Courtesy of Samantha Taylor

I'm Naked In Front Of My 5-Year-Old Son & I Don't See A Problem With It

By
Share
Ad failed to load

Nakedness is a virtue. OK, not quite. But to me, it's not a big deal. I'm still breastfeeding my 20-month-old daughter, and my breasts are often out around the house because of that. I don't try to hide them. When it's hot outside, I sleep in just my underwear. In the morning, I bring my toddler into bed with my husband and me and I breastfeed her in bed, soft baby skin snuggled up against mine.

My 5-year-old son will do his sleepy little mummy walk from his room to ours, and join the three of us in bed. He'll plop his thumb into his mouth, and for those few minutes he's one of my babies again, all snuggles and jammies and wet thumbs. He doesn't appear to give my partial nakedness a second thought as I breastfeed his sister in bed, so I don't either. For now, I don't hide my nakedness from my 5-year-old son.

I realize there is a stigma with nakedness and children. Some morally righteous parents argue that being naked around your kids could scar them, or at least leave them with unpleasant memories. But what kind of memories? The kind where your parent has a naked body just like everyone else? The kind where they have wrinkles and fat rolls and body hair, because that's what humans have to varying degrees?

Ad failed to load
Courtesy of Samantha Taylor

Other parents even contend that nakedness could sexualize your children. Whatever that means. At some point, children will become curious about naked bodies and naked body parts and have questions. That's OK with me. I will answer those questions as honestly as I can. So far, my son has not asked me questions about my body, but he has asked some about the differences between his and his sister's bodies, which is natural and expected. We talk about our differences rather than around them. I want my kids to know I'll be honest with them.

I do take the occasional shower with him. When we shower, we are laughing and scrubbing our own bodies and enjoying the hot water and being together. There's nothing inappropriate about it, despite the criticism of some who say children should not bathe with parents of the opposite sex beyond babyhood.
Ad failed to load

If at any point my children become uncomfortable with me being naked around them, they're free to leave the room or I will cover up around them. Even though they're young, I want them to own their decisions and to feel in control of their bodies and actions. Just because I am comfortable naked doesn't mean they have to be comfortable with my nakedness. Unless they show me they're uncomfortable, I'm going to do my best to show my children that bodies in their natural state are nothing to be ashamed of. Similarly, if they choose to hide their nakedness when they're old enough to not need help with bathroom or bathing duties, I'll respect that decision.

Rather than my breasts sexualizing me in front of my son, my son understands that breasts are for feeding his sister. He knows that he breastfed as a baby, and now it's his sister's turn.

Courtesy of Samantha Taylor
Ad failed to load

While I'm fine with my son seeing my naked body for the time being, I do try to avoid him coming into too close of contact with me without clothes on. For example, I recently took a bath with him and his sister, and the limited space meant feet were coming dangerously close to kicking places they shouldn't. I've since stopped taking baths with him. But I do take the occasional shower with him. When we shower, we are laughing and scrubbing our own bodies and enjoying the hot water and being together. There's nothing inappropriate about it, despite the criticism of some who say children should not bathe with parents of the opposite sex beyond babyhood.

In addition, my son and 20-month-old daughter bathe together on most nights. There's no sense in wasting water by running them separate baths. I watch them to make sure no one touches the other person's parts out of curiosity, but I think it's a good lesson for them to see the differences between girls' and boys' bodies. It's been at least a year since my son even asked about his sister's anatomy, and that was when I changed her diaper as a baby.

My nakedness won't push my son towards adulthood any faster. But making a big deal out of it will force him to be sexually aware and more mature than he needs to be. He'll wonder why bodies in their natural state are a cause for concern, when I only want him to know that this is the way mommy looks. With breasts, hair, imperfections, and lots of comfy soft parts.
Ad failed to load

Similarly to me changing in front of them, if either one of my children become uncomfortable bathing together, I won't hesitate to stop. I also think it makes sense to stop bathing my children together and to stop changing in front of my son once he starts to develop crushes and feelings for future potential partners. Around that time, he'll likely learn about the birds and bees, and I don't want to cause him any confusion by looking at my naked body or his sister's should the nakedness arouse any sexual urges.

Courtesy of Samantha Taylor

For now though, he's still a little boy who asks if he can marry his sister. Not because he sees her naked, but because he adores her and is so innocent-minded that spending the rest of your life with your best little buddy who happens to be your sister makes perfect sense.

Ad failed to load

My nakedness won't push my son towards adulthood any faster. But making a big deal out of it will force him to be sexually aware and more mature than he needs to be. He'll wonder why bodies in their natural state are a cause for concern, when I only want him to know that this is the way mommy looks. With breasts, hair, imperfections, and lots of comfy soft parts.

