When tasked with potty time while out in public, dads everywhere face a bevy of issues. Although newer campaigns, like Squat For Change—an organization focused on promoting the installation of diaper changing stations in all designated public restrooms—have been working to create change, too few men's public restrooms are set up for dads to care for their children. Now, Chronicles of Daddy blogger Muhammed Nitoto is speaking out about his solution: taking his daughter to the women's restroom instead.
Nitoto recently shared a sweet photo of himself and one of his two daughters entering a public restroom, writing, "As a dad being out with daughters, I never thought the bathroom would become as big as a issue as it is. Usually we would go places, and they have FAMILY bathroom, which are meant for people with children, but what I found was most places don't have them, and dads are left to decide between taking their daughters to the men's bathroom or the women's."
The proud dad shared that when he was unable to find a family restroom, he did "what most men would do," which is take his girls to the men's bathroom. "Now I've been to a men's bathroom millions of times, but walking in with your daughter makes you look at it completely different," wrote Nitoto. "Men's bathrooms are DISGUSTING. They smell like pee, and nothing is setup for a woman or a person with a child. The changing table was right next to the urinal which means my child literally would be next to where men pee which she's being charged. Not to mention that there are men going in and out while you're in there."
It only took one time for Nitoto to decide he wouldn't be doing that again. Instead, he decided to bring the girls to the women's restroom. "They are too young to go on their own so I have to go in with them," he shared. "I try to be as respectful to women as I can while doing so which consists of knocking on the door before entering and announcing myself." If someone is inside, he makes sure they know "a dad is coming in with his daughter," and he makes sure that they are comfortable with that.
"Now once inside our stall, I still am aware of the door, and whenever I hear it open and someone new is coming in, I announce myself again and make sure they know I'm inside with my child so that they aren't surprised," continued Nitoto.
The bottom line: "Women's bathrooms are so much cleaner and set up perfect just in case they have children," wrote the San Pedro, California father. "The changing station is usually inside a stall instead of just in the open, and it's always clean. As a girl dad, I can't help but want to protect my daughter's from all things that aren't for them, and the men's bathroom is 100% one of those things."
He then turned it over to his followers, asking, "Am I the only one? Ladies how does this make you feel?"
Commenters overwhelmingly applauded Nitoto's decision. "I think it’s wonderful and you are doing it the right way and very respectfully," one wrote.
And a fellow dad wrote, "I have had this problem before. I agree 100 percent. Men's bathrooms are too gross for my daughters to use them, so I just bring a portable potty in the car, and when they need to go, I would just bring them to the car. Never thought about going into the women’s bathroom though."
Another shared, "Protect your daughter. Globally, we still think dads are not active parents. If we did not, we would make it a universal practice to ensure all spaces (that cater to families) have family restrooms. A close second would be to consult dads with daughters before redesigning male restrooms so that changing tables are not placed next top urinals. As a woman, I love that you are thoughtful in how you approach ladies' loos when you are with your daughter."
A fourth wrote, "I applaud your perspective. Great girl dad!"
Nitoto's post goes to show just how much work still needs to be done. But it's also heartening to see dads making the best of a less than ideal situation—all in the name of what's best for their child.
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