Oh The Internet …

The internet is a funny place. It brings all sorts of debates and opinions and causes a good few arguments.

This week there has been a few articles which I read.

I read the comments and then I had to walk away from the computer.

It still amazes me how worked up people get over baby changing facilities and parent and toddler parking spaces.

Yes, I am a mother, yes I have had a baby and a toddler at the same time and yes I am a mother to a child with an intellectual disability as well as a physical one and finally, YES, I am sick of having to highlight what my world is like but here I go, again…

I am amazed at all the comments demanding that those without young children be fined for using the car spaces and that the disabled bathrooms should be move inclusive to babies.

I think when you’re in the trenches of early motherhood these things seem and feel like huge injustices but really, they are not.

In what will be a blink of an eye there will be no more bums to change and everyone will be able to buckle themselves in.

That’s the bottom line, babies don’t stay babies forever…well, generally speaking, they don’t.

Baby changing facilities are in my experience, always in the disabled bathroom, which makes littles sense.

Being or having a baby isn’t a disability; it’s hard, yes- but it is not a disability.

What would make more sense to me and I am sure to a lot of parents currently having to change their babies bum in public is to let them do it on the floor of a public toilet…

Ahh, Now that caught your attention!

Yet, I am expected to change my disabled son on a public toilet floor but those with babies are expected to change their babies in the disabled toilet on a bench suited to their tiny baby’s needs?

And let me be honest, it’s at a nice height which won’t have mammy or daddy hunching over said baby.

Does that actually make any sense – mammy or daddy use a separate toilet then queue to use a disabled toilet so they can change their baby?

Yet, those like my son, with a physical disability, queue to use the disabled bathroom so they can be changed on the floor?

While their mammy or daddy’s back breaks for the millionth time that day.

No one should have to be changed on any floor anywhere.

Why not have a changing facility for babies in the same toilets that their parents use?

Place a small bench in both male and female toilets so babies can be changed- put it in a cubicle with a little extra space for buggy and there you have it-a changing area in every public male/female/unisex toilet.

Isn’t it time those with physical disabilities have access to proper equipped public toilets?

Where is the outcry from the public over this?

I can never understand why the public don’t seem to care.

None of us are immune to disability nor are we immune to a physical disability.

And now to the parking spaces- one comment on that thread was that those with the blue parking badge should not avail of these spaces if they don’t have a child.

This comment made my blood boil.

I agree with parking spaces for young kids, it’s damn hard when they are young but again it’s not forever.

Should someone be fined for pulling into one without a child?

Well, if Joe public can use a disabled spot because he only needs a loaf of bread and he doesn’t get fined, then why in the world would the same Joe public demand a person using a space for young families get fined for parking while not having a child?

It makes no sense to me!

Disabled spaces are abused every single day of the week.

Disabled toilets are unsuitable, unfit for purpose and are basically glorified baby changing areas.

Isn’t it time these things change?

Isn’t it time that a baby can be changed by either parent in a public bathroom without going anywhere near a disabled bathroom?

Isn’t it time a disabled parking space is used solely by those with blue badges and that those family spaces are used by those who need them not those who need the convenience of them?

Couldn’t family spaces be further away from the door to the shop?

It’s about the bigger, wider space rather than the distance after all.

There are solutions to all these debates; one voice-one public voice demanding baby changing facilities to get out of the disabled toilets and parking spaces to be respected.

Hopefully one day soon, I won’t have to lay my son on a public toilet floor to change him…and I will be able to use the disabled parking space because Joe public decided to park in a space not quite as ‘handy’ for him.

This was originally published on Firefly https://www.fireflyfriends.com/ie/blog/the-internet-is-a-funny-place/

8 comments

  1. You’ve made some really interesting points here. I’m also a mother of a child with disabilities and when he was first diagnosed I was on this crusade to “educate and advocate.” Now, four years down the line, we kinda just get on with things. I live my life and deal with problems as they arise, whereas before, looking back at my younger self, I sometimes think I was looking for the problems. I expected to find problems and to be honest, I usually did. The less I look, the less I find. That’s just my own personal experience.

  2. I’ve never understood why the changing tables are always in the disabled toilets. And when they are in the regular toilets, why they always seem to just be in the ladies toilets, putting dads who are out with their babies in a dilemma.

  3. Exactly this! It’s absolutely infuriating. I too have never understood why baby changing facilities are located in disabled toilets. And, why the disabled facilities are so poor. One day things will change.. we just need to keep talking about it.

  4. I totally see your point. when I had young twins and was lugging those 2 car seats into shops I would hope there was a space near, but if not, then that was just life. It is nice to have these things, but if they aren’t there we just need to work round it I guess

  5. So true, the changing facilities for disabled children and adults are generally terrible. I went to ikea the other day and was pleasantly surprised they had a lockable changing room equipped with electric controlled changing table to allow for children and adults, it was so clean and accommodating (and beautifully decorated) a very relaxed environment. I hope others follow suit.

  6. This is something that really shouldn’t be an issue still – I don’t understand how this matter hasn’t been sorted yet! We cater for so many differences and situations yet we still have the same battles on our hands regarding changing facilities and parking.

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