Let’s Talk ABout Sex, Baby!
with Holly Lo
This is an unedited transcript.
Welcome to Monday’s a beautiful collective of Mama’s and experts sharing wisdom, inspiration and life hacks to support us on this journey through the hazy days of motherhood.
Welcome to the Momdaze podcast. I’m your host, Holly Lo. And it is my pleasure to be with you today talking about yes, we are talking about sex baby. So this is a conversation that we may or may not have been having in the last little while, in our household. It definitely has come up now that my kids are getting to that age where they are much more aware of asking questions surrounding things they’ve seen maybe in a movie, hopefully not things that shouldn’t be seeing at this age. But you know what I’m talking about romance rom coms, and, you know, kissing scenes and things like as the such now, I have to be really, really honest, I we are not the kind of family or hosts. You know, my couple, my husband and I are not the kind of couple that shies away from any of these questions, we are happy to answer them most of the time, it’s usually done with some humor. But it’s it’s not something that I was ever really worried about having a conversation around. It was more that as I was, you know, teaching prenatal classes and doing videos, and you know, what my kids would watch me do tick tock videos where I’m teaching about birth, that there was some really genuine curiosity that comes out of that. And I was always, just very matter of fact, I’ve always been very matter of fact about that information. However, the challenge comes when you have kids of different ages. So I have a seven year old as you know, I have a 10 year old and I have a 14 year old at the moment. And it’s it is a very wide span to have a seven year old and a 14 year old, asking, Dear very different questions in some ways, but also very similar about where babies come from, about reproductive health about puberty. Oh my gosh, right. Nobody prepared me. I never had brothers. Nobody prepared me for the void puberty conversations that were going to take place. And partly because I have kids who are like I said, very open with their questions. They have no problem asking like, you know, this is normal. This is what’s happening in my body. We have such a riot sometimes the car rides with my daughter or my older son, comparing notes on how puberty is going for them. No joke, it’s it is the biggest entertainment of my life right now is getting to listen to them talk about their comparisons about puberty. And of course, it’s done in an appropriate manner. But it is quite funny. So I think one of the things that I am relieved about is that I have kids who ask questions, that are in my, in my mind are really good questions. They’re not considered inappropriate. By some they wouldn’t be, you know, rude questions or vulgar questions, that makes sense. They also are not in school. So there is a difference. And I hear the difference. And I see the difference between their friends who are in school, and the information they think they have, or that they’re learning from other friends. So sometimes the questions are coming, because a friend will say something or use a vulgar term or, you know, will, will laugh and make a joke about something that my kids are going, Whoa, wait a second, we know the like the biology of this. Because that’s just what we talk about. Why is this funny? Or why is that wrong? To say it in that way? Why is that derogatory to a woman to say something like that. So it’s been very eye opening to me to see on both sides. What my kids have learned because it’s just what we’ve given them to learn and they see like I said, they’re seeing it and in your common rom com type movies, you know, just the PG style. But they’re pretty funny when you when you realize that it’s it’s making them think, you know, especially when you’re 14 and girls are starting to be an important thing to you.
You start to go oh, well, is that something that a girl would like on a date is that you know, is that okay to say that you know there’s some really interesting anyway interesting questions conversations. So I got me thinking about the fact that whole birds and the bees conversation the whole idea that in in books or movies or in the past how This has been approached, and how it’s always kind of been dad’s job in the movies or in the shows or whatever. So you have to have that talk with your son about the birds and the bees. And I don’t discredit that at all, I think it is important that dads are involved in this conversation, and they have their perspective, and they can share their information. But here’s the dilemma. For us women and for men of my generation, and older and even younger, there never was a very good conversation around this, around sex and around reproduction in general, there wasn’t a good understanding. One of the reasons we’re doing this series is because I realized there is not a good understanding of women’s cycles, I didn’t have a good handle on you know, what times of the month were the best time to be trying to get pregnant or not trying. I didn’t understand the length of days in a cycle, I didn’t understand the you know, the energy shifts, and the hormone shifts throughout your cycle. I didn’t understand any of that. You just know it’s there. Right. But it also leads to misinformation, it leads to fear leads to unplanned pregnancies in very young girls. So I think having a conversation now is never too late. It’s so important that we start to change this, this conversation, and we start to have a realistic, age appropriate, biologically based conversation, when our kids are ready to have that conversation. And I think you know, puberty is a great time to start talking about it, if they haven’t asked you before that but understand if your kids are in the school system, they’re going to have heard this long before you may be we’re ready to have this conversation. And a lot of parents will attest to this, I’d love to hear your feedback on that. If your kids are in school, and they are teaching sex ed at a much younger age now. And you know, the bringing in curriculums that are are very different compared to what we were raised with. In some ways, that’s good. In some ways, it’s not presented in the way that I would like my kids to learn it. So it’s one of the reasons we choose to homeschool. It can pose some, some interesting conversations and questions and maybe some dilemmas for you, depending on where your kids are at and what your your lifestyles like and how you feel about all of this. So I think it is important that we are having a thought ahead. What’s it going to look like? When I do answer these questions? How many of you have had a three or four year old? Ask where a baby came from? Right? Or how did that baby get in your belly? I have. I’ve had some very interesting questions. And you have a choice in those moments with a three or four year old to come up with just a funny story to St. Stork brought them to, you know, whatever it is, or you have an opportunity to give a really simple answer that is super age appropriate. I remember I loved telling my, my older two when I was pregnant with my third. I love telling them that there was a baby that started out as a little seed and it’s growing in my belly. Right. And they were little at the time. So that was sufficient for them. But it also didn’t leave any weird misconceptions. Yeah, I mean, the C part might have been a little weird. If I had said I ate a C cruiser, they might not have wanted to eat watermelon any ever again. But I was pretty clear, you know it, it was not more than they needed to know. But it was still on the right track. If that helps. And then as they got a little older, I would you know, they hear me teaching classes or doing a video or whatnot. And then the questions would come usually questions like, well, what is the uterus? What is a cervix? Those are the questions my kids ask because their mums a doula. So they get some of these, you know, interesting conversations that they were privy to. But I have to be honest, I’d rather they have that conversation than they be using some of the terms and and vulgarities that I’m hearing from other kids their age. I prefer that that’s just that’s how I want my kids to understand their bodies. And as a mom, I think I have this beautiful role, especially with the girls but also with my boys to bring a positive and respectful conversation into sex and into reproduction that I find is sorely lacking. It really is. If we as women especially want to have this beautiful superpower understood, that we have the ability to create life, we have the ability to grow human being.
