I have always been a “nudie booty” in my own home. I would come home from work or class and just shed my clothes. I was that way before I got married, and I remained that way after I got Offbeat Wed.
It’s not so much that I dislike clothes; I actually love them quite a bit. I love to be able to express myself with my wardrobe, but when I want to relax, I don’t want anything to do with them.
Not even underwear. Nudie Booty! I just like nudity at home.
My husband had always liked it in the past. He’d come home from a long day at work to find his bare girlfriend sitting at her computer playing World of Warcraft, or his disrobed pregnant wife sleeping on the couch. It was my own body, and it wasn’t a secret.
He even thought it was cute after our first son was born to find the two of us fresh from the bath, napping in the bed.
But something changed when we found out our second child was a boy, too.
Not too long after the big gender reveal of our latest pregnancy, my husband came home and found me and our son, playing in the bathtub together.
He very calmly said “Don’t you think you should start covering up around him? He’s getting a little old for that.”
I just brushed it off saying that our two-year-old didn’t care or understand just yet.
Husband let it go.
But my nakedness has come up again
Our youngest son is about to turn one. Our oldest son is just over three, and well aware of the differences between my body parts and his and his brother’s.
The thought of my nudity at home around our sons has stirred up a sense of panic in my husband again.
He uses words like “appropriate” and “decent” and “private parts” to try to justify my need for covering up. I guess I still don’t really get it — why I, as their mother, would need to cover up around my sons.
Husband and I had a long talk about it one night because I honestly don’t understand his problem with my being bare around our boys and he rebutted that he didn’t understand why it was such a big deal to me.
That one stumped me.
I told him I’d think about it and get back to him.
Well, I’ve thought about it, and here’s why it’s a big deal: because my body isn’t bad.
Why should I hide my very real body from my sons? They’re going to be accosted by images of perfectly Photoshopped and smooth women their entire lives.
Wouldn’t it be a good idea to show them, starting from a young age, what one real woman’s body looks like? A size 10, saggy belly, dimply, stretch-marked, real and very imperfect body.
Wouldn’t it be a good idea to show them that bodies are nothing to be ashamed of? That just because you’re not what our society deems as perfect doesn’t mean you should be ashamed of your body. This is part of modeling health body image.
I want my sons to grow up with a much healthier view of their bodies than I had growing up.
I want them to see their bodies as instruments, not ornaments. Finely tuned machines that need to be treated well to run well with good clean fuel and plenty of exercise. To make them want to do all these things because they want to be healthy, not just skinny.
I want them to respect all shapes, sizes, and colors of people’s bodies for more than just their aesthetic appeal. To realize that there is much more to a woman (or any person) than just her physical body.
I feel like not changing who I am, not hiding my body or being ashamed of my body will be a good foundation and example to point my sons into this direction.
But I will adapt as they become older children
Of course, I do realize there will probably come a time when being around a noody-booty mommy will embarrass one or both of my boys, and when the time comes that one of them asks me to cover up, I will.
But for now, while they still have innocent pliable minds, I think my nooty booty will do them more good than harm.
If you’re navigating conversations about family nudity in YOUR home, here’s some further reading to do:
And now, courtesy of SP Families, I offer this reading list for other parents who want to raise children who aren’t afraid of nudity:
From Diapers to Dating: A Parent’s Guide to Healthy Children- From Infancy to Middle School by Debra W. Haffner
Beyond the Big Talk: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Healthy Teens- From Middle School to High School and Beyond by Debra W. Haffner
Ten Talks Parents Must Have with Their Children by Pepper Schwartz and Dominic Cappello
How to Talk to Your Child: It’s Best to Start Early but It’s Never Too Late- A Step by Step Guide for Every Age by Linda Eyre and Richard Eyre
Exploitation: Helping Kids Develop by Cindy Pierce
30 Days of Talks for Ages 12+: Empowering Your Child with Knowledge of Intimacy (Volume 3) by Educate and Empower Kids
It’s Not the Birds and the Bees!: How to Talk to Children by Dr. TaMara Griffin
Beyond Birds and Bees: Bringing Home a New Message to Our Kids by Bonnie J. Rough
Comments on Family nudity: my sons see me nude at home
Coming from a split family – parents never married, never lived together during my childhood, etc. – I must say I’m surprised by a lot of the “female-only” nudity. My father and I showered together until I was 7 or so, because it was just easier to do all the showering at once in the morning. And it saves water :). Yet at my mother’s house, she was the prudish one who had a part in my lack of pride for my wonderful human body. With comments such as, “Oh my gosh, you have boobs!” Very loudly…after me asking her to get a towel, then covering her eyes and handing it to me. At 12 that can leave an impression of, is it bad to have boobs? Is my body so off putting that even my mother doesn’t want to look at it?
