You’re at a restaurant and your baby starts to cry. It’s the “I just pooped in my diaper and I need you to get this thing off of me now” cry. You gather your baby and diaper bag and haul it the nearest bathroom. You walk in, look around, and see nothing but sinks and toilets. No changing table. “What place doesn’t have a freaking changing table” you think in your head as your baby is continuously crying because they don’t care there’s no changing table. They just want this diaper off of them and their butt cleaned. So now you are faced with a dilemma. What to do to get this diaper off of this screaming baby? Do you walk to your car? You don’t want your child laid across the dirty sinks and you don’t want to sit on the toilets because you know...germs. So, what do you do?
Most women don’t know what it feels like to walk into this situation because most women’s restrooms are equipped with the basic necessities to properly clean their children. But men, fathers, don’t have that luxury. Donte Palmer ran into this issue when he patronized a local restaurant last year. He walked into the men's restroom and quickly noticed a changing table was not readily available. His creativity and quick thinking, led him to squat. Yes, you read that right. Donte squatted with his one-year old baby, Liam, and got to work. His oldest son, Isaiah, was the diaper bag holder and decided to capture this moment. #SquatForChange was created to “get a reaction from family and friends, not having any intentions of going viral,” Donte told me. “I posted it one Sunday evening and the following morning my wife woke me up saying check your phone, its going viral, it’s doing something.”
Doing something was an understatement. The next morning Donte and the picture of him and his son were already on a few outlets. At this point, he wondered, should I do something with what is happening? He started to see that many fathers had the same experience as him and saw it was a chance to seize the opportunity. He was surprised to be receiving messages from fathers all around the world. Fathers from India, South Korea, Taiwan, Uganda, West Gambia, United Kingdom, Brazil, and of course, the United States and celebrity fathers such as Ashton Kutcher and John Legend were all trying to achieve one common goal...to be able to live in a society where gender doesn’t dictate one's responsibility especially when it comes to parenting.
“Regardless of background, religion, skin color, or financial status we all can agree on one thing and that’s us trying to be great fathers.”
Since this outpour of support, Donte’s and his family’s life has changed. He has been featured on several news outlets, has done several interviews, and started a non-profit. He now has a partnership with Pampers and Koala Kare to install 5,000 changing tables in the U.S. and Canada. But it doesn’t stop there for him. Because his initiative reached men globally, that is where he wants to continue to see and extend the change. His next stop to aid in parent equality is the United Kingdom! Donte and I have been friends for a few years now and this motivation is not a surprise! Donte was already a very creative and ambitious man. He has this spirit about him that is welcoming and his personality is infectious. He is a super dad in every sense of the title. However, since all of the attention, he has adapted, what he calls the “Barack Obama attitude.” He describes this attitude as approaching every situation with good character. With all of the media coverage, one has to be careful with how they are portrayed especially since his campaign is centered around children.
“It's really made me a better man, a better husband and also a better father. I look back on my life ten months ago and see how much I’ve grown. My attitude has changed, the way I look at life has changed, the way I even worship God now has changed. I think a lot of my doubts and fears are exiting out of my mind and out of my life because I see how God works. I opened my mouth; I demanded something and it returned back to me one hundred-fold, plus more.”
Knowing someone like Donte and his family is truly a blessing. Donte saw a change needed to be made and charged people to be the change they wanted to see. Because of his tenacity, that is exactly what is happening! Check him out and all of his amazing work on his website https://squatforchange.com/home/ and on Instagram @3boys_1goal and tell him Brittany sent you! Check out the commercial with John Legend below sponsored by Pampers! Proud of you brother!