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Tampon Trauma

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I did something completely natural, and now I'm worried that my child could be scarred (or should I say scared) for life. What did I do? I inserted a tampon in front of my son.

shocked little boy, mom in the background

Radical Mommy: This morning, I was taking a bath before work and my 4 1/2-year-old son sat next to the tub and played while we chatted. This is a completely normal scenario for us, as there is little to no modesty in our house.

When I got out of the bath, I dried off and noticed that my period had started (way too much info I know, but it's part of the story) so I dropped the towel and grabbed a tampon and started putting it in. It was only then, when I saw my little son's face staring at me quizzically from two feet away, that I suddenly realized, "Holy sh**, maybe he shouldn't be watching me do this."

Sure enough, sooner than I could shoo him away, he blurts out, "Mama, what are you putting in your penis?" (Don't be alarmed, my son definitely knows that girls have vaginas and BOYS have penises, but sometimes he gets confused.) Anyway, all I could think to say was, "I'm putting a tampon in my vagina. But don't worry about it. I'm fine."

I'm not sure if he had any other questions, because right after my dimwitted response, I apologized to him for doing that in front of him and said that I wouldn't do it again. He was so sweet and said, "It's okay, Mama, it's funny when you put things in your penis."

Is it, though? Was it alright to do that in front of my son? Will he be scarred for life? Will he remember it? PLEASE, PLEASE let me know what you think.

next: Dad of 'Hitler' Says Kids Removed Under 'False Pretenses'
36 comments so far | Post a comment now
Lea February 2, 2009, 4:52 PM

Im not a complete prude. My children have seen me naked from time to time. But I must say this crosses a line, your son doesnt need to watch you insert a tampon in your vagina! Then you write an article about it? LOW CLASS!

Paige February 2, 2009, 5:00 PM

Umm this is not ok on so many levels! Theres a difference between modesty and blatantly exposing your child to something he obviously didn’t need to see. You know it was wrong or else you wouldn’t be writing to drum up support for yourself!

ugh February 2, 2009, 5:02 PM

you nasty b!tches change your tampons and pads in front of children. ugh. being nude in front of them is one thing but you can’t close the door for 2 seconds to take care of your business privately. come on, i don’t even do it in front of my husband, not because I’m ashamed but because it’s absolutely unladylike and disrespectful. He doesn’t want to see that nastiness and niether do LITTLE CHILDREN, grow the hell up. close the damn door, yuk. this whole post makes me want to vomit. any woman who does that in front of children must get turned on by it, you need to get professional help Melissa…eck, ugh, yuk, barf…

Saph February 2, 2009, 7:02 PM

Hello, another woman who has done the same thing here. My bathroom lock was broken & my daughter walked in on me as I was changing. She was about 5 at the time. She was very upset, not about the tampon, but about the blood.

After I had calmed her down, as she thought I was dying, she asked me if she could kiss me better. She didn’t understand the inappropriatenes of this act as I always kiss her pain away. I explained, in a way she could understand, why she could not kiss mummy’s pain away. She is 10 now, and in a way, I am glad she saw what she did. We have talked about the way her body will change, about touching places on our bodies that are private to us, in language that she could understand at the time of our chats, over the years. She is not frightened or worried about it, she knows that it’s part of becoming a woman.

I am not sick, I do not need professional help, nor did I get turned on by it. I think there are other posters that need to grow up.

Barb February 2, 2009, 9:49 PM

Turned on by it, ugh? You just crossed a line I never even considered. There is nothing sexy about putting in a tampon, or even going to the bathroom, and with our children—just, no, don’t even go there! If it’s not for you, then to each their own, but you’re really reaching for reasons to insult us.

PG February 3, 2009, 4:08 AM

Reminds me of an incident that happened yesterday when I started my period and my 4yr old followed me to the bathroom as he usually does…I then had to change my underwear and put them in the sink to soak…he asked what happened and I joked I had an accident and pooped my pants…then told him I needed to put a ‘mommy diaper’ on so I wouldn’t have another accident. He said why…I said cause sometimes mommies need mommy diapers. LOL
Later he saw me get a tampon out and asked what it was….I just distracted him so that he forgot about it and left so I could actually put it in.