Now, being step-mom to an 8 year old boy who changes his clothes for school with the door closed and doesn’t even like his father in the bathroom with him, I can see how large the range is of “acceptable” (Ick, dislike that word) nudity to other parenting styles. But, with my own baby girl on the way and full intentions of breastfeeding, my little man is going to have to be amiable at least to some topless-ness. Girl’s gotta eat.
Point of it all is… Adjust accordingly in today’s blended family climate. Deciding exactly how you will handle the situation now is probably fruitless.
I really liked the article because I’ve actually had a deep discussion with my husband about nudity and he agreed with me, even saying he wouldn’t mind being nude himself. What had peaked our interest though is a family-friendly park in North Georgia called “Serendipity Park”. Yes a nudist park in Georgia for all ages and backgrounds. They have strict rules, and even great sanitation guidelines for the most germaphobe guest. They have been around for years and me and my husband have always wanted to go. I love going through the testimonials and getting excited to see entire families bare it all with no shame. NONE, zip.. NADDA. I think the author should take it a step farther and go to one of these places with their family. It might even open up their husband’s sense of ‘decency’. I mean , wouldn’t be nice to just have fun and be judged for your character than how you look in clothes?Being nude isn’t shameful at all, its empowering and even spiritual in some ways. Keep on with the Nudie booty and be proud. =)
As I said in another comment, I strongly advise go to a nudist resort, where you can meet families, They go there just to live the social nudity. A lot of preconceived ideas goes down after that.
I just want to say that this article and the discussion following it are why I love this site!! Intelligent and respectful points and counter points 🙂 Also, my husband and I are now having our own discussion.
Not sure how I feel about the nudity. I LOVE the idea of fostering body acceptance and healthy ideas about a woman’s body. But I must admit I feel a little different about a father than mother… not sure why I feel that way either. Something to ponder…
I wouldn’t say that my mum is a nude-loving person, but to this day she does not care if we kids (including my 16 year old brother) see her naked in the bathroom or when she is getting dressed. I usually storm in the bathroom to get something and on the way out give her a little slap on her bum :D. I used to see my dad naked in the bathroom all the time too, until eventually I felt uncomfortable with it (age 12?). I think the German culture is a lot more open with nudeness. That said I remember sleeping over at my friends house, when I was like 9 – and her parents would fit really nicely on offbeatmama. Very hippy, very sexual people and these days they actually own a house in a FKK village in France – where you even shop naked in the supermarket. The dad came in to say good night to my friend that night and actually gave me a good night kiss on my head too – the weird thing being that he was naked doing so.
My mom would sleep nude & would sometimes walk around in various states of undress while getting ready/going to bed.
I, however am a very private person. I don’t like being naked other than while showering or changing. I’ve even given sleeping naked a shot a couple of times to see how it’d go, but it turns out I hate it. Despite my upbringing, I don’t like being in the nude, so I feel like in my experience, it really comes down to personality/personal preference.
If/when I have children, the topic of nudity/covering up will focus on social expectations- otherwise I’ll probably have to address things as they may come up. I do think, however that a child shouldn’t have their parents’ nudity forced upon them if they are clearly uncomfortable with it.
Every family does have to figure out what is right for them. Your comfort level will speak volumes to where you land on this. My experience was that my mom was naked around us growing up… not hanging out naked but certainly comfortable enough to converse with us while she dressed, etc. By the time my 3 brothers were all born, she was a single mother. Raising 3 teenage boys alone made her uncomfortable and she became crazy strict about covering up, even to the point of yelling at me when my daughter came along. As a result, my brothers all have serious issues with women and nudity. One of them has a real problem with women and is quite twisted over all sexuality.
The funny thing is, one comment here mentioned slinky nightgowns… I think that is more inappropriate than naked. The whole point is to show our boys that not all nudity is sexual. I would never wear something intended to initiate sex in front of my boys.
Recently I heard a friend of my son’s ask “when you were little, did your mom walk around naked?” My 17 yr old son responded, “She still does.” (with an eyeroll)
That’s exactly where I want him to be.
Good for you. Out of curiosity, what is the oldest you will you let your boys be naked in front of you?
My wife and are casually naked in front of our son who is going on five years old now. Her family is comfortable with casual nudity like this – her parents were ok with letting her siblings and her see them naked – and my parents were not prudes either. So we think this is normal behavior.
I totally agree with you KB. Total nudity at home is practiced by many families with children.
You are doing no harm, my mother walks around the house naked all the time. Infront of me and my brother. Even when my brother was 15 she still would. But that doesn’t mean you should always be naked. Maybe just around the night. And whenever they have friends over be sure to cover up. And no, your children will not be scared by this, as you said they will just think of it as mommy’s body nothing more they won’t even think about it.
