I love long, hot bubble baths as much as the next person — and so do all three of my kids. While they’re all now well into their tweens and teens, for as long as I could when they were younger, I would draw a bath several nights a week and we would all climb in. It was a great (and easy) way to get them all clean at once. But I’ll be honest: I also enjoyed sipping on a glass of wine while they played with their water toys for a full 15 minutes (talk about Heaven on earth).
I carried on this little ritual with them for a very long time — until my oldest was 9. People might have had their opinions, but it felt totally normal and natural to us, and I never gave it a second thought.
My guess is Stacey Solomon — a British singer, television presenter, and reality television star best-known for appearing on Season 6 of The X Factor UK — feels the same way. Solomon posted a photo of herself bathing with her two sons, Zachary, 9, and Leighton, 5 on Instagram back in March, and found herself at the center of an unexpected controversy.
“Isn’t being a mum the best thing in the world?” her photo caption began. “Even when they’re shooting you in the face with their water pistols. Happy Mother’s Day to all of you wonderful Mothers, grandmothers, careers, aunties, sisters, best friends you’re all mothers in my eyes, one way or another!
Since sharing the photo, which was posted in honor of Mother’s Day in the UK, commenters have weighed in in every which way imaginable, saying things like, “This is wrong on so many levels,” and “To each their own but I think it’s healthy to teach children boundaries and privacy.” And the debate was recently ignited once again on the British daytime chat show, Loose Women, where Solomon is a regular co-host.
Speaking with fellow hosts Andrea McClean, Denise Van Outen, and Kaye Adams, Solomon defended her family tradition and shrugged off the haters.
“I’m not horrified at all,” Solomon said, adding, “anyone who’s horrified by the thought of parents sharing a bath with their children, I think has issues.”
She also went on to ask why the human body always has to be sexualized.
“Why can’t it just be the human body?” she pressed. “Why’s it not normal?”
And it seems there are plenty of moms out there who share this sentiment too, — especially where their kids are concerned. The human body should be treated like a “normal” thing; one that we shouldn’t be ashamed of.
“This photo is so beautiful! Amazing! I love it.”
Another woman chimed in saying, “So lovely you and your kids are having fun love it.”
I honestly couldn’t agree more. It’s up to the mother and her children to determine when they want to stop doing things like bathing together — and nobody else. Clearly, Solomon isn’t the only mom who enjoys bonding with her kids in the bath.
“It’s a normal thing in our house,” she continued. “It’s almost like having dinner and going to bed and reading a bedtime story. Having a bath together is how we communicate and socialize and that’s a massive part of our daily routine.”
The bottom line? If it’s uncomfortable for you and your family, then don’t do it. But don’t project your feelings and opinions onto to someone else who’s enjoying an innocent time with her kids in a way she sees fit. We all know these moments with our kids are fleeting when they’re little, and Solomon’s going to be glad she has this photo to look back on in the future, and remember their special moments.
Both her children look incredibly happy and so does she; and in the end, that’s what we all want for our kids’ childhood memories, anyway.