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WIBU to ask them to let me in? Or complain to reception?

(44 Posts)
Labradorwhisperer Sat 09-Feb-13 15:45:29

Every Monday I like to go to my gym for an exercise class, and time in the sauna/jacuzzi bit. I have a back issue and so it helps me to stretch out afterwards.

At the same time, there are swimming lessons on and my class ends just five minutes changeover point between two swimming classes. The communal swim changing rooms just have cubicles to change in. By the time I get to the changing room to put on my swimwear for the sauna, every single cubicle is unoccupied, but the parents of the children in class have "staked their claim" to each cubicle with bags/towels etc. Now, I don't have children but I can fully understand the need to get children showered and warm quickly after swimming lessons. I can also understand that parents don't want the stress of lining up and waiting for cubicles to come free when there children come out of the shower. I fully get that. The layout of the changing rooms is such that there is no logical place to queue for a spare spot anyway.

I don't have much time after my class before I need to get back home but it is important for me to stretch out in the heat, as I say. It would take literally two minutes for me to nip into a cubicle, change and be gone. However, none of the parents are prepared to ever let me use "their" cubicle, even if their child hasn't left the pool yet. I regularly have to wait at least 20 minutes for a space. It's really very annoying. AIBU to think that they are being somewhat selfish in the circumstances? I genuinely want to know hence posting on a parenting website, what the consensus is.

nancerama Sat 09-Feb-13 17:21:04

I swear, some formerly rational people have a chunk of their brains removed when they have a child and it almost always manages to manifest itself at the swimming pool.

DS goes to classes at the local hospital. I regularly see parents park in the disabled bays by the pool "because no one needs them at the weekend". There are 8 kids in the class and 8 cubicles round the pool. Regularly I have to contend with stroppy parents when DS gets out of the pool because I dare to use "their" changing room. DS has just got out of the pool, their DC is just getting in. They will get their cubicle back long before the lesson ends. I don't know what they expect me to do in the meantime.

OP, YANBU. Have a word with the leisure centre. You have just as much right to use the facilities.

13Iggis Sat 09-Feb-13 18:28:01

The changing layout sounds the same as my local pool, OP. I take my 5 year old to lessons there weekly, I just keep his stuff with me while I have a coffee. Or if I'm swimming with the baby I use a locker. No-one 'reserves' a changing room.
Maybe it's one of those things were because a couple of parents started doing it, now everyone things they'd better jump on the bandwagon. Very tempting to just knock them onto the (wet) floor. You have been very patient.

Slipperyslopin Sat 09-Feb-13 18:36:09

I was allways a bitch about it. Used to do a diving club when I was a teen and there were specific changing rooms for us, a large room with 4 cubicles. But we shared it with a swim team who finished an hour after us. They would allways WITHOUT FAIL leave bags and towels in the cubicals, so we couldnt use them EVEN though they weren't going to finish until be were long gone. We used to take them out and dump them in the showers, but they never learnt, so one time my friend and I took them out and put each individual bag, towel, shoe, basically anything that was loose, in different lockers throughout the changing room, with a lipstick message on the mirror telling them what would happen next time. Never had that problem again, however looking back i realize it was very mean and immature. But then I was a teenager.grin

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius Sat 09-Feb-13 18:44:39

My gym only had two cubicles, so I always got changed 'in the open', in the communal changing room - are you not allowed to do that, labradorwhisperer? If there is nowhere else people can change, the parents shouldn't be allowed to 'bag' cubicles.

ilovepowerhoop Sat 09-Feb-13 18:51:15

our swimming pool has signs all over it saying not to put clothes into the cubicles before there is someone to go in them. The sign says not even to put clothing in them while waiting for your child to get out the showers and that clothing will be removed if found in an empty cubicle. I dont get the kids stuff out the locker until they have finished showering and think others are very selfish if they hog the changing rooms. I would complain.

ClutchingPearls Sat 09-Feb-13 18:54:19

I would make sure I was as wet and drippy as possible and stroll towards a chosen cubicle, when parent starts flapping say "oh did you want to get your stuff out first or shall I just push it to the side or hand it to you?" when parent claims her childs clothes indicate his/her sole use, I would just continue to go in the cubicle. Surprising how quickly some people will remove the clothes once they realise they are going to get damp.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sat 09-Feb-13 18:57:48


You are being very kind to these parents. They are behaving very selfishly.

I would be calmly, smilingly insistent. "I'll just nip in here, do you want to leave your stuff in here or shall I put it outside for a few minutes"

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sat 09-Feb-13 18:58:53

... or if the parent isn't there, I'd take the stuff out.

AmIthatWintry Sat 09-Feb-13 19:01:27

Well, by the law of averages, some of the people that do this must be MNers.

Would be nice if one of them came along and explained why they do it grin

lljkk Sat 09-Feb-13 19:04:47

Can't you change in a toilet cubicle?
Or wear bra under your swimsuit under your exercise class gear?

yanbu BUT it will be difficult for management to enforce and some of those yummy mummies will remember you for years as the pushy Sauna lady.

bluer Sat 09-Feb-13 19:05:19

Yanbu! How very rude of them all...not a great example to set for their children who will grow up having no respect for others.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sat 09-Feb-13 19:06:21

I'd say, because by the law of average some people are self-absorbed twunts, and having children doesn't changed that (in some cases it exacerbates the condition) wink

BillyBollyDandy Sat 09-Feb-13 19:06:37

Just go in and get changed. If their stuff gets wet, put on the floor, then tough.

I wouldn't ask or move it. Unless I had to dump put in on the floor while I dripped all over it got changed.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sat 09-Feb-13 19:07:32

Or you could pretend you hadn't seen it. Smily and breezy is the way to go. They smell fear

wintertimeisfun Sat 09-Feb-13 19:09:24

this used to drive me nuts when dd was learning to swim. made me want to get their shite and dump it on the floor outside the changing cubicle. mind you, it used to equally piss me off the parents who used to hog the shower heads shampooing and conditioning their kids hair, more annoying still when they would take ages training their youngest ie 3/4 how to wash their own hair. meantime other shivering kids standing there for about 15 odd minutes. showers are to rinse off the chlorine, not a bloody hair salon. makes the mothers life easier ie kids can go straight to bed but doesn't make the life easier for the other poor shivering sods. some people have no awareness for other people's needs

Tanith Sat 09-Feb-13 19:13:25

This comes up a lot on Mumsnet and posters are always fairly united in condemning it as selfish behaviour.

That is why I firmly believe these parents can't possibly be Mumsnetters
[polishes collective halo and glares at the other sites]


ArfurFoulkesayke Sat 09-Feb-13 19:26:53

Well I am going to fess up as a cubicle-leaver. When DD1 (PFB) was a baby and I used to take her for swimming lessons I used to leave our stuff very neatly squished in the corner in the family changing rooms next to the pool while we had the lesson. But it was always super-quiet (pool was closed except for one lesson) and it was an arse to manage stuff in and out of lockers with a babe-in-arms. Also if someone needed to use the room it was never a problem because they'd either be getting dry after their lesson at the start of ours or getting ready for the lesson after while we were still in the water.
So not the same situation at all, really, but felt a need to confess my anti-social behaviour!

BillyBollyDandy Sat 09-Feb-13 19:28:01

shock shock shock Arfur

I hope you namechanged for that revelation wink grin

ArfurFoulkesayke Sat 09-Feb-13 19:29:48


Wow. That felt really good grin

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