Intimacy/Privacy....do you care?

[deleted account] ( 26 moms have responded )

So, I've seen this topic done and debated to death in recent years but up until now, I never really gave it a second thought. I'm a "shower with your child until whenever" type of girl. It just doesn't bother me. I grew up in a household where it was perfectly normal to see my mom going pee or my brothers sitting on the toilet taking a poop while reading a book. No biggie. I've raised my son (4.5 years old) the same. We have always showered together. No one in my home pees, poops or does pretty much anything in the bathroom with the door closed. I don't even know for sure that my bathroom door 100% closes.

So....where does your privacy begin? Like, in our house, none of really has any privacy. We pee, poop and shower with the door open. Unless it's a really stinky poop, then the door gets pushed in the direction of closed lol LIGHT A MATCH! I've always showered/bathed with Jacob. As time has passed, he's asked me questions and I've answered. Tonight was the first time that we've showered together in a long time (we were in a hurry) and he asked me (about my boobs) what those "round pink circles" were. I told him that they are called nipples and areola and that he has them too (showed him) and that the reason mine are larger and pinker is because I'm a grown-up and I'm a girl. Two seconds later he pointed to my crotch and asked me why I have hair down there. I told him that it's because I'm a grown up and that one day when he grows up some, he'll have hair there too. I told him that it's called pubic hair.

To me, these are natural questions with natural answers. Similar to, "Mommy, why is the sky blue?" or "Mommy, why is my toe bleeding?"

Is it just me? Or am I some sort of weird freak who just isn't bothered by the real questions he's asking? It's anatomy. It's not a tour of my vagina. Over time, I've run into some seriously strange (to me) people who think that I'm doing some sort of disservice to my son. My MIL, for one. She thinks I should have NEVER exposed my son to my naked body. Ever. She thinks it's weird that still to this day, when he's upset, he comes to me an lays his head on my left breast. She thinks it's weird that I don't feel uncomfortable answering his questions and I sit here looking at her with my jaw on the floor because I don't understand her at ALL. Seriously, it bothers me when I hear about people who shy away from such real, natural contact with their babies. I think of the way we have evolved as a species, how skin on skin our ancestors were. And it really just doesn't make sense to me how anyone could ever take something as simple as bathing with a child and think it wrong. It's MY CHILD. I'm not bathing with your child. I guess I'm a little up in arms about it at the start because I've seen so many threads about it over the years. But I'm here to tell all of you, those of you who think that bathing/showering with your young children.....being naked in front of them...for those of you who think it's "wrong" in some way.....I just don't get it. I just don't. There is only perversion in something if YOU put it there. Your (my) child doesn't know any better. If you teach them from the start that human contact, being naked, asking questions is wrong? You know what you'll end up with? A grown child who has no answers and has to seek them on their own, in their own way, which may not be pretty. Sheltered children are always the most misbehaved. I married a southern Baptist minister's son. I know about sheltered lol I guess, to sum up, if you have a "bad feeling" about bathing with your child or being naked around them, then don't do it. But don't throw stones at someone else who is ok with it, who thinks it's the most natural thing in the world.

What do YOU think?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

[deleted account]

I grew up in a naked household so growing up my parents,brothers, sisters and I saw each other naked alot even till this day. In my house I have 6 kids 2 sons and 4 daughters, nudity is the norm in our house.

September - posted on 06/05/2012

5,233

15

695

I agree with you Joy. I don't close the bathroom door unless we have company. We still shower with our 3.5 year old son from time to time and don't plan to stop until he feels uncomfortable, which I'm sure will happen at some point. I get dressed and undressed in front of our son. Our son has asked questions about my body, his Daddy's body and his body, I answer truthfully. I don't think there is anything weird about it at all. It's completely normal and natural.

Sylvia - posted on 06/05/2012

1,315

8

34

Meh. I'm with you, Joy -- aren't we (as a society) already messed up enough about sex and the human body without actively *trying* to pass on our hangups to our kids?

I think there comes a point where kids (though probably not all kids) start getting less comfortable with parental nekkidness and/or with being seen nekkid themselves. That's how it happened in my family -- my mom and I eventually had to stop parading around the house with nothing on because my younger brother at a certain point went GAAAAA DON'T DO THAT YOU GUYS OMG!!! If we knew he wasn't home, though, we'd still do it. I don't think I ever locked the bathroom door at home: if the door was closed, you knew to knock before going in, and if the door was open (which it often was) you knew it was OK to go in without knocking.

