Dad Calls For Changing Tables In Men's Rooms: 'It's As If We Don't Exist'

by Julie Scagell
Image via Instagram/Donte Palmer

His photo shows just how hard it is for men to change diapers in public restrooms

A discussion has been going on for some time about the need for changing tables in men’s public restrooms. And while my husband tells me it’s gotten better in recent years, there are still so many public places that only have tables in women’s rooms, making the process either very difficult (and disgusting) for fathers or left falling on the mom’s shoulders every time a diaper needs changing (assuming there’s a mom in the picture). So, when a dad posted a pic of how he has to change diapers, it had all parents nodding their heads in unified frustration.

“This is a serious post!!!” dad-of-three Donte Palmer wrote on Instagram. “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!!!!” The photo he shared shows Palmer balancing, ninja style, against the wall while his son is stretched out on his knees, looking pretty chill about the whole process (because he’s used to it).

He copied The Shade Room, a trending news website, which in turn shared Palmer’s photo, sparking discussion and shared stories of other dads’ frustration at the issue. “Let’s fix this problem! I Kaepernick drop a knee to this issue! @theshaderoom let’s show the innovation of fathers!” he wrote.

Palmer tells Scary Mommy that the photo is a typical situation he runs into when he’s out in public with his three boys, ages 12, seven, and one. “Honestly, I’ve been in enough places that didn’t have them so now I don’t even bother to look,” he said. On this occasion, they were at a Texas Roadhouse for lunch when his youngest son, Liam, need a change. So, he and his oldest son, Isaiah (who took the photo) went to the bathroom to tag-team the diaper changing process.

Palmer said that for a long time, fathers have been looked at as “being absent in our children’s lives. Taking care of children has been a job deemed necessary for women. At times society complains about the presence of fathers not being involved but in all actuality there are a ton of fathers willing to step up to the plate.”

And Palmer has a good point. Why should it be on the mom to always be responsible for changing a baby? Not only are there single fathers and gay couples who don’t have the option, men are just as capable of taking care of their kid’s needs as a woman. Period. The fact that in most places they must do so on the ground or while squatting, balanced against a wall is ridiculous.

Kudos to Palmer for continuing to bring the topic into public conversation and reminding business owners that #fatherslivesmatter, too.