We dated the Zeros… so you don’t have to.

13
August

Naked lunch. And dinner: when should you stop being naked around your kid?

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Having a baby can play havoc with your sense of modesty. My labor lasted 22 hours, 5 ½ hours of which was active pushing. Toward the end of the ordeal there were no less than five people yelling at my vagina. By that point an entire bachelor party could have come through the delivery room and checked out my lady parts and I probably wouldn’t have noticed (worst bachelor party idea ever!). For the first three months of my son’s life he wanted to nurse so often that I rarely bothered to put on a shirt. Even now, five months in, I’ll occasionally catch myself right as I’m about to go out to get the mail, realizing that my shirt is completely unbuttoned. I think my son is more thrown by seeing me with my shirt on than with it off. Which is totally normal and natural. But how long is nakedness normal and natural between mother and son or father and daughter? I have no concerns at this point. My kid is only five months old so I figure I’m in the clear for a while. But here’s what got me wondering…

One of my mom’s friends gave us a few hand-me-downs for the baby including a bouncy chair. It has a toy bar across the lap on which is a plastic frog with a handle, and when the handle is pulled it triggers a high pitched, annoying and surprisingly catchy tune. When, at about three months old, my son figured out how to find and pull the handle I was delighted and did a little dance to the song. He laughed at me dancing and pulled the handle again. I danced again, he laughed again and pulled the handle again. It became a thing. Every time he pulls the handle and makes the song play, I dance. When he was about four months old he decided he hated baths. Every bath turned into a screaming, crying misery. On the recommendation of a friend, I decided to try and take a bath with him and it helped a lot. The dilemma was how to safely get in and out of the bath with a squirming baby, and where to put him while I got undressed before the bath and dried myself off after. The solution I found was putting him in the bouncy chair. But of course when he is in the bouncy chair, he’s going to pull the handle, which means I dance. So I dance as I get ready for the bath…. Which effectively means I’m doing a nightly strip tease for my child. Awkward.

Except, of course, it isn’t. It is totally fine. He’s a baby and in his baby mind there is nothing odd or awkward about nakedness. Nor should there be. I want him to have a healthy, positive relationship with his own body and with the human body in general. But as the days, months and years pass… when does nakedness turn to nudity? I don’t know. I don’t think dancing while undressing in front of a baby will mean that he’ll later become a stripper obsessed freak show of a man. But when, as a mother, do you need to regain the sense of modesty you lost when you became a mother?

I didn’t grow up in a naked house. I have a few vague early memories of taking a shower with my mom, and saw my dad walk around in his underwear a few times, but that was about it. Both my sister and I were so modest when we were little that we didn’t even get dressed in front of each other. My parents divorced when I was in third grade, so our house was a house of women. My sister has two girls, so I’m accustomed to being around girls. Now that I have this awesome little dude to parent I’m a little at a loss about this whole mother/son thing.

I realize this is a relationship/dating website and not a parenting blog, but today’s quiz is on behalf of my son’s future girlfriends (or boyfriends, whatever). I put this out to both parents and non-parents. Men and women. I know it is kind of an awkward subject but…

A Zeros Before the One Poll

When should a mom stop being naked around her son?

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