This dad’s frustration led to a very important update in a Macy’s men’s bathroom.
Welcome to 2016! Literally, since it’s New Year’s Day. In this magical future of ours, men actually change diapers. I KNOW. It’s ground-breaking and brand-new except, it’s not. Men have been splitting parenting duties with their female partners for the past few decades and it’s positively ridiculous that there are still men’s bathrooms that don’t have changing tables. One father decided it’s about time that change (pun intended) and after contacting Macy’s about it, they took action.
Anthony Dew took his 4-month-old son Jeremiah with him to buy a few Christmas gifts in early December and as Dew explained to Fox 5 News, he knows how to increase his chances of shopping success while toting an infant. “Every father knows you’ve got to change the diaper before you get started.” But as Dew quickly discovered, this wouldn’t be the easy, breezy task it should’ve been. The Macy’s he was shopping in didn’t have a changing table in any of their men’s bathrooms.
Frustrated, Dew left the store without buying anything and decided to do something about it. He wrote a letter to Terry Lundgren, Chairman and CEO of Macy’s, explaining the situation. After receiving the letter, the company contacted the manager and got the ball rolling. “We put a team together and started work almost immediately,” said store manager Ufuoma Onosakponome.
In barely a month’s time, a changing table was added and the men’s room was renovated to make it a comfortable spot for dads to change their kid’s diapers. While their fast response is admirable, the fact that it’s 2016 and stores still don’t have changing tables in every men’s room is a problem.
My father says that back in 1982, when he and my mom worked opposite shifts and he took care of me all day, he had trouble going out in public with me because of a lack of changing tables in men’s bathrooms. That was well over 30 years ago and we all know how much more involved fathers are in caring for their children these days. Men take their kids out into the world without their female partners all the time and it’s totally ridiculous that there are any public bathrooms left in the world that couldn’t accommodate them.
Stores and restaurants need to wake up and make the necessary updates to what might be older buildings so dads don’t run into this issue while out alone with their children. They shouldn’t have to go out to their cars or use a bench in the middle of the mall to change their babies.
While this is certainly a move worthy of praise on Macy’s part, it is a little frustrating to see how fast a company moves when a dad complains. We have to wonder how many moms have brought the lack of a comfortable and private place for nursing to a store or restaurant’s attention only to be met with little or no response. The only evidence needed to back up that suspicion is the number of public places that still don’t have a private area for a mom to sit and feed her child, aside from a toilet in a stall.
We realize a space to nurse is different than a need as basic as a changing table, but it still rates pretty high on the list of things parents require to care for their kids while away from home. It would be nice to see a company accommodating moms as readily as Macy’s remedied the complaint from Dew. And hopefully, other stores without a changing table in the men’s room will take note of how quickly this was handled and be sure their restrooms are fully updated too.