“You seriously let your child, at 4 years old when they are putting any and everything in their mouths, bath with you while you’re on your period? I can think of nothing more disgusting for that poor child you are abusing.
And at 4 she should be bathing ALONE – letting kids bath with you is wrong on so many levels and you are exposing your kid to the idea that it is perfectly fine for adults and children to be naked together. Shame on you.” ANONYMOUS
I’ve given ‘anon’s’ comment a lot of thought, which I probably shouldn’t, but as a parent to be accused of abusing my child because I bath with her while I have a period, is difficult to ignore. And as much as I’d like ‘anon’ to be out of sight, out of mind, like a tampon, I find myself rereading the comment over and over again.
So this is what I’ve come up with. Firstly I don’t think ‘anon’ is a woman. Most women would know that bathing while menstruating is not equivalent to the Battle of Blood River. Blood does not pour from a vagina while in the bath. It is not a reenactment from a Jaws movie. I’m also guessing ‘anon’ thinks our blood is blue, like in the adverts for sanitary towels.
I also don’t think ‘anon’ is a parent. Most parents know that by the age of four kids aren’t putting everything and anything in their mouths. Even as a baby Emma didn’t do it, teething or not.
What I do think is ‘anon’ is a very repressed person who was obviously given a lot of the wrong messages growing up. To think nudity with your child is wrong, to think a menstrual cycle is ‘dirty’ and to accuse me rather harshly of abusing my child is more of a reflection on ‘anon’ than it is of me.
I went through various emotions while reading the comment. For a moment I doubted myself. I thought what if I am damaging my child with such a thoughtless act. I wondered whether I was some kind of a weirdo that I love bath time with my four year old. I got angry that someone who doesn’t know me would make such a strong judgement and would go so far as to accuse me of child abuse. I was pissed off that a stranger would take such an innocent situation and turn it into something filthy. And then I felt sad.
I felt sad that this was ‘anon’s’ experience. I felt empty for a person who has obviously never enjoyed the small pleasures that having children holds. Like bath time, cuddle time and play time. Just last night I had finished reading Emma her bedtime stories. We had negotiated two. I ended up reading four. Afterwards Emma settled on the pillow and asked me to tickle her back, which I did. After a while she rolled over and asked me to tickle her tummy. I did that too. And as she was falling asleep I kissed her on her forehead, her cheeks and her lips. When I stopped she said ‘more momma’. And so I carried on. Kiss after kiss after kiss. And I thought what would ‘anon’ say about this? Me lying in bed, smothering my child with kisses.
Surely ‘anon’ would have a field day with it. And maybe I am wrong to be so ‘touchy-feely’ with my children but I also know the time will come, far too soon, that Emma will not want to talk to me about anything, let alone be a captive audience in the bath. I know that soon my kisses and huge displays of affection will be ‘gross’ and that I’ll need to back off but until such time, things will carry in as they always have in our house.
My children will never doubt my love for them. They will never have to think back to THAT time I said ‘I love you’. I often hear people say that they think their parents love them or that their parents could have loved them more. I’m still to hear someone say ‘I was loved too much!’
So dear ‘anon’ I ask that in future your criticism be based on fact, not on a second hand, rather macabre version of what a period is. I would also suggest that when leaving comments such as the one you did, you grow a pair and actually include your name. It shows a certain kind of maturity, which clearly you lack. If the way in which I raise MY children offends you then please feel free to NOT read my blog. My accounts here are based on precious moments with my family and I don’t need them sullied by narrow-minded, sad, never-got-to-bath-with-my-own-mother people such as yourself…