Mum sparks debate after mother-in-law shares a bath with her four year old daughter

Would you be comfortable with your mother-in-law washing with your child?

A mum has divided opinion after asking whether it's acceptable for her mother-in-law to share the bath with her four year old daughter.

The woman took to parenting site Mumsnet to share her concerns. Writing under the name BornFreeButinChains, she questioned whether she should feel uncomfortable when her mother-in-law shares baths with her little girl.

She wrote: 'I can't think why any grown woman would want to get into the bath with a four year old'.

The mum added that it wasn't just because it was her mother-in-law, explaining that she would also have been equally confused if it had been her own parent sharing a bath with her daughter.

‘I think there is a difference between being in the bath and DC (dear children) coming along wondering what your doing etc. But as a granny if I needed to wash with young dc (dear children) there is more likely I would forgo my wash until later or have a quick shower,' she said.

She also shared her experience asking: ‘Maybe I am mad maybe it's very common? They feed DC (dear children) off their own forks in spite of being OTT about dirt and cleanliness - it's like a religion for mil (mum in law)- but very happy to feed dc (dear children) off fork shortly after illness.'

She went on to clarify that her in-laws are naturally very emotional. She said that they are: ‘Very smooshy with them kissing on lips - FIL (father in law) is very very physical with them - lying down on grass in summer with DD (dear daughter) on top of him after playing.

But while she accepted that her in-laws are physical people by nature, she said that her own family are not used to being that affectionate, adding: ‘DF (dear father) would give a bear hug at greeting and that's it. I really struggle with it - but keep telling myself it's OK they are loving GP grandparents - but having a bath with DD? (dear daughter)

‘why>why on earth would you want or need to do that?'

Some agreed with her level of discomfort, and said they feel odd about the idea of grandparents bathing with grandchildren.

One mum said: ‘The bath thing would make me very uncomfortable - whether it was my own mum or my MIL. I think you have to speak to her about it really.'

Another added: ‘To be honest, I'm with you, Op. On the one hand, I know there's officially nothing wrong with it and wouldn't suggest there was out loud, but the things you describe would creep me out a bit and makes me think "just, why?" as well.

However, others thought it was perfectly natural behaviour. One mum said: ‘My kids love me getting in the bath with them. I'd say up to about aged 10. DS is 7 and often asks if I can get in bath with him or him get in bath with me.'

‘I would have no issue with my mum or mil bathing with my 4 year old. The 4 year old would no doubt love it!


‘Does your 4 year old enjoy bathing with Grandma, or not? That would be what i based my decision on', another said.

Family Writer

Charlotte Whistlecroft is a former Family writer at GoodTo. She obtained a BA in Theology and Theological Studies at Durham University, going on to study a masters at City University London in 2016. Since leaving GoodTo she has worked as a Social Video Researcher at Mail Online and is now Assistant Producer at BBC Sport.