I think it is best to do these things in private…however with young kids it can be hard to sneak away even to the bathroom at times without them watching you. Your son should be fine…just don’t make a big deal, or bring it up again and he will probably forget about it.:)

ashley February 3, 2009, 8:11 AM

I was glad you wrote this article when you did. OUr family is not modest. OUr kids have seen both of us naked plenty of times. Of course, when our now 20 month old daughter is a little older I’m sure my husband will be more discreet. Anyhow, last night, it was just me and my 6 year old son at the dinner table. Daddy was bathing the baby. So he decided to ask me what I had instead of a penus (I spelled it like that because that’s how he says it, it’s so funny). After I had read this story I realized it was ok to tell him a vagina. So I told him, and made him promise not to tell his friends at school ( I don’t want to get a phone call). He said Oh, that kinda sounds like China, Did youknow it’s the year of the ox in China? He quickly moved on to another subject. Thanks Momlogic!

Corinne February 3, 2009, 10:12 AM

I’ve done the same thing before, probably more than once. I’m a single mom and live in an apartment with one bathroom so there are plenty of times when my son and I have to occupy it at one time. He’s also had to witness in public bathrooms. The first time or two he asked what I was doing and wanted to watch too. I told him it’s a mommy thing and probably shouldn’t see me doing it. It’s been months now since the first time and now if we come across an unavoidable situation I just tell him to turn around and close his eyes. So don’t worry, you’re not alone and I don’t think he’ll be scarred for life and probably will forget it in the next couple months.

Anonymous February 3, 2009, 11:25 AM

Why was the kid in the bathroom with her?

scatteredmom February 28, 2009, 12:30 PM

Sometimes as Moms we’re thrust into situations where we have to make the best of it, like public washrooms with small kids. Families all have different opinions on when and where to draw the line and to be honest, I would not have been having a bath with my 4 1/2 year old son sitting there, either.

Changing tampons/pads is something I consider private, but if I had no other choice, I’d at least turned my back and kept the towel on to be a bit more discreet. Not just for myself but the child-does he really need to see me doing that? Changing pads/tampons can be messy and gross, and I wouldn’t wish that on ANYONE.

I doubt the child is scared/scarred but be prepared for him to possible tell his friends/teacher in Kindergarten.

disturbed October 3, 2009, 9:02 PM

You should consider creating boundaries and not allow your son to see you naked at all.

anon October 4, 2009, 5:35 AM

I have to say, I have two boys that are 12 and 8 and I have never had any problems with being discrete and having private bathroom time.

Also, when they’re babies, nobody cares about nudity in the house, but at some point, I think it’s kind of inappropriate to be naked in front of your kids.There is no set age, it’s more like common sense makes you realize you shouldn’t be walking around nude in front of your 13 year old teen boy.

Jan October 31, 2009, 5:19 PM

I believe there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. Your child will eventually have to know these things. He is just a child now, but if he is exposed to it (and I’m not saying he should watch, this was an accident) he won’t be as alarmed or disturbed by it, like many men are, later in his life. Menstruation is a natural part in life and this WAS an accident.

Anonymous August 30, 2010, 3:55 AM

you can tell him because femaales have a large hole there ! then in bath it will fill with water !
and tell him you put it inside to clean it and dry it !

if he asked why you dont do this every time and everyday ?! you can tell him : because sometimes i want to wear my underwear soon and i dont want to make it wet .

Doctors have told November 4, 2010, 11:56 PM

I listen to loveline (a radio/talk show with doctor drew) and i have to say this seems a bit diturbing letting your son see you naked in the first place. have you ever conciderd how his future wife or girlfriend would feel knowing the woman he first say naked was his mother, not to mention the effect it could have on him. Boundries are a good thing to set between a mother and her son. If he saw you where putting something in your vagina he was indeed looking there, probably like most curious young ones, but knowing this is a curious stage why expose him to something he is not ready to see and from his mom of all people?!

I know being open may seem like a good honest thing to do with your child but it can also be harmfull if taken too far.

Doctor Drew flipped out on a caller saying she had realized an 8month old witnessed her having sex, although this is not sex it is nudity (comercialized everyplace as sexual0 a woman to young boy even it being speacially being his mother, Doc.Drew said that that can scare that child for life forever affecting his upbringing and its called SEXUAL TRAMA. Yes that is a real term, look it up, it can lead to over sexed adult life sex addiction and many other harmfull diseases. So to answer the question, yes this can be very harmfull in my opinion based on a doctors stand point. And maybe therapy for him and on how he feels about it and veiws it might be a step in the right direction.

??? January 26, 2011, 6:14 PM

Why would do something like that? I think thats too much exposure to a 4 1/2 year old and yes thats a big deal.

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