Monday, October 10, 2016

Dirty Diapers for Dads!

President Obama is signing into law, a bill that will require all public restrooms to have baby changing stations in them, including men's rooms.

It's about damn time!

This isn't a feminist rant (though I am a feminist, and am kind of ranting, so...)

When my daughter was born, I admit, I was scared about the prospect of changing a diaper. But no more or less than I was scared about putting her in her car seat correctly, warming her bottle to the right temperature, making sure she was warm enough in her clothes, making sure she slept on her back throughout the night...basically, any thing that comes to your mind. I had no earthly idea what I was doing, but neither did my wife, so it was a completely shared experience or trial & error. 

To further complicate things, Julie told me she wanted to use cloth diapers since it is better for the environment. Though this sounds like it's a big pain in the ass, it proved rather quickly to be just as easy as the traditional diapers we all know and love. It also helped mask my OCD that sees me do laundry constantly.

"Is Kevin do the laundry again?"
"Oh, he must be washing diapers."

Changing a diaper has never bothered me. In fact, in someways, it's Julie and my Vietnam. You come back from a "mission" with a terrible tale to share. And you can only share it with others who have been there. (That's as far as I'll go with any kind of description regarding changing diapers, as this is NOT that type of blog).

However, so often when we're out somewhere, there's nowhere for a man to change their child.
  • Perhaps it is a (sexist) cost saving measure.
    "We'll only put in 1 changing table to save money."Yeah. But how much are you saving? When I managed Remodels for Bed Bath & Beyond, ordering changing tables for a store was almost a daily activity. A really high quality table cost about $75.00. So we're not really breaking the bank here.
    (*Props to BB&B, their men's rooms ALWAYS have changing stations.)
  • Perhaps it's the business holding to the (sexist) idea that "Dads don't change diapers."
    I do. My brothers did. My brothers-in-law do. Every friend of mine who has a kid does/did.
    So maybe it should be "Shitty Dads don't change diapers." But honestly, that's not fair. Not changing a diaper doesn't make a man a shitty Dad...though it does kind of make him a shitty husband/boyfriend/partner
  • The way I see it though, this as a rare case of "double sexism." Sexism that forces a woman into a role, as well as a man.
    The woman changes the diaper. The man does not.
This is a good place for me to say that I don't know many people who WANT to change a diaper. But changing a diaper should still have the option of being a shared responsibility without a business establishment assigning roles.

I have changed my daughter in a few (odd) places, because of a lack of options in many men's rooms.
Including (but not limited to):

- my car
- a table in a restaurant that was still under construction in Ocean City, NJ (Hey, the door was unlocked)
- the kitchen of a restaurant that WAS open (suck it Board of Health!)
- a Church sacristy (suck it Board of Jesus!)
- and of course, a women's room (I knocked first. No one was in there when I went in. A woman came in while I was there and she didn't seemed phased in the least bit)

Finally, for any Dad out there who is about to have a kid or thinking of having a kid, I'd say this regarding changing diapers:
They are some of the best times I have ever had with my daughter.

When she was an infant, I would sing to her, do crazy voices, make up games, all sorts of things to make the time more enjoyable for her.

As she got older, SHE started to sing, do crazy voices, make up games...I couldn't imagine not having had those moments with her.

Also, I have only been peed on once! Those are Hall of Fame type numbers!

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