A Man Making a Difference
What inspired you to do what you do?
Our oldest son was just a couple months old, and my wife and I decided to finally brave going out one night. We ended up at a major chain restaurant near the house. Things were going along really well, until …
<insert pooty-bomb here>
I decided to man up and get my hands dirty, so to speak. I grabbed the little one and the diaper bag and made a charge to the men’s room. Only to be forced into retreat by the lack of a changing table. I couldn’t understand why there wasn’t one there. They had, and still do mind you, plenty of wall space for a station, yet a barren wall mocked me.
So, long story short, I told the manager that I was going to start a website listing all the cool places that cater to dads like me and that THEY weren’t going to get listed. (Yes, I even stuck my tongue out.) We had a good laugh, she said she’d check into the station.
Several months later, I was exasperated that, again I was trying to help my wife out with a diaper change and I couldn’t. So, I created DadsWhoChangeDiapers.com to help a daddy out.
What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced?
There’s been more pushback than I thought I would have experienced at first. There are women who don’t want changing stations in men’s restrooms because of some ill-conceived notion of what they think goes on in there. Then, I’ve had dads message me to tell me to stop because diaper changing in public is the one thing they could skip out on.
The other challenge is getting older dads to help out by registering locations as they find them. Once you’re out of that phase of parenthood, you don’t even THINK to look for changing stations. So, paying it forward to the next generation is harder than I imagined it would be.
What’s the last great book you read or great movie you watched that inspired you?
It’s not a book or a movie. Rather, it’s a YouTube show by a gentleman called Ze Frank. His show is seventy episodes long and each one of them either invigorates me when my energy is low, talks me off of a ledge when my anxiety is high, or helps to calm the angry caveman inside me when he’s getting too rowdy. It’s like he’s in my head.
Are you hoping that your children carry on the work you are doing?
My boys are already doing it. While they don’t always yell out about changing stations (which my oldest calls DiaperDaddies), they do their own thing. For the last three years, they have been very interested in helping homeless families. We have volunteered with the organization Family Promise on many occasions, as well as taken part in food drives.
But what gets me is his absolute sincerity about how homeless people get crappy food and that they need more fruits and vegetables to be healthy … he’s brought me to tears more times than I can count. I’m so proud of my boys. They are going to go places I can only dream of.
What’s next for you and the work that you do?
My oldest son, now seven, told me the other day that he wants to start his own YouTube channel. So, I’ll probably have my hands pretty full showing him the ropes and helping to guide him down a safe path on the internet.
Previously published on Stand Magazine
Photo: Getty Images