There is No Modesty in Motherhood

If you ask anyone who knows me, they’ll tell you that I’m a pretty modest person.   I always have been.   When I was in middle school, we had to change in the girl’s locker room in the gym.   Everyone just stripped down into their gym clothes.   I hid in the bathroom.   Every single day.

What can I say?   I’m a modest mouse.

So far, I’ve been able to stay pretty modest while being a mom.   I don’t take Beanie into the bathroom with me.   I don’t change in front of him.   I don’t leave the door open while I shower.   Of course, I make sure he is in a safe place while I take care of my personal bizzzness.   Usually, he chills in his crib while I take a shower in the mornings and get dressed.   He plays in there and doesn’t mind at all.

But the other morning, Beanie was in no mood to be left alone.   He was fussy and crying and did not want to be in his crib.   So, I put his bouncer seat on the floor in my bathroom and got him all set up with some toys.   Then, I got into my shower with all my clothes on, got undressed behind the shower curtain and then started the shower while standing in there.   Sure, it was a little extra effort, but it wasn’t that bad.

So, I shower there in peace while Bean played in his bouncer.   When my shower was over, I turned the water off and stuck my head to grab my towel that hangs on a hook within arms reach of the shower.

But my towel wasn’t there.

It was all the way across the bathroom.

And what happened to be sitting between me and my towel?



So, I stand there, freezing and dripping wet for a couple minutes, trying to decide how to get my towel without having to step out of the shower.   Finally, I get a plan.   I take the corner of the shower curtain and wrap it around myself and I slowly step from out of the shower, shielded by the curtain.   But the curtain is fairly small and I am not.   And I had to lean across the entire bathroom.   As I reached, the shower curtain tugged on the shower rod, causing one side of the rod to come crashing down.   Which sent the little brass hooks holding my shower curtain/make-shift towel sliding down the rod and shooting off the end.   This, in turn, tore my shower curtain/make-shift towel from my dripping wet body.   Leaving me standing completely naked and freezing in the middle of my bathroom, with my shower curtain half hanging off the wall, and my five month old son staring at me like I was some circus freak.

I wanted to yell out, “Quit judging!   You gave me those stretch marks, Punk!”

Once I was securely in a robe and had distracted Beanie with some blinky toy, I had time to ponder what had just happened.

Perhaps I had overreacted.

Perhaps I had been a bit dramatic.

Perhaps I had not scarred my son for his entire life.

But at the moment, I had to get ready for work and I couldn’t ponder the situation any longer.   So I threw some clothes on and called it a day.

A couple days later, I was shopping with Beanie in Macys.   I had an arm full of things that I needed to try on, so I wheeled Beanie’s stroller back into the dressing rooms.   The only room that was available was this tiny little room that would barely have held me if I was alone.   And the idea that it would now hold me, my diaper bag, my arm full of purchases, and Beanie’s stroller was highly unlikely.   But I had to at least try.   So, I rolled the stroller into the changing room and squeezed myself and my findings into a small corner.

But then I realized that I was standing directly in front of Bean’s stroller.   And he was staring right at me.   Oh, man.   This was not good.   And then I had an idea.   I would turn Bean’s stroller until he was facing the wall and then I could try on the clothes in somewhat privacy.   Only problem was the stroller pretty much took up the entire room.   Turning it around to face the wall was going to be no small feat.

You know how sometimes you see someone trying to get a car into or out of a really small parking spot and they are doing itty bitty 150,000 point turns?   Forward a little, cut the wheel, backwards a little.   Forwards a little, cut the wheel, backwards a little.   Well, picture that in a tiny dressing room.   It must have taken me about 20 minutes and about 75 points to make the stroller turn to the wall.

By the time everything was set up for me to try clothes on in peace, I had been in the dressing room for about half an hour and I was exhausted.   I sat down on the tiny little built-in stool, put my head on the stroller handle, and sighed.

Something was going to have to change.

Its been about a week since those two incidents rocked my modest little world.   I’m really trying to get better at this.   I mean, I’m not exactly walking around my house naked or anything.   But I haven’t ripped down any shower curtains lately or tried to parallel park a stroller into a wall, so I think I’m making progress.

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29 Thoughts to “There is No Modesty in Motherhood”

  1. HAHAHA. I promise, he won’t be scarred for life if he sees you unclothed or in your underwear sometimes. He probably won’t even question it until he’s a least 2. That’s when our oldest started asking “What’s that?” questions and daddy started closing the door while in the bathroom.

    The shower story was like a scene from a movie, haha. And trying on clothes with an infant is nearly impossible even if you aren’t trying to be modest!

  2. Mom of 3

    I have to say that our family is completely the opposite. We don’t worry about nudity in front of the kids (up until age 6 or so) and if they have questions we answer them very simply. It’s just the human body, kids have no sense or understanding about anything sexual at all. I want them to feel comfortable with their bodies and not be ashamed of them. When each of my kids were toddlers I inevitably ended up with them in the bathroom with me while I used the potty. Otherwise I would have had to lock a screaming child outside. There is no privacy in motherhood!

  3. Morgan

    Time for a beanie blindfold.

  4. OH.MY.GOSH! You are so funny.

  5. Gosh, I don’t remember the last time I got to go to the bathroom by myself, or at least not uninterrupted, and especially not shower That’s a total dream. My goal is to not open the curtains til I’m dressed, but there have been days where… well, I won’t go into that.

    I guess that’s the difference between one kid and four.

    But seriously, they don’t care. They may ask a question about “stuff” but then they don’t care. So I’m sure you haven’t scarred him. He probably can’t even see that far yet.

  6. I have to very respectfully disagree with a couple of the above comments. I remember my mom walking around naked when I was little and I still have the images (unbidden, of course) in my head when I read things like this! As God is my witness, my children will NEVER know what Mommy looks like naked. Babies as young as Beanie, of course, won’t remember, but my (inexperienced, of course) opinion is that if you really want to maintain your privacy, you should be able to.

  7. Emily

    Ahh! I never thought about this being a problem! Thanks for giving me the heads-up so I have a bit of time to figure out a plan.

  8. Jana

    Oh my, i am EXACTLY as modest as you are 😀 and all my friends AND my boyfriend think i am a freak! 🙂 Sooo good to hear i am not alone!

  9. How in the world did you come out of the child birthing process so modest??? That right there is a feat in and of itself!

  10. omg I just laughed til I was blue in the face. I could picture all of it, so theatrical. When I’m at home I’m casual nudist lol, you should try it, it would totally fix your laundry problem.

  11. I do have to say that the shower curtain scene seemed like a made-up humor story. But I do beleive you and your craziness. I always figured I would dress in front of my baby- why would it care? It already sucks its meals from my boob (not that I even have a baby yet, just how I imagined things going) Do you let your dogs see you naked? Mine are almost always in the room when I’m changing- they like to follow ppl around…

    1. Katie

      Oh, you can ask Chris. I called him right after the shower incident and I was almost in tears! 🙂

  12. Our fam is opposite. My daughter who is six knows that she shouldn’t change in front of boys. But I have no issue with showering when my kids are in the bathroom or changing when they are in the room with me. I don’t know if that’s good or bad…that’s just how we do it! 🙂

  13. Sometimes when I am home with Porter by myself, I have to bring him and his bouncer into the bathroom with me. My son apparently thinks that mommy using the toilet is one of the most fascinating and hilarious things ever to witness.

  14. Emily

    Haha, this is hilarious. Is it bad that it didn’t even occur to me that maybe I shouldn’t change/shower/go to the bathroom in front of my baby? The way I see it he’s so little, he doesn’t even realize that I’m naked and he won’t remember.

  15. haha. it’s not like he’s going to remember anyway. i think it’s ok. 🙂

  16. Deb

    Ha! Mrs. Katie who isn’t afraid to tell us nearly anything, is afraid to dress in front of her baby? NO WAY! I would have never guess that in a million years! My household was the opposite growing up. It wasn’t unusual for my mom to go from the shower to the downstairs laundry room without a towel. I’m talking all my life.

    That was, well until the day she got out of the shower and did that little trip…unbeknownst to her my fiance and I had arrived home…and my fiance saw EVERYTHING. LMAO She was mortified! My my sweet fiance claimed he didn’t see a thing. Me? I couldn’t stop laughing.

  17. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by New Mom, Leslie Brooks. Leslie Brooks said: There is No Modesty in Motherhood: There is No Modesty in Motherhood. November 9th, 2009. If you ask anyone who.. […]

  18. Katie, embrace being nakey! Maybe not when the Bean is 12…anyway.
    -My husband only gets naked for 2 1/2 reasons. I’ll let you use your imagination for what those reasons might be.
    -Growing up, I remember my mom showering and yelling “Don’t LOOK” to all us kids as she ran through the living room to her bedroom. We were kids, of course we looked. My booty is starting to look like hers…
    -My mom must have rubbed off on my brother because one day he came prancing out of the shower naked as the day he was born. He didn’t know that the Mormon missionaries had showed up and were sitting in our living room. Good times!

