A cautious stepdad took to Reddit’s parenting sub-forum to snaffle some advice about a confusing situation he was navigating with his preschool-aged stepson.
“Is it OK for a stepdad to have a bath with a 3-year-old stepson?”
And by confusing we mean he found it a little challenging.
Other parents on Reddit reassured him that things were not as tricky as they might seem.
“I’ve been with my partner for 2 years and she has a son who’s 3 now,” this stepdad wrote. “His biological dad doesn’t bother with him and me and my stepson have a good relationship.”
“I usually shower but had a bath today and my stepson comes in and wanted to get in the bath with me … I said ‘no’ and his mum come up and took him downstairs … he was confused because he gets in mummy’s bath.”
“My partner doesn’t have an issue and I’m not really bothered as he will just sit one end and play with his toys,” the man continued, “but I’m worried about if he says something at nursery and they take it the wrong way. I was wondering how other people have handled this situation and what people feel about it.”
Family bathing 101
Reddit users were super kind and supportive of this gent … and keen to share their views on family bathing.
“I say go for it,” one commenter posted, noting that his own childhood was influenced by a similarly cautious stepdad, and he wished it had been otherwise.
He continued: “I grew up with minimal contact with my biological father … but from 5 years old to now, late-30’s, my stepdad had been my dad. He has always been and always will be my father. That said, he had some of those lines too, no bath or shower, minimal ‘snuggles’… As I was laying down with my 3 1/2 year old I was thinking how I was glad I’m able to do it with him and I’m glad I can give him an experience I never had. Do it and enjoy and savour every second!”
“Nice bonding time!”
Other parents agreed, noting that this man obviously was playing a huge role in his stepson’s life and wanted what was best for his little family.
“Don’t see why a stepdad shouldn’t be able to do something a bio dad would. Sounds like nice bonding time,” one person posted.
“It’s fine! You don’t have to if you don’t want to though,” another parent stressed. “His mum can explain to him you prefer not to share your bath.”
While commenters were super helpful, they were clear on one thing – that family bathing was a totally normal part of growing up and totally fine as long as everyone involved was okay with it!
“I think this is one of those subjects in which the right answer is individual to every family,” a commenter concluded.
Sounds about right to us!
Read more about step-parents and blended families: