Dear Business Owners :: A Request from Customers with Kids


    Baby changing table in upright position, close-up

    Since becoming a mom, I have started having a major love/hate relationship with public restrooms. (Not that I ever was keen on them–I would try not to touch anything!)  So many do not have a changing table, or it is broken, or a sticker is on the outside saying they have a changing table and you get there only find a empty spot on the wall where one once stood. What gets me the most irritated is when this happens in a place where children/families frequent!  Do business just think they are not necessary?  Take up too much space?  Or maybe they don’t want to deal with installation of a wall-mounted changing table?  I’m not sure what the answer is.

    What I do know is that families deserve to be able to go out and not have to change their babies in their cars or on a bathroom floor.  

    I recently ventured out with Grandpa, my nephew and my son to a restaurant that featured an arcade and bowling alley inside. Of course, my son soon needed a diaper change and it was not just for pee; it was close to a explosion-status diaper. I rushed to the bathroom confident that a place with a children’s menu and games would of course have a changing table. The handicap stall had the koala changing table sticker on it and we entered, looked around and saw no changing table. It looked like it had ripped off the wall or something. It was lunchtime on a Sunday and the place was full of families, yet no changing table.  Luckily my son is 13 months old and I was able to change him standing up–very, very carefully!  

    The bathroom was busy with women coming and going, some of whom had a good giggle at me singing “Baa baa black sheep, mama’s changing poop” to my son. He loves music and it always helps to sing when doing a diaper change to keep him (and others) entertained so he stays still. It took a while to get him cleaned up as he stood holding onto my shoulders while I squatted on the floor trying not to make more of a mess. But we made it out, washed hands and had a delicious lunch.  It could’ve been worse…but it could have been a lot better, too.  

    In no way do I expect places to cater to me or my son specifically, but I was nevertheless severely disappointed in this place of business. Please think about families and install a changing table; it makes a world of difference to us moms out there who just want to get out of the house for an hour or two with our babies in tow. And a little goodwill towards moms goes a long way toward creating repeat customers.

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    Nicole is a San Francisco native who grew up in the Noe Valley neighborhood before majoring in Sociology at San Jose State University. In her third year she realized her love of children as her true calling and earned a Early Childhood Education Teaching Certificate. She taught Preschool along the Peninsula for 10 years before a rare medical condition left her unable to continue her career. Now a single mom to the apple of her eye, Joey James keeps her busy. When Nicole is not playing, teaching and snuggling with Joey James she enjoys stroller walks around the Bay Area, music, San Francisco Giants Baseball and ice cubes floating in her Chardonnay.


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