    1. Deb

      LMAO! I’m sure those Mormons never forgot that visit. Probably never tried to come back either!

  19. Alex

    this post is just too funny to me, because i think i’m going to be the same way! i can handle the thought of being in my underwear in front of my future child, but total nudity is a no-go. and the thought of using the toilet in front of ANYBODY horrifies me – NO WAY!

    (p.s. i’m from arizona & we had to swim in gym class in junior high! i had to change out of a swimming suit back into underwear and clothes with just a sheer, too-short school shower curtain between me and the world. it was awful.)

  20. the modesty will probably change when he starts potty training and he wants to sit on the potty with you! at least you have time to get used to it before then. thought the first time my son pointed to my lower regions and said ‘mommy, penis?’ i was a little stunned but have finally got it into his head that daddy has the penis not mommy 🙂

    I’m sorry i haven’t been commenting lately, i’m finally getting caught up on all the back posts that i missed. but i’m glad to announce that my daughter made it into the world on October 21st (by c-section) she weighed 9 lb 9 oz and was 21 inches long. we named her Ryan Addison. i hope to post a pic on the fan page soon!

    1. Katie

      CONGRATULATIONS!!!! And, by the way, I ADORE the name Ryan for a girl. 🙂

  21. Bridget


    I am so not modest in any capacity. I went to women’s college, and I think that broke me of whatever modesty I had left. Now, it’s just my body, and I’m a “casual nudist.” (great term, by the by)

    My parents were sometimes naked around me, but I don’t think it scarred me in anyway. Mostly, I was just confused as to why they weren’t wearing clothes. But Beanie probably won’t remember!

  22. So cute! You are funny but you can be how ever you want.
    Just remember there may be a day when you think I should just take bean in the shower with me!!
    It is real good for colds too! But I guess Chris can do this .
    Hang in there many more funny time a coming in your life with kids.

  23. I don’t have kids yet, but I grew up in a ‘no closed doors’ kind of house, at least until I was in middle school. It was understood by the time I was 5 or 6 that I didn’t walk into the bathroom when Daddy or my big brother were in there, but Mom was never off limits. It in no way scarred me, and I have no problem changing in front of my mom now, and vice versa. It can actually be nice to compare our bodies and how they are changing as we both get older… especially since I look just like her!

  24. Heather O.

    I never saw my parents with out clothes but that has changed at my house at least for me. I have a 5 y/o and 20 m/o and they are always walking in the bathroom when I am in there. The 5 y/o has gotten better but the little one, Dallas, he is such a mommy’s boy. He will stand outside the door and scream his head off till I open it up. I always make sure the bath towel is hanging right next to the tub…I hate walking around naked. LOL

  25. You are so cute! Beanie is way too young to even notice if you’re naked or not! But good on you for making some private time for yourself. I actually shower with my 2 sons every single night. You should try shaving your legs with 2 toddlers and a shower full of bath toys. My morning shower I do alone and it might just be the best part of my day!

  26. Liz, JM, and Leo

    Oh Katie – I just love this post! You are hilarious! And yes, I do agree, there is no modesty in motherhood. I’m not that modest anyway around our house… and never have been that modest in front of girls (lots of sports, 8 sisters, and sharing a room forEVER will do that to you!). Leo points to lingerie stores when he’s out with his Dad and says, “Mommy!” and he calls my breasts, “Nursies!” even though he’s all done with that. He says, “Penis” when we go potty (and I usually reply, “Yes! That is your penis. It’s wonderful and helps you go potty.” And now that he knows the word different, he just points at me while I’m dressing and happily declares, “Different!” So he’s aware that Mommy’s are different, and I think that’s just fine.

    I’m sure I’ll plan to change this openness in a couple of years as Leo gets a bit older and needs his own privacy too. But I take him potty and then I go potty, and I have no idea how I would have managed him as an infant without the bouncy seat in the bathroom (he would never have sat in his crib happily for that long!). I do plan to purchase a robe in the near future. My mom and dad both had robes, and they help with modesty tremendously!

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