I am neither a nudist or a prude and I certainly don’t have a model figure. I have now turned 50 with 2 boys nearing their 30’s who flew the nest many years ago. Being seen naked, in the shower, dressing or being topless on holiday was never an issue. Yes they did go through a period of wanting their privacy as their bodies changed but they were still comfortable enough to be around me when i was dressing or drying off. Yes i could have put barriers up and shut them out, but why, they grew up with me and if they were uncomfortable then they could make sure they steered clear.
But… the important thing is everyone and every family are different.
My husband and i recently went on holiday with my best friend (40 and divorced) along with her 2 children (boy 12, girl 7) to a villa in Spain. We have been on holidays together in the past and we both sunbathe topless. Both kids have been brought up that nudity is not an issue and would often jump in the pool with no clothes on and then dry off at the side of the pool before getting dressed. However at any other time the daughter made it clear that she wanted privacy to shower, get dressed etc…. but thats kids for you. Its right and proper that they are educated in the etiquette of when its not acceptable and why but otherwise they will find their comfort level
As a guy that grew up in a totally uptight family – including my extended family – I applaud all of you. It’s taken me DECADES to get over all the societal rubbish surrounding nudity and human sexuality.
I’m a fairly private person , I dont like being nude in front of people. I am only nude around my husband and my almost 1 1/2 year old son. that’s my personal choice. We cosleep and i only feel comfortable sleeping with my baby with underwear on, again my choice, my comfort levels. I started only sleeping in tanktops and underwear sometimes just underwear on especially hot nights at 17 and my parents always made sure to knock before opening my door . I saw my mother naked in the shower/bath growing up and the only negative things she said about her body is she wished she could lose weight and have bigger boobs .. but luckily that never affected me . I saw both my moms (biological and adopted ) in just their underwear. That was okay for me but seeing my dads ( adopted and biological ) in just their underwear made me feel really uncomfortable. my adopted dad always put on a robe before i came in to chat in my folks room for which i was grateful. my husband used to not lounge around nude/partialy nude wear pjs and clothes all the time but now he enjoys lounging in just his boxers. I think i rubbed off on him… . We’re mormon but pretty relaxed at home with our clothing levels, usually down to our underwear. we just throw on clothes if people come over. i hope to teach my son its okay to love your body and mommies look stretched out women of different body types are pretty and its okay to be different. I just hope my son can tell me verbally or non verbally hes uncomfortable as he gets bigger and I’ll respect his comfort levels . my husband is worried though our son might make it awkward .but well get there when we get there his parents were very conservative mine were not as much. just some of my rambling thoughts
I think mothers and dads should keep their clothes on. Nudity is for kids and younger people. My sisters and I went naked a lot before we reached puberty. After that the girls tended to cover up but as a boy I was accepted as a nude boy even when I came home on college vacations. We even have some very nice family photos taken in the woods where the boys and younger men are naked, everyone else is covered up except for some younger girls who are only wearing jeans or shorts. I was told this used to be the norm but now it seems women’s bodies are on display for all, meanwhile boys don’t even want to shower together at school. I think the modern world is very sick and we should go back to the way it used to be. In particular, parents should never appear naked in front of their kids. As the saying goes, familiarity breeds contempt. Of course I come from a civilized white culture in New England, I suppose it may be different in Europe or elsewhere. By the way “mom” no one is saying there is “something wrong” with your body. That doesn’ t mean you should strut around naked in front of your kids.
Me and my wife used to be naked at home when our children were young. But after they reached puberty, we decided it was better we cover up in front of them. But they were allowed to be naked at home every time they felt like it. We just gave them the power to decide when.
I find this fascinating. I am a 15 year old guy, and my mother has very much been a ‘quick, cover up’ type of mother. I, on the other hand, have a different perspective on this. Whenever I’m by myself I love being naked. This leads to another question. As I mentioned earlier, I’m 15, and I want to be naked with my mother, to experience it. Heck, I may not even like it, however I just want to experience it. Is this wrong? But I certainly wish I had a mum like you, cos I feel like some of my insecurities have appeared because of this ‘hideaway’ attitude. Please help!
I completely agree with your take on things, but I have one caveat. Once they start going to school, if they draw you naked you will get a call from the social worker and have to go in to a meeting. Be prepared to explain your healthy attitude towards the human body*. I think our culture has an unhealthy connection between nudity and sex. Sex is a verb, a body- a person- is a noun. It took me a long time to be comfortable being nude around others, and as a child I never saw my dad in less than full clothing or pajamas and a robe. I felt so uncomfortable around men, especially at the swimming pool, because of the unhealthy association between uncovered skin and sex. I think your nudity will help your sons be more comfortable around women, and respectful of them. They will never equate “skimpy” clothing with wanting sex! (* based on my experience of my daughter’s drawing of “on the day I was born”- a standard Kindergarten project. She drew a naked lady on a hospital table spread-eagle with the doctor holding a baby. The social worker and principal wanted to know where she would see such a thing (gasp!). I almost laughed. She liked watching “A Baby Story” on TLC. I was relieved because my daughter is a very detailed artist- and she was a C-section lol. I was expecting a lot of blood and a cut open belly.)
