Mother sparks debate after claiming swimming pools count as bathing children

Mother sparks debate after claiming swimming pools count as bathing children (Getty Images)
Mother sparks debate after claiming swimming pools count as bathing children (Getty Images)

A mother has shared the interesting way she celebrates the start of summer.

Neely Gracey recently took to Instagram to share a clip of all of her children and her husband at their local pool, with text across the screen that read: “Happy ‘the pool counts as a bath’ season to all who celebrate.” She further emphasized her point in her caption, which read: “Plz tell me I’m not the only mom who is celebrating.”

The statement prompted a huge divide in the comments, where some viewers admitted they agreed with her opinion on swimming counting as a bath, while others expressed their disgust over the admission.

“I’m all over pool counts as bath season (in fact my kids get more showers at sleepaway camp than they usually do at home!)” one comment read in support of Gracey’s post.

“Heck yes,” another commenter agreed.

Other commenters were completely against the idea, with some claiming that being at a pool actually warranted an extra bath.

“I never want to shower harder than after a long day at the pool or the beach,” one commenter explained.

“Noooo wayyy man. Pool day means it is DEFINITELY a tubby night for my kiddos. So gross, chemicals, sunscreen, sweat, pee, salt, etc,” another person pointed out.

“This might be worse than the people who only bathe their kids once a week,” a third comment read.

Gracey later revealed in an interview with Today that starting a debate was not her intention when she’d made the post. “I in no way posted this to create the level of controversy that it apparently did,” she told the outlet. “The main reason behind this was I knew that nationwide everyone’s pools were opening up.”

“Every parent knows the epic battles that ensue from trying to get your kids into the bath and then trying to get them out of the bath,” the mother explained. “It’s two separate battles every single time. I just wanted to give parents permission to have fun with their kids this summer.”

She also wanted to let people know that she doesn’t personally celebrate “pool as a bath” season, noting: “Of course I still bathe my children.”

“In all honesty, it’s so funny that people took it so seriously. I had no idea it was going to turn into what it did.”

Gracey isn’t the first parent to spark a debate over children’s bathing habits. In 2021, Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis revealed on Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast that they only bathe their children when “you can see the dirt on them.”

“I didn’t have hot water growing up as a child, so I didn’t shower much anyway,” Kunis said. “But when I had children, I also didn’t wash them every day. I wasn’t that parent that bathed my newborns – ever.”

“Here’s the thing,” Kutcher interjected during the podcast. “If you can see the dirt on them, clean them. Otherwise, there’s no point.”

Kutcher noted that he uses soap and water on his “armpits and crotch daily”, but “nothing else ever.” “I do have a tendency to throw some water on my face after a workout to get all the salts out,” he added.