No matter how many times you ask your kids, “do you have to go to the bathroom?” before you leave the house to run some errands, Murphy’s Law of Parenting dictates that the second you’re in a public setting, one of your kids will have to go.
If you’re lucky, it will be number one. But the main problem is choosing the least unpleasant option to help your kid when nature calls.
For one Instagram dad, that means never again going into a men’s bathroom.
In a post that has rocketed up likes and responses, Muhammed Nitoto who is the voice behind the popular parenting account, Chronicle of Daddy outlined all the reasons why men’s bathrooms are just plain awful for families.
And he makes a startling obvious point that we don’t talk about nearly enough; there are not enough safe places in public for families to take their children to go to the bathroom.
“As a dad being out with daughters I never thought the bathroom would become as big as an issue as it is,” Nitoto’s post starts off.
“Usually, we would go places and they have a family bathroom, which is 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.”
He’s not wrong. My husband has long complained about how the lack of family restrooms in public oftentimes means he has to find creative ways to use a restroom.
While our children were still babies, my husband would take them to the car and change them there.
Nitoto goes on to explain that at the beginning of his parenting in public days, he would take his kids into the men’s room. But he quickly realized just how ill-suited those dens of pee smelling grossness can be.
“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,” Nitoto explains.
“Men’s bathrooms are disgusting. They smell like pee and nothing is set up 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. After doing that one time, I decided I’d never take my daughters to the men’s bathroom again.”
Who could blame him!? It’s his solution that has the comments rolling in.
Nitoto only uses the women’s bathroom when he needs to get his daughters to a restroom. And honestly, until a new norm is set for fathers and families with small kids, I am 100 percent in support of what this dad does.
“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,” he noted.
“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.”
Once Nitoto is inside the bathroom, he makes sure to keep announcing himself as people come and go so that no one is startled by the presence of a father with a child trying to use the toilet.
“Women’s bathrooms are so much cleaner and setup perfect just in case they have children,” he points out.
“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 daughters from all things that aren’t for them and the men’s bathroom is 100% one of those things.”
He leaves the post wondering if he’s alone in this experience and he asks how the women and moms reading his post feel about what he does to help his kids use a restroom.
With more than 11K hearts and hundreds of comments, but overwhelmingly the reception was mostly positive.
One Instagram user @celina_nicoleluv wrote,
“I don’t blame you. I’m a mom of TWO boys and they go into the women’s room with me. Period”
Another, @mskdcurry wrote,
“Before we married, my husband would have his daughter and would be very uncomfortable taking her in the men’s room. He would ask other women to take her to the women’s restroom, which is not comfortable for anyone. So she is much older now but having been in this predicament I think you are doing it the best way. I would not be uncomfortable at all if I saw you there with your daughters. You gotta always do what’s best for your child! Kudos to you!!!”
User @faraharakji could commiserate with Nitoto’s story. She wrote, “My husband always says the same and asks me to go when we’re together because of how nasty men’s toilets are.”
The truth is, there are never going to be perfect options everywhere in the world when it comes to getting kids to a bathroom.
But the more we normalize fatherhood and show support for dads especially in situations like what Nitoto describes, then we can help make parenting in public less uncomfortable and more convenient.
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