I am a swim mum. My children both have swimming lessons weekly, and we visit our local leisure center, for this. We use the pool, and then we shower and go home. I loathe public swimming pools, but because I believe that swimming is an important life skill for kids to learn, we go, and we live and learn. This letter is to the parents around me in the swimming pool, changing areas and showers.
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Dear parents using the swimming pool and showers.
Swimming pools and their changing rooms are an interesting place. I personally find them hot, sweaty, a bit grimy, noisy and I usually want to get in and out as fast as possible. Finding a locker that someone hasn’t left their sweaty socks in, and a cubicle that someone hasn’t allowed their small child to pee in the drainage system that runs through them, is challenging enough, but when we hit the showers, I start to lose my cool. In fact we get cold, very cold.
Because some of you parents seem to think that the post swimming shower run is time for your little ones to have a full spa treatment and their weekly hygiene time.
The swimming pool showers are there for people to rinse off before they get into the pool, and then after the pool, to wash the chlorine off. If you or your kids need to shampoo your hair or have a quick soap down, I get that. As a mum with a child with skin issues, we often will do a quick hair wash, if we need to. I get the need to wash the pool chemicals off. I really do.
However, the showers are NOT for…
A full body and soap down, with bubbles, constant goes of the shower, a hair wash, and condition, and then comb, whilst other people wait to use the showers.
They are also not a play area.
I think it’s lovely that your child is thoroughly clean from top to toe, and doesn’t need a bath when you get them home, but whilst my kids and other kids are standing shivering and cold in their towels, waiting, your kid is having a thorough wash, hair wash, play with bubbles and then a hair comb. This takes more than ten minutes (yes, I was clock watching, we also have car parking to pay for and a parking ticket after a stint in the swimming pool changing rooms would tip me over the edge) and it means that the shower can’t be used by other people. My kids both get irritated skin so do need a quick shower to wash off the remains of their swimming lesson, but it is not fair for your kids to be taking up two or three showers whilst you all have a jolly wash, hair wash, and personal hygiene session. I have even seen you letting your kid brush their teeth and spit in the showers.
Your kid running in and out of the shower playing with the bubbles, and having a lovely time, whilst other kids stand there getting colder, is not fun or fair for everyone else.
Basically the swimming pool showers are NOT your bathroom at home. Get your kids in and out of the shower and let the rest of us also get washed, dry and warm in a timely manner.
That is all. Next time, I will start commenting loudly about how cold we are all getting.
Signed, an annoyed cold mum who would rather be elsewhere but has to wait for the shower whilst you do one more round of bubbles with your kids…
This was a Friday Rant. Feel free to comment. And if you are a parent who uses the swimming pool shower like an at-home bathroom, please think about stopping. It’s really not fair on everyone else.