Persephone: Parent

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A Question of Etiquette

on January 23, 2014

Sometimes a random comment made by someone or yourself, directly or indirectly or simply overheard can make you do a double-check. Or flush with embarrassment. Or even perhaps start simmering with anger.

Have you ever ended up, hours later, questioning your own or their etiquette?


It can happen quite often at baby groups. From the simple discussion of milestones, which can seem harmless but not to the parent of a toothless child, for example. Or to the more extreme of discussing and questioning parenting choices – crying it out or formula feeding.

I think I’ve been quite lucky with the extreme side of things. The only thing of the kind I’ve ever been in the middle of was a milk discussion. I want to say debate, but it wasn’t. It was some very pro-breastfeeders talking together. Some formula feeders felt awkward. I, a breastfeeder, felt awkward. Where does the etiquette stand? It was a mother’s group where mums turn for support so anything can be discussed, right?

Mummies can have differing opinions and voice them, right? If someone feels awkward then, does etiquette dictate, that you speak up? Or ignore it?

Here’s a question, though, what is the etiquette in a public, communal shower?

I was showering after swimming the other day (just hair, swimming cosies still on) and I started speaking, as a mum, to a swimming instructor. I don’t know her at all, asking her a question about swimming abilities and ages.

Communal shower etiquette: okay?

Today I was showering and a guy started speaking to me about my swimming session because he’d seen me powering through my lengths. When I then mentioned it was my destresser from my 8 month old, he questioned how I can justify leaving my son. He said it in a friendly way, but a beat later I wondered if he was implying I was selfish.

Well, I quickly decided I’m not being selfish, but…

Communal shower etiquette: not okay?

~ P

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