What Oz Does Well: Mom Accommodation

There’s really, truly not much that Australia is ahead in when compared to the U.S. Β Technology here is slow and expensive; architecture is only just beginning to mature; there aren’t 25 varieties of instant oatmeal; many places still don’t take credit cards,Β Β or have a $10 minimum (you might laugh, but there have been plenty of times I rolled up to Bucky’s in the States for a latte with nothing but plastic in my purse…that scenario isn’t an option here).

Anyway, at times I find it difficult to say anything good about this place other than, well, dang, it sure is pretty. But I have found a common feature here that is incredibly thoughtful and puts home to shame: Β appropriate child changing/feeding facilities in the local malls. I’m not talking a “Family Room,” aka a big, private john. I’m talking about a full-blown, well-planned, private suite that actually considers what mothers need while out with their children.

Why does this matter to me and what do I know about it? I’m not a mom, that is true. But I’ve spent countless hours with my niece and nephew basically from their births, and I have experienced first-hand the frustration of bathrooms that don’t even offer the drop-down changing table option, as well as restrooms that are cramped and difficult to maneuver with a stroller and a toddler. I’m offended for all the moms out there; at some point, a woman or even a man with a child will visit your business and will need to change a diaper or do damage control. The least you can do is make the challenge of shopping/dining/living while accompanied by children a little easier.

What they have done in all the average malls here is create entire family suites. Some are prettier than others, but the photos below reflect a fairly average set-up. They open with a sensor-driven door, so no hands are required. They usually include at least one private bathroom which includes a grown-up potty, and a kid-sized one…very cool. They have separate rooms for breastfeeding, plus full changing counters, microwaves, play areas, and even TVs on occasion. In short, for moms and dads, they are brilliant.

Childcare room in a local mall...complete with a microwave!
Childcare room in a local mall...complete with a microwave!
Big potty, little potty!
Big potty, little potty!
Private room within the family room suite.
Private room within the family room suite.

2 comments

  1. You said it! One of the first things I noticed when moving here, is how family-friendly this country is! Being a mom of 2 little boys, it really impressed me. (NO I will not succumb to saying MUM!) I also noticed how more involved dads are. No offense to American dads, honest. But the other day at swimming class for my 2 year old, there were 5 dads and only 2 moms. On a weekday. And it was not a public holiday. It is just the norm to see dads taking kids to activities, alone with the kids, etc. Amazing!

  2. Thanks for your comment, Danielle! I agree…I see a lot of Dads out with their children, solo. It’s a breath of fresh air.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *