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Nudity and step-children

(14 Posts)
wickedwitchNE Wed 31-Jul-13 17:55:12

Hi, just hoping to get some advice on tackling me (not) being naked in front of my DSD. She is 5yo and I have been living with her dad (and so her half the time) for 3 years so she doesn't really remember me not being in her life. I have never really been a 'parent' though - 3 years ago and aged 21 I didn't know about mumsnet and none of my friends, all at uni, had ever been in my position, so I was a bit lost as to how to handle becoming a SM. We took it very, very slowly and I have purposely kept back at all times - only looked after her alone less than 10 times, not being involved in access arrangements/school/major decisions etc.

Only writing all this to try to explain our relationship. I adore her, and she is very easy to love/parent thankfully. But while she is part of my family, she is not my daughter, and I 'come behind' her dad and his parents and sister in terms of my role in her life. Anyway, a few times before I have had to shower with her around, either when looking after her or if we have gone swimming. When she was younger and I couldn't leave her unattended I actually wore a bikini in the shower/bath, and if she wanted she could have come in with me. I know it sounds odd but I just didn't really know how appropriate it was for her to see me naked. Plus I am quite weird about stripping off in front of people. Recently however she has started trying to catch me out naked and keeps asking me why I hide away from her. I know she has seen her mum, aunts, and various grandmothers naked so she obviously doesn't have a problem with it, it's my issue.

I don't want her to pick up on any body issues from me, and I also don't want to be inappropriate! So basically - am I being completely weird by refusing to strip off in front of a child (I think I am), and as I can't seem to get over this, how on earth can I explain it to her?

wickedwitchNE Wed 31-Jul-13 17:56:49

PS - apologies for a ridiculously long explanation of a simple issue!

purpleroses Wed 31-Jul-13 20:41:19

I think if you were comfortable stripping in front of her, it would be fine. But you're not comfortable, and that's OK too. Families differ in terms of what they find normal. Both my DCs used to wonder round the house naked, but DP wasn't really comfortable with that, so I've gradually discouraged it (and now puberty has hit, so they've changed anyway). His DCs haven't seen him naked since they were tiny I don't think, and always change under a duvet.

I think you should go on covering up if that's what you're comfortable with, but make it clear to her that that's just because of they way you were brought up, and it's also fine for her to see other family members naked, or to be naked herself at home if she wants to.

wickedwitchNE Wed 31-Jul-13 21:00:45

Thanks. I guess I didn't consider that this could be an issue for any family. Well actually not an issue at all, just differences in personality. I've found I have a habit of over thinking things with DSD which I'd assumed would be instinctive if you are a parent yourself, this might just be one of them!

emilyeggs Wed 31-Jul-13 22:36:10

Exactly the same with my dsd 6. She was 2 when we got together...3 when DH and I moved in and had skids eow. She is quite an open and confident little girl and also very loving. She has seen me naked from the waist up, at first when i was getting changed swimming or at home, then BF her dhb (my ds). I was at first a bit uncomfortable as I wasn't sure if it was appropriate but she started trying to peek at me. I realised that seeing other female family members nude was normal to her so it must have seemed strange (and only provoked her curiosity) that she hadn't seen me like that. Just do what you are comfortable with but keep her inquisitive nature in mind smile

UC Thu 01-Aug-13 10:06:30

Well, I wouldn't be too worried about it if I were you. My DSCs haven't seen me naked, but I came into their lives later, and they are boys - they would be v embarrassed! My own DCs have seen me naked a lot, and they have also seen my DP, their step dad in the shower and bath, or getting changed into swim gear. They don't bat an eyelid. I don't think it would be inappropriate for your DSD to see you shower or to change in the swimming pool. I actually think it is odder that you change into a bikini to shower!

wickedwitchNE Thu 01-Aug-13 11:46:58

Thanks for the input. I know the bikini wearing was odd, and got me teased mercilessly by ILs, I was just a bit clueless about kids and it was a quick solution while her dad wasn't there.

It's completely mental that I am shy in front of a 5 year old, but she is going through a phase where she is discussing people's body parts (and hair, much to her aunt's embarrassment!!) and it just freaks me out a bit that now she would be actively looking, and processing what she sees. Currently 20w pregnant so it really is time I got over the prudishness!

Fairy130389 Fri 02-Aug-13 07:51:21

No chance I could get away with hiding nakedness from dsd - I was first female other than 70 year old granny around for a while so was a massive novelty and she was DESPERATE to come in the bath with me virtually from day one. Fast forward to now and I get loud announcements in the street "fairy, your stretch marks from when George was in your tummy are MASSIVE, will they EVER dissapear? " (just had a baby and was very very intrigued by it all). She was 4 and a half when we met.

Just go with what you are comfortable with but honestly I think when you have your baby you will relax a bit anyway x

Fairy130389 Fri 02-Aug-13 07:53:19

And my stretch marks aren't even that bad. blush honest.

kakey19 Fri 02-Aug-13 08:38:47

I have 2 step children when i met their dad dsd was 3 and dss was 8 they permanently lived with their dad as their mother died due to cancer, and I had the same issue once I moved in dsd wanted me to take her to the toilet or the bath etc and when having a bath wanted me to o get in also, this is something I never felt comfortable doing so didnt make a big issue oit of it I just simply pointed out there wasn't enough roomgrin
once I moved in I asked hubby if he minded that our bedroom was a childfree area so I could get changed in private and its never been a problem thankfully! !

welshfirsttimemummy Fri 02-Aug-13 09:21:19

I also have a 5 year old DSD who I met when she was 2. Me and my DH have lived together 2 years and I don't get naked I front of her either. I'm not her mum and she knows it, so I feel that for me personally I wouldn't get naked in front of her. It just doesn't feel right. That's not to say other people who do get naked around step children are doing anything wrong smile it's just not the relationship I have with DSD.

Kaluki Fri 02-Aug-13 22:48:48

No I havent and wound never be naked in front of my dsc. We took them swimming this week and dSD and I shared a cubicle. I helped her dry and dress then made her wait outside while I got ready. If she had been one of my own at that age I wouldnt have thought twice but not with DSD.

Ficklefrancis Mon 05-Aug-13 11:26:49

I have 3 DC and 3 DSC and I get changed on front of my DC but not my DSC.
When we go swimming my eldest (11) changes on her own but my ds (9) & dd (6) get changed with us and there is a lot of eye averting which gets hilarious.
I have not actually been swimming with the skids but at home I don't change in front of them, not even dh's dd. Although his ds (6) regularly tries to walk in on me when I'm changing lol
I think you do what's comfortable for you and don't worry about it. I expect after you have had your baby you won't mind so much but I do understand how you feel.

RinseAndRepeat Mon 12-Aug-13 14:38:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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