I'm A Mom Of Two Boys & We Live In A Naked House

I’m just gonna come out and say it: I live in my own personal naked house. I make a point to walk around the upstairs of my home (we have far too many uncovered windows downstairs!) naked.

My pregnancies with my two delicious sons, who are now 11 and 8, did a number on my body. My adorable innie belly button is long gone, replaced instead with a herniated beak. My once flat (or flatish) stomach has been replaced by rolls and a lovely (not so little) C-section-induced FUPA. I hold my weight now in my hips and upper legs, and my large breasts have not defied gravity in the slightest. All this to say, I have far from the perfect body. Which is exactly why I walk around naked.

In other words, it’s not because I love my body; I don’t really. It’s because I want my kids to see reality, self-love, and body positivity come from one of the people they trust most.

I grew up pretty comfortable being naked. I went to an all girls’ school from kindergarten through high school, and went to an all girls’ camp where we showered in big stalls together (does such a thing still happen?!). Sure, as an adult before I had kids I was a lot more precious about my body, using a towel to cover myself at the gym while changing — I was and never will be one of those women who walk around naked at the gym. But something changed post-pregnancies. Perhaps I’m less guarded because I’ve been poked and prodded by all sorts of medical professionals; all vanity and demure behavior goes flying out the window after your first few OBGYN appointments.

I think, though, that my show of feminism, of empowerment and acceptance, instead comes in the form of being literally naked with my imperfect body. Now, I don’t sit around nude. But instead of covering up with a bathrobe — which always makes me hot and sweaty post-shower anyway — I just walk around in all my unrefined glory. To me, it’s showing my sons what a real woman’s body — one that has birthed two kids and has its flaws — looks like, and how to stand proud in it. It’s showing them that while, sure, I like air-drying, bodies come in all shapes and squiggles, that bodies aren’t a “problem” to be dealt with, even if I have a hard time with it on most days myself.

While so much of the discussion around body positivity focuses (rightly) on girls, we have to watch ourselves in front of our boys, too. As a parent, I spend a lot of time pointing out gaps in thinking about race or inequality in media or books or on the street when I see it. The same should be done for our bodies. And I want my kids to truly understand the power in self-acceptance and self-assurance. It’s something I’ve grappled with my whole life, and though it might look different for them, it might be something they deal with their whole lives, too.

To be sure, my kids are still young(ish) and have never once asked why I don’t cover up. Nor have they asked me to do so. If and when they do, I will certainly change my ways. But for now, I will happily traipse my perfectly imperfect body around without a care.

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