I see this conversation pop up on social media all the time and there are many mother’s (and fathers) that have the same view as me and others that don’t.
Master E turns five this week and he still sees me naked. He too is happy to walk around in the nude. Quite often he dances around in the nude too.
We regularly shower together because it’s just easier that way. He still barges into the bathroom while I’m on the toilet (I really need to remember to lock the door). We walk from bathroom to bedroom naked. It’s the norm in our house. It was the norm in my house while I was growing up too, although, I was one of three girls so I guess it may be a little bit different with a boy. I’m soon to find out.
What disappoints me about this issue
What disappoints me about this issue is that, like everything these days, being naked in front of children seems to be sexualised by some people.
I read an article written by a mother who, like me, let her son see her naked only to have people criticise her for sexual abuse. I feel that the concern here is not the mother but those people who connect it with sex in the first place. I find it really quite sad that something so natural and so normal is tainted with the same brush. Sort of similar to those who find breastfeeding offensive, they sexualise it when it’s also one of the most natural things in life to do.
So, I thought I’d share why I let my kids see me naked.
I watched Embrace for the first time the other day and it absolutely had me in tears. It hit a raw nerve. I’ve always had body image issues, even when I was 18kgs lighter than I am today. These days my body image issues are substantially worse but watching the documentary did make me feel a lot better because I knew I wasn’t alone and that what I look like is normal.
I think it’s quite disgusting the misconceptions the media has built around women’s bodies and the subsequent pressure to conform. It actually makes me quite angry, the unfairness of it all. The media is brainwashing our youth and boys are growing up with completely distorted expectations and girls are growing up trying to live up to them.
Apart from being naked in front of my kids being something I rarely think twice about, letting my children see me naked is also about showing my kids, my son in particular, what a woman’s body really looks like. The lumps, the bumps, the stretch marks, the curves.
Bless Master E’s cotton socks, he so honestly told me recently that he loved my tummy because it was so squishy and comfy. And Miss M, she’s only five months old but when she’s older, I will be doing my best to promote a positive body image with her too.
Confidence and boundaries
But being naked in front of our children is not just about setting realistic expectations, it’s about building body confidence for both of them and also teaching them about boundaries.
The media is a growing (and often negative) beast, I don’t trust that it will change anytime soon. So, inevitably, it’s up to parents, both mums and dads, to challenge expectations for the sake of our children’s health and their future relationships. I think the role of dads teaching their sons about women’s bodies is a whole other topic altogether and goes well beyond what I’m talking about here, but it’s seriously important nonetheless.
So when will I stop letting my son see me naked?
Well, I think I’m going to leave that up to him. Ultimately, he’s the only one who knows exactly how he feels and if he gets to a point when he wants his privacy or feels uncomfortable, then I’m confident he will let me know. I suspect that things like body changes and puberty will also play some part as I remember when I started going through puberty as a young girl, that’s when I wouldn’t let my dad see me either. So I guess it goes both ways.
What about you, do you let your kids see you naked? When did you stop?