortably changing him through the crisp autumn breeze and pouring rain nervous I might get peed on. All the while, everyone was warm and dry enjoying the party inside.
Why you ask? It’s quite simple. Because our family’s favorite place to go in town to watch airplanes didn’t have changing tables in either bathroom. Drenched in wet clothes and on my second beer it hit me. More. Places. Need. Changing. Tables. Especially in the men’s rooms.
Speaking from my own personal experience, if an establishment we visit has one at all, it’s most likely in the women’s restroom. As I’ve posted before, our son listens better to me during changing, and I genuinely enjoy the bonding time. So, it’s even more of an inconvenience when there isn’t one in a men’s room.
After consuming a bit more, the creative juices really got going, and more thoughts began to pour through my crazy, little head. Why don’t more places ensure changing tables in both bathrooms? As people cry out for gender neutral bathrooms, where’s the inclusion that everyone can have access to change kiddos in them? What if you’re a family with two dads, and there isn’t a changing table in the men’s room? How can society indirectly teach my son that only mommies can change diapers in public? How many bare baby asses have been changed on this booth I’m sitting in right now? This is a huge problem in our society, loaded with social issues, sanitary concerns and a "Dademic".
Since then, The Dadass Podcast and CBUS Dads have been hard at work seeing how we can ignite conversations and begin making meaningful change. Emails have been sent out and connections made. Through networks, we were introduced to the moms who founded Pluie, helping to bring self-sanitizing changing tables to Columbus for a safer, more comfortable changing experience. We’ve reached out to elected officials and area nonprofits and are finding other ways to spark a conversation that moves the needle in a small way with the hope of profound impact one day.
This isn’t just a parenting issue. This effects friends without kids who want to invite out the friends with kids. They need to consider who is “family-friendly” and who is prepared for families to attend.
As restaurants and establishments come back stronger from the impact of COVID, how many more people could patronize them if they had changing tables. Personally, our food and drink tabs could have already installed multiple throughout Columbus, that we’re no longer able to frequent as much.
Imagine the conversations of breaking down stereotypes of gender roles, effecting systemic change for family equality or even a small enhancement a business can make that helps increase loyal customers - all of this can help if we continue to have the conversation.
Are you ready to join us?
CBUS Dads is a community of central Ohio area dads balancing an active lifestyle with being an involved parent. A Saturday for us may involve enjoying morning t-ball, lunch at a new local spot and an evening at a summer festival with our families. We may live downtown, in the suburbs or somewhere between, but our common thread is that we continue to experience the community we love - now as parents.