Dear Diary,

Spotting changing tables in women’s restrooms is as commonplace as a seeing sinks. But that’s not the case for men. Society isn’t exactly set up to support dads, single or married, the way it does moms. Most public bathrooms I’ve used as a mother come equip with a place to change my children’s diapers, and some places even set up a private place to breastfeed.  So if I’m running errands or shopping, I don’t have to switch gears and head home if I need to attend to my children’s needs.

But Anthony Dew did. You might remember when the Maryland man made national news over the holidays. He was shopping at Macy’s in Prince George’s County when his four-month-old son Jeremiah needed a diaper change. He searched the store, but couldn’t find a men’s bathroom equipped with a changing table. He alerted management and left the store without spending any money. He went home and wrote to Macy’s chairman and CEO Terry Lundgren on behalf of all dads around the country who want to be recognized as being more than just babysitters. We caught up with Anthony to find out why he spoke out for fathers.

Kerrin: A lot of people would have left the store upset and left it at that. Why did you go a step further and report the problem?

Anthony: In 2016, there are certain accommodations that are expected when visiting an anchor retailer like Macy’s. I thought I can’t be the only father who has experienced this. When I left Macy’s, I was on a mission to write to the president of Macy’s to share my discontent of not having a baby changing station for men. Then I shared my concerns in a positive spirit noting the facts.

Kerrin: What reaction did you receive from family and friends?

Anthony: My friends and family were excited to see me on FOX 5 involved in a positive news story benefiting babies and bringing awareness that men change diapers too. Many people shared and agreed in the importance of quality care for  babies and toddlers. It’s a family value!

Kerrin: When your son grows up, what will you tell him about that day?

Anthony: You catch more flies with sugar than vinegar. I will tell my son, Jeremiah to always look to resolve a problem when you can. Anyone can talk about the problem. Do something! Your last name is Dew.

Kerrin: There aren’t any federal laws that require stores to have a public space for diaper changing for both men and women bathrooms. Will you work to change that and advocate for equality?

Anthony: I am thinking about a soft “PR” campaign to elevate the awareness to fathers and corporate America – that fathers are hands-on when changing diapers.

Kerrin: Do you think society often creates a negative image of fathers being incapable of caring for their children?

Anthony: There are not enough visual images of fathers in a nurturing role or really an expectation for fathers to rise up above the basic necessities of being the lead provider. In my opinion, industry bathroom accommodations have evolved to include private family restrooms in most department retailers for shoppers with children. I don’t think a federal law mandate is necessary. Consumers will spend their dollars with the most suited retailer who strives to enhance their consumers’ shopping experience.

Kerrin: Thank you Anthony for advocating for dads across the country and for taking time to share your story!

Anthony Dew Thank You Letter

Hey DFTM Fam–What retail stores accomodate your family’s needs? What should stores do to cater more to dads?


About The Author

Kerrin Meriwether
Teachable Moments Mom/Senior Editor

Kerrin is married mom raising a 2 1/2-year-old son and a 2-month-old daughter in Clarksburg, Maryland. he writes from an educator's perspective about life's teachable moments for young children. She loves being a mom, because she enjoys seeing life through her little ones' eyes. When not writing for DFTM, Kerrin teaches English Language Arts to middle school ESOL students and manages a local tutoring company, Believe in Yourself Tutoring.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.