My DD who is almost 10 is starting to approach the eeewwww naked parents go away stage. She's seen both of us in the altogether many, many times -- the three of us live in a 2-bedroom flat that's maybe 800 square feet, which is not conducive to a whole lot of privacy -- but she's gone from Totally Nudist Toddler(tm) to closing her bedroom door when she's changing into her PJs at night ... although sometimes she'll still prance around naked on her way to the shower, don't ask me why :P

It's just not a big deal to us -- we're family.

Elfrieda - posted on 06/05/2012

2,620

0

462

Well, I do like my moments of alone time and privacy, and I sometimes lock the washroom door when I'm on the toilet so my toddler can't get in and I can maybe even read a few pages of my book. (my husband and I don't walk in on each other on the toilet, either. We don't always close the door all the way, but if one is in, it means it's occupied unless you just need to nip in to get something.)

On the other hand, we're trying to toilet train so I let him come in a lot, too, just so he gets the idea of sitting, then wiping, then flushing, then washing hands. Same with showers, if he's grumpy and won't bathe, or we're in a hurry and it's just been too many days without him bathing, we'll pop him in the shower with me or my husband. But it's nice to NOT have to watch him for a few minutes and relax in the steam.



I and my husband change in front of our son. He does point at various parts and look a bit confused, but he's not really verbal yet so we haven't explained anything, other than that he's figured out that we all have bums. "Mama bum? Yes! Daddy bum? Yes! Tomit bum? Yes!" :) (but the cat apparently does not have a bum. "Meow bum? No bum... tail!")



ETA: I do know someone who said she showered with her son until one day when he was one he looked at her nipples and said, "Buttons?" and OF COURSE she stopped showering with him right away. I didn't quite follow that logic, my son has also asked if they were buttons and I told him no, they're nipples, and no touching. It didn't seem quite the emergency that she made it out to be.

Jodi - posted on 06/05/2012

2,694

52

175

lol, oh boy! I'm just like you Joy. no privacy in this house, unless someone really wants/needs it. I am teaching my 3 year old that if someone closes the bathroom door, you need to knock and be invited in, or if someone asks to be alone to change or something, she needs to leave the room and wait.

She has asked about my pubic hair, she has aksed why I'm bleeding, she has asked about my breasts, my nipples and why I have "tiger stripes" (stretch marks) on my belly! lol I have answered them all the best I can in age appropriateness for her.

As for fall out down the road, maybe it's an issue for some kids, but my cousins were all raised this way (as was I), none of the boys OR girls ever had a problem at any age (we were VERY close, so anything big, we knew about it and talked about), I never had fall out from seeing my dad (or mom) naked pretty much every day. Well, I guess I did a little, I seemed to be one of the few who knew the correct term for our private parts and didn't giggle uncontrollably during sex ed or changing for gym. If that's fall out...I'll take it gladly. lol

26 Comments

View replies by

[deleted account]

@ Dove - i understand what you are saying and if that works for you then ok, but for me i am not comfortable with it and kids are able to pick up on those things.it's not like i freak out and hide myself if my son happens to walk in when i am changing or showering, i just try and tell him that sometimes mommies and daddies like to be by themselves when they are getting dressed or using the bathroom and it's nice to give them private time.

[deleted account]

Thanks for the replies girls :) Glad to see that there are so many who don't see nudity as a "bad" thing. A lot of times in the past that this topic has been debated, the ones who are very against being nude around their children....it just gets so heated that the opinions like the ones you girls have expressed get lost.
Also, I probably should have added in my OP that I DO value my privacy lol There are times when I won't even let the cat into the bathroom when I'm in there.

Becky - posted on 06/06/2012

2,892

44

93

We're very comfortable with nudity here! I do sometimes close the door when I'm pooping, but it's not for privacy, it's for a 2 minute break from 3 children 4 and under! I don't shower with the boys only because they don't like showers, and also because I like the water hotter than they do. But they often walk in on me while I'm in the shower. I change around them and will streak around the house if I need to run down to the laundry to grab an item of clothing. It's been a bit of an adjustment, actually, having a day home, because I have to remember to close the door when I'm using the bathroom, change little girls in private, etc.
My oldest does like his privacy when he's pooping. I'm not sure where he got that from, but it's fine with me, I don't really want to be in there anyway! If we're in a public bathroom, he'll make us turn around. It's quite funny.
I don't generally walk in on my husband while he's taking a dump, because, gross! But, our ensuite has a separate alcove for the toilet, but it doesn't have a door on it, so he will sometimes use the toilet while I'm showering or brushing my teeth. Drives me nuts when he comes in and stinks up the joint while I'm in there!
We haven't had too many questions, but we've had some. The boys are aware of the differences between male and female bodies. I have no problem answering anatomy questions. It's my 4 year old's recent rather pointed questions about how babies are made that have me scrambling a bit! Eek!

