When out with kids, there are a variety of issues that dads face that moms don’t. Specifically, when it comes to needing to use the restroom, often changing stations aren’t available in the men’s restrooms like they are in the women’s. Instead, men are left to improvise or hope that a family washroom is available for these circumstances. While changing stations are becoming more common in men’s restrooms, it’s still not a universal thing. All of this can leave dads in a conundrum: to change their child in an awkward bind or use the women’s washroom instead—which is what Chronicles of Daddy blogger Muhammed Nitoto does when he’s out with his daughters.
Muhammed took to Instagram to share a photo of himself holding one of his two daughters while 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.”
He continued, “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 girl-dad said that when he first found himself having to decide between using one of the two gendered restrooms, he “did what most men would do” and went to the men’s restroom. “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,” he explained. “Men’s bathrooms are DISGUSTING.”
He said that the restrooms always smell bad “and nothing is setup for a woman or a person with a child. The changing table in the men’s restrooms were always right next to the urinal.” Meaning his child have their diaper changed right next to “where men pee,” and that, all the while, “men going in and out” now allowing him to change his kid’s diaper with any privacy.
Muhammed shared that it only took having to go through that once to realize that he never wanted to do that again. He decided, moving forward, he would never take his daughters in the men’s restroom again. Instead, Muhammed now only goes into the women’s when he’s out with his daughters.
“They are too young to go on their own so I have to go in with them,” he explained. “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. Making sure if someone is inside that they know I am a Dad coming in with his daughter and making sure they are comfortable with that.”
The dad of two goes out of his way to make sure he announces he’s in there even when he’s inside a private stall, saying, “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.”
His final note: “Women’s bathrooms are so much cleaner and setup perfect just in case they have children. The changing station is usually insure 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 daughters from all things that aren’t for them and the men’s bathroom is 100% one of those things.”
Public restrooms can be a touchy subject. But it’s hard to ignore the predicament that men find themselves in when they’re caring for their daughters. Reading through the comment section after Muhammed asked his followers how his decision to use the women’s restroom makes others feel, it’s clear that many appreciated how he handles this.
Muhammed’s post shines a light that there’s still a lot we can do to make sure the dads have access to what’s available in the women’s restrooms. But it’s great to see so many in support of a dad doing what’s best for his kids.