My son is growing up fast enough. For now, I'm going to enjoy the last of the little boy phase while it lasts, family morning snuggles, breastfeeding babies, and all.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

I Tried Royal Family Parenting Hacks For A Week & It Was Surprisingly Easy

Whenever I see the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge — Prince William and Kate Middleton — wrangle their kids in public, I find myself jealous of their parenting abilities. Does it come naturally, or do they have an easier time because of things commoner…
By Steph Montgomery

14 Awesome '90s Movies To Watch On Father's Day With The Best Father-Daughter Duos

Father's Day is right around the corner and I can think of no better way to celebrate the holiday than actually spending some time with my dad, preferably relaxing and watching one of our favorite father-daughter movies. Since I grew up in the '90s, …
By Irina Gonzalez

It's OK To Let Babies Cry — In Fact, It's Very Important

Before my daughter was born, I taught preschool for eight years. In talking to parents about their goals for their children, aside from the lofty academic visions of honing 3-year-old geniuses, pretty much every parent would tell me, "I just want my …
By Beth Loster

An Open Letter To My Kids' Teachers, Now That The School Year Is Over

Dear Teachers Who Teach My Kids, How can I ever properly express my gratitude for all you do every single day? How can I possibly thank you enough? I know there isn't much I can actually do to show you just how thankful I am. I do want you to know, h…
By Dina Leygerman

15 Celestial Baby Names That Blow All Others Out Of The Galaxy

Doesn't it seem like naming kids is more difficult now than in decades past? It has to be popular, but not too popular, unique but not too wacky. But you'll also want it to sound right with your last name and you can't really have a friend whose kid …
By Emily Westbrooks

I'm Feeling Mom Burnout, & Here's How I Deal With It As A Type-A Parent

The other day, I put my daughter down for her nap, poured the now-cold coffee that I had reheated about 10 times and still didn’t have a second to drink, refilled it with the tiny little bit of red wine that was left in the bottle I found in the back…
By Allison Cooper

If You Don't Know Whether You're In Labor Or Not, Your Dog Might Be Able To Tell You

Many dog owners swear their pets have a sixth sense. From sensing impending danger to knowing when their human is sick before they do, tales abound involving seemingly psychic canines saving the day. But while there's no question that dogs are incred…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

12 Partners Describe What It's Like To Be In the Delivery Room For The First Time

Television and movies lead us believe in a very particular birth narrative. Labor starts instantly (after the mom's water breaks, of course), and everyone comedically or dramatically rushes to the hospital whereupon pushing begins immediately. More o…
By Jamie Kenney

If You Hate Buying Maternity Clothes, Rent Them From One Of These Cool Sites

If spending money on maternity clothes makes you feel like you're tossing cash out the window, you're not alone. Pregnancy is so temporary, it's not like you can get away with convincing yourself that you're making an investment purchase. And yet, th…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

9 Surprising & Totally Adorable Facts About Princess Charlotte

There are few kids in the world who kinda/sorta make me want another baby, probably because I had four already so that feels like enough. But little Princess Charlotte is one of those kids. I don't know if it's the little twinkle in her eye, her ador…
By Jen McGuire

The Mid-Range Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Let’s be very, very honest about this — pregnancy and childbirth change your body. Regardless of what tabloid headlines about celebrities’ post-baby bodies and Instagram #fitspo posts might tell you, the reality is that your body’s going to look and …
By Beth Loster

Rent The Runway Just Launched A Maternity Line & The Selection Is Mind-Blowing

Spending money on maternity clothes can feel like a huge waste, considering you're only going to wear them for a few months. Sure, you can always pack them away for Baby #2 (or #3), but there's no guarantee you'll be the same degree of pregnant durin…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

15 Baby Names With Unique Nicknames, So Your Family Has Options

I love a good diminutive name, also known as a nickname. I believe I’m partial to them because of my own name, Abigale, but I go by Abi. And since they’re both uniquely spelled, everyone thinks my name is pronounced Ah-bee for some reason — but even …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

The Entire Family Can Enjoy These Movies & Shows Coming To Netflix In June

It's just one of those sad facts of life: every month, shows and movies vanish from Netflix, their varied excitements no longer at your fingertips. But luckily the streaming service is always prepared to fill that content void with lots of new things…
By Megan Walsh

The Reason Why Babies Smile At You Will Seriously Make You Smile

Whether you're currently the recipient of your own baby's sweet smiles or you just seem to be a magnet for baby grins in general, you might find yourself wondering why babies are always smiling at you. Sure, you could be a 'smile whisperer' but scien…
By Kate Miller

8 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say That, Yes, You Are Their Favorite

For a baby to show a preference for a specific person is not only normal, but an essential part of their development. Babies need to form strong attachments to their caregivers for their emotional, social, and physical wellbeing. Usually, but not alw…
By Kimmie Fink

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at Names.org recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills
)}