Janice - posted on 06/06/2012

1,890

18

63

This am I tried to get in the shower alone and my daughter was clamoring to get in. She was not happy when I told her no. I don't care about the nudity but you all are sure as hell right about needing that 15 minutes alone time!:)

~♥Little Miss - posted on 06/06/2012

21,273

9

3058

I like my privacy, but I sure as hell don't get it! When my husband is home, I actually get to close the bathroom door when i am taking a crap, but usually it stays open for everyone when we pee. My son is actually starting to close the door on his own when he pees and has always wanted the door closed when he poops.



Shower time, I don't do it when my daughter is awake, (unless my husband is home and he can distract her) cause she just wants to climb in. Not that there is anything wrong with it, I just want 10-15 minutes of piece. My son, I can trust him alone when I am in the shower, it is the little turkey I cannot trust.

Firebird - posted on 06/05/2012

2,660

30

521

My bathroom door only closes when I have company. My 7 year old daughter hasn't showered with me much in the last 2 years, but that's mainly because I can now trust her not to wreck the house while I'm showering. But if we both need a wash and I'm pressed for time, we'll both hop in the shower. Nudity is not frowned upon in my house, so if a towel drops I don't freak out, or I forgot to bring one, oh well. I don't go running as fast as I can to the nearest towel. lol

Stifler's - posted on 06/05/2012

15,141

154

604

i grew up in a home with a mom who showered, peed and pood in plain view of everyone else and didn't care, my dad on the other hand was always dressed and we weren't allowed in the bathroom when her was showering and he closed the door to use the bathroom. it got to the point where i and my brother felt uncomfortable with our moms nudity and even though we told her she insisted it was a natural thing and perfectly healthy. because of that xperience i try and have privacy when i can. if i'm in npublic i have no problem using the bathroom in front of my son (now 2 1/2) and if i have to i will shower/bathe with him, but i only do it when i really need to. otherwise i try and limit the time i spend around him naked. when he asks questions i answer them honestly as i can but i personally feel increasinlgy uncomfortable with being naked o using the bathroom in front of my son

Amanda - posted on 06/05/2012

1,677

13

310

I still occassionally shower with my 4 yr old son, we have no issues with privacy in our house.

Both my son and my daughter ask questions about my body and theirs and I try and answer in ways that they can understand.

Our bathroom door never gets shut when we are using the toilet or having a shower, my husband is the only one that refuses to let anyone in when he's in there, think it's more he's not comfortable with my daughter seeing him naked.

[deleted account]

i grew up in a home with a mom who showered, peed and pood in plain view of everyone else and didn't care, my dad on the other hand was always dressed and we weren't allowed in the bathroom when her was showering and he closed the door to use the bathroom. it got to the point where i and my brother felt uncomfortable with our moms nudity and even though we told her she insisted it was a natural thing and perfectly healthy. because of that xperience i try and have privacy when i can. if i'm in npublic i have no problem using the bathroom in front of my son (now 2 1/2) and if i have to i will shower/bathe with him, but i only do it when i really need to. otherwise i try and limit the time i spend around him naked. when he asks questions i answer them honestly as i can but i personally feel increasinlgy uncomfortable with being naked o using the bathroom in front of my son

Kelina - posted on 06/05/2012

2,018

9

235

lol nudity is no biggie in my house. I do however lock the door when I go to the bathroom but that's only because I'm sick of having to move my kids hands away and say "that's mine!" My son will sit and stare and my daughter will try and shove her hands between my legs. so the bathroom is my 30 seconds of alone time throughout the day. Other than that, meh. We walk around the house naked, when the kids get up in the middle of the night we answer them naked, my son will finish his bath then run out into the living room, whip off his towel and say, "Naked boy!" then run away. If my daughter can managed to get all her clothes off without my interfering she's quite proud of herself. My son knows what boobs are and can point to his own nipples. Really funny when he tried to breastfeed a doll after my daughter was born. And we shower with our kids. Not often but ti's probably going to happen today cause I need a shower lol. I don't see why parents shouldn't be naked around their kids. When they start to get uncomfortable with it, we'll probably tone it down a bit, but really, naked is far more comfortable.

Brittney - posted on 06/05/2012

1,510

49

728

I think it is natural to ask questions and its wonderful that you are answering them. I don't see the problem with bathing/showering with your child or him/her seeing you naked. I saw my mom naked plenty of times and my daughter has seen me and my husband (her father) naked. We have an open door policy when it comes to the bathroom. When she wants privacy, she will ask for it (by closing a door or stepping out or maybe she will say that were weird!)

