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The confessions of a naked mum

I had an interesting conversation recently with a friend.Chest of a young woman

We were talking about how quickly the kids are growing up and how we both wished we could hold those tiny bundles in our arms again.

Then, the subject turned to puberty and she happened to say;

‘I haven’t seen my son naked since he was 7 years old.’

Aghast, I looked at her and said but how do you know if everything is all ok ‘down there?’

I see both my sons naked all the time, coming out of the shower, on the loo, sneaking  downstairs both hands in the biscuit tin and getting dressed in the morning.

There is nothing more natural than them seeing me naked too, granted I am not an exhibionist nor will you see me parading in front of the car cleaner or stripping off running free spirited into the sea.

I’m not ashamed to say that ‘nakedness rules in our house.’

Following that conversation with my friend, I asked my 15 year old son what he thought about seeing me naked and how he felt about me seeing him.

He was quick to retort: “Mum it just doesn’t bother me, so what if I see you butt naked it doesn’t really register that my mum’s naked. I dont see what the big deal is.”

Baby butt

I thought about my childhood, shared with a younger brother and I wondered if ‘nakedness’ has anything to do with mixed siblings in the household?

I do remember that from about 13-14 years I wanted privacy and I didn’t walk around in the nude especially not in front of my father.

Likewise, he extended the same courtesy to me. He would never barge into my bedroom or bathroom without knocking first.

There was seemingly an unwritten rule that said you are a teenager so going naked is probably not the right thing to do.

I freely admit that whilst I can sunbathe topless in front of strangers and friends I could never show my  top half to my own father, even though he is one half of me.

Do you go naked in front of your children?

My upbringing has fostered a good sense of self worth and yet this is a contradiction because when I look at my body it is with a reluctant acceptance of ageing.

I do not recall my mother promoting a good or bad body image, a body is a body and that was it.

As a gymnast I trained as hard as I could and my body was fit and strong but there were constant reminders from coaches about the importance of weight.

I remember on one occasion a coach saying to me how strong I was and that I was short and stumpy, a perfect gymnastic physique.

In my head I wanted to be tall, lean and skinny and so his comments cut me like a knife.

Not only were they way off base but he single handedly made me foster an unrealistic body image of myself that has stayed with me.

All I could see was a blob in front of the mirror.

In reality I had a fantastic physique and recently when my god-mother showed photos of me when I was 14, it came as a surprise that I wasn’t the blob I had become so familiar with in the mirror.

But I had spent the last 30+ years of my life convinced that I was.

How a few inapproriate words can change the perception of your own body image!

I believe that might be why I’ve never made any rules about the boys being naked or made them feel uncomfortable.

Nudity is healthy and very natural and growing up unashamed of being seen naked with all your bodily imperfections raises uninhibited children who have a realistic body image.

When I researched the idea for this post opinions made by people, posted on forums, blogs and articles all had a view on nudity ranging from it being perverted to being ‘au naturale’.

I am sure that at some point my sons will cover up and will lock the bathroom door for feeling uncomfortable or embarrassed.

Likewise, they may ask me to do the same, but until then I see no need to close the door whilst I undress or cover up when I walk along the upstairs landing to put my clothes in the linen basket.

As far as I’m concerned they will make that decision, not me.

What do you think?

  1. Tamsin 9 years ago

    What a fabulous attitude – you are setting a great example – seeing the human body as natural and normal. The more “real” and the less “all my information comes from TV or the Internet”, the better, surely. As soon as the boys feel uncomfortable they’ll let you know. I’m with you in spirit (less so in practice, with a male au pair and my Dad in the house!)..

  2. Alan 9 years ago

    It is so refreshing to know there are other families out there where unashamed everyday household nudity occurs just as it does in our home. If it is common place in the home from an early age of the kids it is going to be normal and natural. As it should be. Thank you for sharing!

  3. rocco 8 years ago

    Here is my experience growing up.

    I was not raised to be modest; I was not required to wear a towel or bathrobe when walking nude from my bedroom to the shower and back. For as long as I can remember, my mother has seen me in various stages of undress in many different situations. I typically did not lock the bathroom door, nor did I ever close it all the way, so she frequently wandered in while I was taking a shower, getting out of the shower and drying off, drying my hair naked, shaving, and even going pee. Her presence in my bathroom, and in my bedroom as I would be getting dressed for the day, or undressed for the evening, was constant, and, therefore, normal for me.

    As I got older, around age 11, I grew a thick, dark mat of hair between my legs that went all the way up to my waist and belly button. Over the years as my genitals grew into manhood, I still never gave being nude in front of mom much thought, even though i knew she was probably looking at me. How could she not as I was fully developed by about age 14? After all, she is only human. Nevertheless, it was also natural for me to have erections. At first I was a bit self-conscious, but after a while, realizing I had no control over this, I just relaxed and let happen what would happen.

    Bottom line: Nudity in front of my mom was very natural and continued from the time I was very young, until I moved out of the house at age 20.

    I am curious as to what others think of this experience. Right, or wrong and why?

  4. Charlotte 6 years ago

    I had a similar conversation with one of my friends recently. She couldn’t believe my kids (boy 14, girl 10) and I see each other naked every day. We’re not nudists (okay, maybe my daughter is a bit of a nudist!) and we tend to see each other in the same sort of casual, every day situations in which you and your boys see each other.

    Like you, I have had a conversation with my son about how he feels about it all. It wasn’t a planned conversation but I was in the bathroom, sitting on the bench we have in there, cutting my nails. Not realising I was there, he came in to brush his teeth. Both of us were naked. We were used to things like this happening so neither of us reacted but I chose to ask him how he felt about it. He shrugged and said that if we weren’t comfortable then we wouldn’t do it. He’s a quiet, introverted boy and it means the world to me that he is so comfortable in his own skin.

    Maybe my daughter’s outlook will change when she reaches puberty but she at least I have given her a good idea of what a real naked woman, imperfections and all, looks like and she hasn’t been fazed at all by her brother’s developing body. In fact, she told me a friend of hers had seen her older brother naked by mistake. This resulted in much hilarity and giggles among her group of friends but she simply smiled and said “It’s just a body and you wouldn’t like it if your brother laughed at your body.” Such a great outlook!

    It’s good to know there are other families out there with a positive and open approach to their bodies.

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