Dad barred from mall parents room

Ever feel like society is taking one step forward and two steps back when it comes to equality and parenting without judgement? Tua Fa’avale, father of baby girl Tahani, entered the parents room at Queensgate Mall in Lower Hutt to change his three month old’s nappy but, as reported by, was told by another parent that he had no right to be in the room as there were women breastfeeding present (in private cubicles).

Judgement from other parents

The news regularly reports on staff from cafes, restaurants and businesses making inappropriate and outdated comments or suggestions about where and how mums can breastfeed. But to cop judgement from another parent about who can and can’t use a PARENTS ROOM really is, as Tua says, “disheartening”.

Unfortunately, judging by some of the comments on the Stuff Facebook page, this is by no means a one-off for dads who are trying to care for their kids.

Just a few bad apples?

However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. The comments overwhelmingly condemn the woman’s comments and are supportive of the dad. Perhaps, we just need to weed out the rotten apples?

Have you, or your partner, ever had a similar issue using a parents room?

This article was written by Julie Scanlon, Editor for Kidspot NZ.

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  1. SarahBlair 30/08/2018 at 4:54 pm

    That is just ridiculous!! He has as much right to use the room as she does! Why is there so much parent shaming? We should be helping each other out not making it more difficult for others! What happened to ‘it takes a village…’

  2. kymmage 29/08/2018 at 10:50 pm

    I can not understand the mentality of some people. A parents room is for parents. It’s 2018 and there are many reasons a father would be in the PARENT room. The main one being they are a parent! They could be a stay at home dad, a single dad, letting mum eat or there could be no mum involved at all (two dad’s) many reasons they belong in there with us mums.

  3. Jen_Wiig 27/08/2018 at 2:11 pm

    Yes!! unfortunately and didnt help that my partner (kids dad) at the time is quite a big dark skinned Samoan either he without even trying to comes across as intimidating due to his size. But on not 1 not 2 but 3…YES 3 SEPARATE OCCASIONS he has had to deal with woman/mothers x2 and a nana belittling and going right off at him for strolling into the PARENTS room to change our sons and when i was unable to continue breastfeeding the Nana going off at him for not only being in there but also bottle feeding was last straw on the camels back for him and never stepped inside the so called parents room again.
    From a frequent flyer of those rooms perspective i actually really loved seeing Dads coming in and being pro active parts of all the not so fun things like nappy explosions and baby blessings of the vomit kind so to see and hear it still goes on just dumb founds me , im the type of person too who would speak up too and stand up for the Dads, i mean gosh what are Gay couples expected to do?? or trans gender for that matter?!! its ridiculous to think there are sadly precious woman out there that presume the PARENTS room is for woman only.

  4. dawnblyth 27/08/2018 at 12:00 pm

    A family room is just that, a family room. The cubicles, in all the family rooms I have been in, tend to have a curtain that can be pulled across for privacy of the person in the cubicle. I applaud this Dad for actually going in there to change his child’s nappy – there are many Dad’s out there that would simply not go in there because of the stigma that a family room is only for mothers and children. Time to move onwards and upwards – Dad’s are parents too and they have just as much right to go into a family room to care for their child.

  5. MuddledUpMolly 20/08/2018 at 10:14 pm

    I read about this story and it made me so wild!! How dare a mother have the nerve to discriminate against another parent based on their gender. In this day and age it is just not good enough. Shame on her, I hope this Mum read about it and makes some big personal changes!

  6. Bevik1971 14/08/2018 at 4:13 pm

    My partner has been stay at home Dad to our daughter since she was 6 months old – actually he stayed away from public places for just that. He was frowned at by a woman once when he went into the parents room in the local mall – it’s not marked ladies it’s a family room, so that put him off. I think it’s dumb, family or parent rooms are just that not just for the Mother! Wonder why not as many guys are doing the Stay at home Dad thing?

  7. Mands1980 10/08/2018 at 8:14 pm

    Wow I just read about this today I really felt for him as it’s not just Mums who look after babies some dads are the full time carer while mum works. Some Mums are so backwards in there thinking I think if he didn’t have a baby and went in it’s completely different but he obviously had a wee 3 month old baby!!!

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