Why would you hide your body from your children?
I’m walking around in the nude eating granola and reading the news online when an article catches my eye. Singer Mariah Carey says she wears a swimsuit when she has a bath, just in case her four-year-old twins wander in.
For the record, I wasn’t really in the nude when I read this, but I could have been because I walk around nude in front of my children all the time. It’s not let’s-eat-dinner or sit-around-watching-TV in your birthday suit kind of nudity. Or even cooking/gardening/or exercising nudity. That’s just 70s.
But it is getting-out-of-the-shower, drop-the-towel-to-get-into-my-clothes sort of nudity. It’s a lying in the bath but not covering myself with a towel when they walk in kind of nudity. It’s sleeping in the nude kind of nudity.
My children usually respond to my nudity by covering their eyes like I’m Medusa about to turn them into stone.
They wail like their eyes are being burned out by the sun. They say things like: “Oh my God mum, that is SO gross, put on some clothes.”
I respond: “If you don’t like it, get out of my room.” And I shake my boobs as they leave.
I’ve never tried to shield my body from their eyes because: (a) I’m not embarrassed to be naked in front of them. I was the girl in Year 7 who just stripped off in front of everyone in the change rooms while the rest of the class huddled behind their towels. (b) I never wanted them to be embarrassed about their bodies so I showed them I wasn’t embarrassed about mine. (c) If they see my vagina they might not freak out about their own vaginas when they realise they look different to other vaginas. (d) Get out of my room.
Which brings me back to Mariah Carey saying she wears swimmers when she gets in the bath around her kids.
“I’ll often take a bath in a bathing suit knowing that I’m going to have to let them in. It’s that one thing that used to be my private time, and now it’s not, but that’s OK,” she says.
To each of her own, I’m not going to drag down the parenting choices of a world-class diva. But it is weird, right? Those children probably came out of her vagina. They may even have breast-fed on those boobs. So, what’s the big deal about them seeing it when they are aged four?
I used to bath naked with my kids. These days they don’t want to have a bath with me, more’s the pity. But while co-bathing is out, nudity is not. I’m certainly not going to start hiding myself — and my vagina — from them just because they are growing up.
They can just get the hell out of my room.
Do you let your children see you naked?