My Daughter Has Seen Her Daycare Provider Nude, And That’s Okay
“Lindsay, I have to talk to you about something serious,” my daycare provider told me when I came to pick up my daughter last week. Suddenly, I was terrified that Brenna had broken something valuable or hurt another child. I imagined all the horrible accidents that might have occurred throughout the day. My eyes were wide and I’m pretty sure my heart had stopped.
“What’s wrong?” I managed to stutter out.
“Well, the girls were upstairs with me while I was getting ready for Bible study last night. Without really thinking about it, I changed my clothes in front of them and apparently some of the girls saw me naked. Honestly, I just didn’t even consider it when I got dressed. I guess I’m just so used to having them all around all the time.” Annie looked very serious and very worried. I was still waiting to hear what the problem was.
“Ok…” I prompted.
“Well, one of the mothers was extremely upset that her child saw me without my clothes on. Her exact words were ‘disgusting’ and ‘appalling.’ I hadn’t considered that it would be a problem, but I wanted to let you all know. I didn’t want you to think I was hiding something inappropriate from you. I felt like I needed to tell you all that I’m sorry if it made you or your children uncomfortable.”
I had many thoughts in that moment as I spoke to the woman who has been my partner in raising my child for the past four years. Not one of those thoughts involved a concern with my child seeing her daycare provider’s boobs. More than anything, I felt worried that Annie was so obviously upset and hurt.
I walked right across the room, gave her an enormous hug and told her that next time she decides to give a peep show, I should at least get invited.
Listen, my daughter attends an at-home daycare for 10 hours a day, 5 days a week. She spends the majority of her waking hours being cared for by Annie, who Brenna calls Nanny. Ann is the reason that my daughter was potty-trained so easily. Ann is the one who knows how to correctly fix my daughter’s favorite grilled cheese sandwich. (Mine is never right…) Ann was the first one to paint Brenna’s fingernails. She braids her hair, ties her shoes and sometimes even strokes her hair as my daughter lays down for a nap.
This woman is an important and valued part of my daughter’s life.
So why on earth would I be concerned that my daughter was in the room when Annie was getting dressed? Why would I care if Brenna caught a glimpse of her naked?
My daughter sees me change on a pretty regular basis. I have an issue about sleeping with a shirt on, morning after morning my daughter walks in and crawls in to bed with me. With no shirt. The fact is that a little nudity in our house has never been a big deal. I realize that everyone doesn’t feel the same way, but we do.
My daycare provider opens her home up to children that aren’t her’s and takes care of them. She loves them. So for me, the simple act of taking the girls upstairs with her while she was getting ready was not a big deal at all. The concern about seeing Annie naked would’ve been an afterthought for me too.
This entire controversy that has since swept through my daycare like wildfire just seems too ridiculous to worry about. So the kids saw some boobs? What I find appalling is a parent who throws such a fit over such an insignificant issue. I find it disgusting that you would try to make a woman who cares for your children feel guilty and ashamed. By elevating a simple issue into a huge debate, this mother has made nakedness seem dirty. It doesn’t have to be.
My daycare provider changing her clothes in front of the kids was a simple matter. It’s one I wouldn’t blink an eye at. But I suppose it is a situation that I’ll stand up to defend. This wasn’t a teacher being inappropriate in front of a classroom, which is a comparison that another mother made. My daughter isn’t attending school when she’s at Annie’s. She’s at a second home, and I’m happy that it operates just like any other home I know, boobs and all.
*As a side note, there were other children downstairs with my daycare provider’s husband when she went to change. So yes, the kids could have been somewhere else. And the reason that it was all girls in the room is because Annie watches 4 girls all aged 3-5. To be honest, I don’t think Annie would’ve cared done anything different even with boys in the group.