Changing tables in MENS Restrooms – My Nightmare

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo, I saw a recent headline about a comment Ashton Kutcher put on his Twitter account, saying something about there being a lack of changing tables in MENS restrooms. My initial thought was that I have been saying this, and living this for over two years. Why did it take a “celebrity” saying something for it to hit the news?!?

Now, my daughter is potty trained now, but between August 2012 and December 2014, I had this very issue. Not just once or twice, it was an ongoing issue. It did not matter where we were, the emergency always happened when daddy couldn’t help. There were times I actually had to go in and change her, bring her out to daddy and then go back in so I could use the bathroom…all while my husband patiently waited outside for me, because he didn’t have to go and had no way to change her in the men’s room.

Let me recap an incident for you that really made steam shoot from my ears. Not only for the lack of changing tables in mens restrooms, but also for the lack of parental guidance I saw at the same time.

I was attending a cheerleading competition in Orlando at the Orange County Convention Center. This place is huge, it has all different levels and wings and you can easily get lost. It holds some of the largest conventions around. This was a busy competition, with kids from toddler ages to teenagers competing along with their friends and family there to watch. My daughter was not even a year old yet, I remember well because she was still on special formula for her sensitive tummy. Unfortunately this formula also made for some NASTY bowel movements.

We are just a few teams from my niece and her team to go on. The next thing I know, my daughter has an explosion. Its all over. On her onesie, shorts, legs, everywhere. The smell is rancid. I pull her from the stroller, grab my husband and the diaper bag and tell him to hurry. We rush to the closest bathrooms and guess what? The women’s bathroom is FULL of teenage girls getting ready to compete, their parents strewn about the bathroom and the halls outside the bathroom. I send my husband in the men’s room to check for a changing station. He comes out with a sad look and tells me there is nothing.

Now, I am standing outside the bathrooms holding an infant away from my body, trying not to get poop on me. It’s obvious to anyone who looks at me what is happening. I squeeze my way into the bathroom and through the masses of girls. Go figure, the only changer is in the handicap stall, which is literally full of teenagers and locked closed. I tried knocking, pacing, knocking. I get nothing. No one helps me; no one alerts them to the lady outside the door with a poopy child that needs tending to.

I am furious, I am about to miss the 2-minute routine I specifically came for and no one will get these girls out of the stall! I had no idea what they were doing in there; I could see several sets of feet not even moving. I came out of that bathroom livid. My husband could tell it wasn’t time to say anything to me. I sat down, right outside the bathroom in the middle of the hallway right where everyone could see me. I wanted people to see what was happening. My intention was to maybe open people’s eyes to what was happening. That and I was just plain MAD.

I stripped her down, shoved her dirty clothes in a bag, cleaned her up quickly and slapped a diaper on her. We rushed back into the area where my niece was about to compete, with my child in only her diaper. I got a few funny looks because my child was naked now, but I wasn’t missing that routine!

Until Next Time,

The Not-So-Single Mom

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12 Comments

  • sarah

    Totally agree that there needs to be more changing tables in men’s bathrooms! My husband is more than happy to help out, but many times has to do it in the car. There are times when the father might have the kids without the mother and there’s no place for him to change the kids diapers.
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    • The Not-So-Single Mom

      Strangely enough, my husband to this day has never really been alone with her in public, so he didn’t have the issue but if he did, he would end up in the car as well. We did that a lot!

  • aimee fauci

    Let me just say that I am not a fan of this type of event- too many people. As a mom of 6 let me tell you what I would have done. First, I would have knocked on the handicap stall and asked nicely if the girls would remove themselves because that stall was needed. I am sure they would. They are giddy girls at a cheer competition and 99.9% of the time they are very nice especially when it comes to babies. If that did not work, I’d throw a blanket down on the ground or lots of paper towels and start changing. Mom moments like this are stressful but they do make fun stories.

    • The Not-So-Single Mom

      Mom of 6! You are a saint! She is my first and my only, so I was a bit shy with demanding the help I needed at the time. And, thats is basically what I did, but the bathroom was just too full, so I did it right outside the door. And yes, waaaaaaay to many people, but my family was all there, so I of course was there to support my niece!

    • The Not-So-Single Mom

      Thanks Patrice! I was shy about it, but I am getting more and more outgoing and if we were to have another, I would definitely be more aggressive in asking them to exit the stall I needed, but I still did what was needed and made it to the competition in time! =)

    • The Not-So-Single Mom

      Yes, I agree that if it ends up well, fantastic. I also think that in todays day in age, there should be MORE changing tables in both men and women’s restrooms. It is a basic need that is extremely demanding!

    • The Not-So-Single Mom

      I am in Orlando, college and tourist area 100%, so I feel you! And yes, if a celebrity can make life easier just by a tweet thats great, but this shouldn’t even be an issue to begin with and it is. =/

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