BODY: A Four Letter Word

Welcome to the Body: AMAZING Carnival!

This post was written as a part of the Body: AMAZING Carnival co-hosted by Jennifer of True Confessions of a Real Mommy and Amy of Anktangle. Carnival participants were invited to write about how we learn to appreciate the ways our bodies grow and change. Our posts explain some incredible ways our bodies impress and amaze us.

Please read to the bottom to find a list of submissions from all of today’s carnival participants.

White flag?Growing up, we didn’t talk about our bodies. Certainly, when it came to bones, I could name them all. When it came to bodily changes, my mother made certain I had books at my access. I remember her telling me that I could always come to her with any questions, but it was known that was a conversation that neither of us really wanted to happen. At the same time, I witnessed her unspoken body self hate. My husbands parents had another tactic: tell their sons that “that” was evil, whatever “that” was. I suppose that is better than my grandmother’s generation. She knew nothing until she started bleeding while at camp, certain she must have somehow cut herself.

I knew that when I had children, I wanted to be open and honest with them. There wouldn’t be the shame, the discomfort, the self-hatred about bodies and their functions. We used proper terminology, spoke about biology, and things were going well. My kids knew that babies were made when Daddy’s sperm and Mommy’s egg joined together in a wonderful world of meiosis. Life was good. Then one day the question came, “How exactly does Dad’s sperm get inside you?” *ahem* That was the day that really pushed my comfort level a bit. I was expecting to answer that question, but we got through it. I didn’t make up some fantasy answer. I didn’t run screaming from the room. I didn’t brush off the question, either. I asnwered honestly and in a developmentally appropriate way.

Fast forward to today. My oldest son turned ten last month. He’s reaching that stage when puberty begins to slowly kick in, and a couple of weeks ago, he and I sat in the office calmly discussing various topics, not limited to erections. The thing that I noticed? After that first time when I had to push through my own insecurities concerning talking about sex, being open and honest actually came naturally for me. For my children, it always has. They have never experienced body shame or felt they couldn’t talk to me about something, and for that I am grateful. Body may be a four letter word, but it shouldn’t be something we can’t discuss with our children.

More to read and love about honoring our bodies at these other blogs. Please visit them all and leave some comment love!

Jennifer from True Confessions of a Real Mommy is moved to trust her body, even the fuzzy parts. You can also find Jennifer on Facebook and Twitter.

Amy of Anktangle writes about living with chronic pain and how she appreciates the ways her body functions in spite of its challenges. You can also find Amy on Facebook and Twitter.

Mari from Honey on the Bum talks a little bit about how her body has changed and how she loves it and what it does for her. You can also find Mari on Twitter.

Shannon at Pineapples & Artichokes talks about why she’s not worried about how her body looks, because it has a much more important job right now.

Joella from Fine and Fair discusses her love and respect for her body as it grows and changes during pregnancy over. Hear more from Joella on Twitter and Facebook.

Issa Waters at LoveLiveGrow on how Paganism taught her to accept reality and by extension herself and her body. Find her on Twitter and Facebook.

Amy W. at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work shares about her love/hate relationship with a nose that she saw as ugly . . . until she started to learn to love it. Amy W. can also be followed on Twitter and Facebook.

Destany at They Are All of Me writes about releasing the negative notions she was taught about her period, and embracing it instead.

Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children talks about how she had to push through her pre-conditioned comfort level and found herself in a position to naturally be open and honest with her children. More great stuff from Mandy on Facebook.

Lauren at Hobo Mama is not a runner . . . but she proved herself wrong by completing a race. Keep up with Lauren’s adventures on Twitter and Facebook.

8 thoughts on “BODY: A Four Letter Word

Add yours

  1. I always wonder how much people must hate themselves to pass along that kind of intense body hatred. I’m fortunate to be the child of parents who managed to work past the shame instilled in their childhoods, but I do still find some topics harder to talk to my kids about.

  2. I couldn’t agree more with you that we have a huge responsibility to our children to help them avoid body shame and misconceptions, and I’m committed to making positive change in this area in my family, too. I know most of those tricky conversations are ahead of me in my parenting journey, so I really appreciate reading about how others navigate those waters. Thank you so much for being a part of this carnival!

  3. “After that first time when I had to push through my own insecurities concerning talking about sex, being open and honest actually came naturally for me. For my children, it always has. They have never experienced body shame or felt they couldn’t talk to me about something, and for that I am grateful.” Yes! I’ve noticed the exact same thing. At first I felt odd being so open about bodies and sex and menstruation and everything else Mikko wants to know about — but it quickly just became the norm, probably in large part because his reaction has always been so matter of fact.

  4. This is one thing I feel I actually “nailed” as a mom. After all the beating myself up for the mistakes I’ve made, now that we have reached the point where my oldest has in fact become sexually active it amazes me that we are able to discuss it openly with so little discomfort. Not that we go into details, of course, but I have always been honest with my kids about all aspects of bodies, sex, reproduction, etc. We allowed them to have materials conducive to self-exploration, and I too am amazed at how unabashed they are to talk to me about it. Well done, mama!

  5. It’s really neat that helping your son be comfortable with the topic has led you to be more comfortable as well. I like the idea that I read in “Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves,” that as we parent our children a different way we change ourselves, too, and we can fix the errors from the way we were parented. It’s a powerful idea.

  6. Yes! We try to be very open and honest about our bodies and how they work. We haven’t gotten to the “how babies are made” discussion yet, but are laying the groundwork by using the proper terms for our body parts! 🙂

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