'Why is it not normal?': Mum defends bath with sons
I refuse to share a bath with my children. It's not that I think there's anything wrong with it, it's just that my bath time is one of the few moments of the day when I can get a little bit of personal space.
And I mean a little bit: I usually have one or two kids sitting on the bath mat chatting to me as I bath, so I don't get lonely. They're thoughtful like that.
But when Stacey Solomon – British singer and TV presenter – shared a photo recently of her in the bath with her two sons, she caused a social media storm with critics suggesting there was something wrong with a mum bathing with her children.
Stacey shared the snap of herself, Zachary, 9, and Leighton, 5, in the bath to celebrate UK Mother's Day.
* My child's preference for sleeping naked is causing family tension
* When should parents stop showering with their children?
* Is it OK to have sex when your children are in the same room?
"Isn't being a mum the best thing in the world?" Solomon wrote in the caption. "Even when they're shooting you in the face with their water pistols. Happy Mother's Day to all of you wonderful mothers, grandmothers, carers, aunties, sisters, best friends you're all mothers in my eyes, one way or another!"
The photo attracted comments from people who disapproved. "This is wrong on so many levels," said one. "To each their own but I think it's healthy to teach children boundaries and privacy," opined another.
Solomon addressed the criticism on the British daytime chat show she co-hosts, Loose Women, saying, "I'm not horrified at all. Anyone who's horrified by the thought of parents sharing a bath with their children, I think, has issues."
She added that she doesn't see why the human body always has to be sexualised. "Why can't it just be the human body?" she asked. "Why's it not normal?"
Solomon went on to say having a bath together was just another part of the family's day.
"It's a normal thing in our house," she said. "It's almost like having dinner and going to bed and reading a bedtime story. Having a bath together is how we communicate and socialise and that's a massive part of our daily routine."
Plenty of mums agree, with a wave of support appearing on Instagram for the post.
"This photo is so beautiful! I love it," one commenter said.
Another mum wrote, "So lovely you and your kids are having fun love it."
And if I wasn't such a massive fan of personal space, I'd be doing it too. But my kids and I certainly all walk around naked a lot in our house, and I think that's perfectly healthy.
They're just bodies, after all – and one of the lessons I want my children to learn is to be comfortable in their own skin. If I can't model that in my own home for them, how will they learn?