I was raised not to be modest; for as long as I can remember, I was never required to wear a robe or use a towel to cover up when walking from the bedroom to the shower and back. I grew up being naked in front of my mother in various circumstances. When I was young, she would draw my bath. As I got older, she would walk in the bathroom when I was showering, and stay there when I got out and dried off. When I was young, she picked out my clothes. As I got older, she would walk in my room while I was dressing. I changed my clothes and underwear in front of her. She has even walked in my bedroom and seen me sleep nude.
Being naked in front of my mom was just a natural thing; I never gave it a second thought. I didn’t walk around the house nude, nor was I some sort of nudist. But I never thought much of it having her in my room while I dressed, or in the bathroom while I showered. She saw me nude until I moved out in my early twenties.
I know this is an old post but lemme say that:
Sexualized nudity is of course off-limits any time. I don’t think anyone here meant it, but this is a definite no-no. Some parents tend to forgot that.
Non-sexualized nudity is okay as long as your kids are confortable around you (and vice-versa : their non-sexualized nudity is okay as long as YOU’re confortable around them). It teaches them bodies are nothing to be ashamed of. But if they show discomfort when, say, you’re brushing your teeth naked, just close that door. Imposing nudity on anyone, especially kids, especially YOUR kids, is a form a sexual violence, even with the best intention. I was subject to it for 9 years. It leaves psychological damages paramount to incest. In my home country, it is actually considered a form of incest by doctors and therapists.
I think that your comments say more about you then the subject at hand!
Sexualized nudity???? What is that?
Nudity is just nudity…nothing else.
Are you talking about partial nudity meant to be sexual???
Could be! But I have never known anyone, including myself, who had spent time around naked people who thought that it was anything erotic! It was just naked bodies!
People’s comments on this subject are much more revealing..about them..than just the act of nudity!
So much this. I’m one of 3 daughters. I showered with my mom until I was about 8 to save time in the mornings. My mom (sizes 14-18 when I was growing up) was consistently in bras and underwear around the house and not shy about me seeing her naked.
I grew up with minimal body image issues compared to my peers. I never had an eating disorder, and now I’m 25 and know the difference between feeling fat or feeling unhealthy. I work out because it makes me feel good, not because I want a certain number on the scale. My sisters are similarly well adjusted.
My mom never made a fuss about how she looked, my dad was the one who bought us clothes at Christmas (which were returned by the new year without fail) and emphasized self respect when it came to clothing and appearance. I grew up seeing my mom for who she was: a brilliant engineer, a good listener, and a human calculator. Someone who could (and did) read the entire Harry Potter series in two sittings. I grew up seeing my dad as a bit narcissistic and sexually repressive, and his dress codes for us affect me still today when I cannot bring myself to wear spaghetti straps outside of the home.
Children need to see real grown-up bodies. As long as it’s innocent, it is doing them good and not harm.
Hmm. This is a fairly self-centered article. Waiting for that moment of expression of discomfort may never come. Men get visually aroused. It happens young too, before even understanding what is happening or why. It’s one thing to consider nakedness from a practical angle, like going from the bathroom to a bedroom if you forget a towel or something, but teaching children to be positive about their body image and what’s normal doesn’t have to come from being naked at home. This sends more of a behavior message than a message regarding body image. Just because nothing happens outwardly, doesn’t mean there isn’t a real risk of negatively impacting children. The whole concept seems entirely unnecessary.
ai was raised in a conservative family where nudity was impossible. However many a times during my early age I had seen my mom naked while taking shower. Whether it was that image or my nature, I used to take off clothes at night, though my younger sister would sleep in same room. Later I would walk along the house when parents were out. Never cared if my sis was around. After I was sent to big city for education, I had to stay in hostel. There I was free. No clothes at night.
After marriage me and my husband decided to stay naked at home. Now I have two daughters, 7 and 3, but still we prefer not to wear clothes. So our daughters. I like to see them grown up in natural dress, they certainly would see us naked. Why to wrap ourselves? If I am not going to teach my daughters about nudity (and of course sex) they would certainly get right or wrong idea from outside.
There is a very good reason not to be nude …of course there are always exceptions to every rule. When your child starts having natural sexual thoughts you don’t want to be the focus of them just because of proximity. The child might be ashamed of the thoughts which could cause repression and confusion. A certain personality could really be troubled by it. I know people who lived this and it wasn’t good.