Janice - posted on 06/05/2012

1,890

18

63

No privacy in this family, yet. My kids are still little - 2.5 years & 6 months so its no biggie. My daughter has shared showers with my hubby and me for awhile now. She is a daddy's girl and often insists on showering with him when he gets home, because she misses him. We have taught her its not okay to touch anyone's "private parts" and she is good with that. Between breastfeeding and my lack of concern about being naked my boobs are often out. My daughter remembers breastfeeding, even though she weaned over a year ago, and when her brother was 1st born she would ask to feed too. She still will pat my breast sometimes and if hubby or I are topless she sometimes says "I really like your boobies mom/dad" Its really funny but hopefully doesnt get said in public, like at the beach :)



Toilet time is often a family event too. There is zero privacy going #1. Hubby and I give each other privacy when going #2 but our daughter often comes in although we are trying to teach privacy for that particular bodily function. When she is pooping I will leave and tell her to call for me when its time to wipe.



I dont see us reclaiming any privacy any time soon. I'm sure the baby will start joining some showers too and definitely baths with his sister. And of course toilet time will need to be observed for potty training. I'm with you Joy, I just do not understand why some people are so squeemish around their own child/ren.

Stifler's - posted on 06/05/2012

15,141

154

604

I don't think it's odd to want privacy to pee really. I don't want to see Damo in the toilet and I doubt he wants to see me either. Not that i think it's abnormal or wrong to to do it in front of each other.

[deleted account]

I see nothing wrong with showering with the kids.



That said, I never did it. Not because I thought it would "damage" him in anyway, but my shower is my 15 minutes a day to relax under a steaming hot stream of water and cover myself in all my good smelly soaps and creams--I want it for ME! lol My husband hss showered with J on occasion.



J does see me naked a good bit--less often now, as he is becoming less comfortable and will leave the room if he comes in when I am unclothed. He's not embarrassed, he just considers it a private moment and gives me time to finish. I actually kind of like that he is developing that sense because I can get dressed in peace now, and I think it's a good balance between everything he sees/hears at school.



Bodily functions, *I* prefer to be done in private. Again, not because I think having J see us performing them would somehow damage him, but because they've always grossed me out a bit--perhaps I'm odd. I've been married for 10 years, my husband & I have yet to see each other pee, and I like it that way. That said, I did have J do everything with the door open until he was about 4 ish because I needed to hear when he was finished to help him clean up. Around age 4, he gradually morphed into a kid who could handle his own cleanup and started closing the door on his own.

S. - posted on 06/05/2012

1,182

9

312

I am a lot like MeMe except my two youngest daughter's (4 and 1) don't care about being naked my oldest daughter and my hb do out of respect for each other. O and there's no point in locking my bathroom door as they can and do open it from the out side if they know I'm in there.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/05/2012

3,377

8

66

I very rarely close the bathroom when I am using it. However, my husband and daughter always close the door. More because my daughter is close to 14 and she likes her privacy and my husband, I and probably my daughter prefer for the two of them, to not be seen naked. She is just a wee too old now, to see her step-father naked. Since I am the Mom, it doesn't matter who sees me! lol



I do close and lock the door when I shower, though. Mostly because that is my time to relax and I just don't want stragglers coming in and bothering me, like my husband would every single time! ;)



I never close the door when I get dressed and I will run around looking for something in my bra and underwear.



So, I am the only one in my home, aside from my boy, where it is completely fine to be seen naked, at pretty much any interval of the day.

Stifler's - posted on 06/05/2012

15,141

154

604

I shower with the kids and just get dressed in front of them if they want to play in our room while I'm choosing clothes. Sometimes I walk through the house naked. I close the toilet door though. I don't pee in front of my husband or do poos or change my tampon. I just don't want to.

Louise - posted on 06/05/2012

5,429

69

2322

I think it is ok until the child feels uncomfortable. When your son is at school he will mix with kids that dont see this as normal. Here he will learn that the norm is to see the womans body as rude. Then you will have to deal with the fall out of that. I have to say I dont have a problem with my daughter showering with me or seeing me nude. She after all is going to be a woman. I would not do it with my sons. My sons would be mortified if I did this. I went on holiday with my lads when they were 5 and 7 and was trying to go topless on the beach. They were not having that and were so angry with me. You have to see this situation through the eyes of the child and what society sees as normal. Carrying on could make him feel very uncomfortable.

[deleted account]

I'm with you joy, I don't see anything wrong with nudity around or bathing with your child, it baffles me how people see it as being perverse or wrong, my only exception is if one of the people (mom, dad, kid) are uncomfortable with it, then I feel their comfort levels should be respected.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms