ROCK ISLAND, Il. (KWQC)- Father of three, Jacob Smithers, knows how difficult parenthood can be. Smithers spent many years as a stay-at-home dad before becoming the principal at Jordan Catholic School in Rock Island.
“I wish every father could go through being a stay at home Dad, just to experience the different side of life.”
However, it was during a dinner out with his family when he experienced one his biggest parental frustrations of all. Smithers took his son to the restroom to change his diaper and realized there wasn’t a changing table in the men’s bathroom. Smithers then asked his wife if there was a changing table in the women’s restroom and discovered there wasn’t.
“It doesn’t make sense, it was confusion, I was irate at the time because we didn’t have options.”
Eager for change, Smithers began work with a business partner to create a website and app that would show parents which stores or restaurants could accommodate young children. ChangingTableLocator.com lists public locations throughout the country and includes filters depending on the family’s needs. While traveling, Smithers now speaks with business owners and urges them to provide family friendly environments, especially if the restaurant already offers high-chairs.
“We want to make sure the parents have a functional, easy app, that we’re happy with, and they can be happy with,” said Smithers. “There aren’t any other apps that are out there right now, we keep getting told that they are in the works, we haven’t seen them yet.”
So far, the site lists 7,000 businesses and whether they have changing tables available. Smithers said the phone app is available for download before Thanksgiving.