Whether you use that ability or not, whether that ability is working or not. You have the ability, your body is created to do that. And it’s pretty wild, that you know, that should ever be taught to boys in particular but to anyone is a an awful or painful or derogatory thing. I honestly feel that we have such a great responsibility to have these conversations. in either a matter of fact, manner, or in a very positive manner. And understanding that hormones are a beautiful thing. Sex is a beautiful thing. And our reproductive cycles are a beautiful thing. They’re all natural. They’re all made, you know, our bodies were made for this. And having that understanding of how bodies fit together, how, you know, it takes a sperm and an egg to create life, how it doesn’t just take one, it takes two, and there’s a partnership involved in that. And whether it’s IUI, whether it’s IVF, whether it’s donors, whether that has no bearing on it in my mind at all. And my kids understand that, and they’ve, they’ve learned some of that already. What I think is really, the important point is that their gifts, this way that our bodies are made to create a human is a gift. And that whole process is a pleasurable thing. It is something to be respected, it is something to be revered even. So that we don’t have the misconceptions that so many generations have had. And you know, so many teams that I’ve worked with over the years have expressed to me, I wish I had known, I wish someone had just taken the time to explain to me about, you know, my cycles, because birth control just wasn’t available or wasn’t an option to me, I didn’t want to deal with hormone replacement hormone birth controls, I didn’t want to go there. But I also didn’t get pregnant. And I didn’t know that there was other ways. So having these conversations, once there’s an understanding of a how our cycles work for boys and girls, I mean, boys have hormones, maybe not a cyclical one, but they have a responsibility to understand their bodies as well. But for girls to understand their cycles, but then on top of that, to understand how babies are created, right? So that comes at puberty stages for boys and girls, for understanding that, you know, that curiosity over their bodies and their, you know, what pleasure is and what, what is good, what is normal, what is natural and healthy. And how our bodies were created to enjoy that. That’s Those are good conversations to have, as opposed to it being a shutdown, or a, you know, an inappropriate idea and a shameful idea around sex. And many of us were raised with that, especially for relating with religious backgrounds, or, you know, very strict upbringings, things like that where that conversation was just not discussed. That’s a disservice to our kids, it’s a disservice to, you know, understanding our bodies. So I think really knowing your children, first of all, knowing what age they’re at knowing what the development level they’re at, and then letting them understand that you are available to answer those questions. That it’s a conversation, you’re a willing, you’re willing to have, I’m not gonna say it might be comfortable, maybe you’re uncomfortable having those conversations, maybe you need to have some of those conversations with a friend, right, another mom or another dad, maybe having those conversations, you can have those conversations with me, if you just, you know, are like I don’t know how to how to approach this, I’m not sure how to have this conversation. I’m not an expert at it. I’ve just done it a few times. That’s all and and I’m, I’m learning as I go along, and I’m learning from others, and I’m pulling in that knowledge and saying, Okay, I know that, you know, my 14 year old is already full on into puberty and understands, you know, things are changing with body. And he is very willing and open to ask me questions and share things. And same with his dad, he’ll ask his dad stuff. And I asked my husband and say, Listen, I think I think this is a your question. I think this is a you department, because I can tell what I think. But I don’t have those parts. So maybe this is something you guys can talk about.
But again, making sure that it’s a respectful conversation, that it’s it’s there, they’re being heard. And there’s no shame involved in those questions. Is such a great starting point for our kids. I think it’s important that we we keep that conversation open, and our availability to answer those questions open. Even when they come up with the hard questions. Even when our kids come up with questions that we maybe weren’t prepared for, or or conversations we weren’t ready to hear. I think it really is important that we we are able to take a breath and pause. And if we’re not sure how to approach that you be vulnerable with them and say, You know what, I wasn’t ready for that question. Can I get back to like, tomorrow? Or can we can we I really like to talk to you about this. But I want to be I want to be sensitive to the question. I want to be prepared to cop conversation about that. Can you give me a day or two to and then come back to it. Please don’t just let it slide because you don’t want to confront it. But for the most part, I think we owe overestimate our kids intelligence and their level of understanding really do and I think we also tend to think it’s bigger than it is. So I shared this on another episode. But remember with my my little one when he was asking, he just want to know if babies came out of your belly button or not like, he didn’t need to know how they got in there. He wasn’t ready for that question. He was just like, what, what the heck what? How do they come out? And I was a simple answer. I was like, Well, no, they come out of a woman’s vagina. And he laughed and said, what they come out of China, because my daughter had always called her vagina, her China, because she thought that’s what it was called when she was really little. She thought, Well, I’ve always used proper terms with our kids. And that’s another important step is, you know, naming your body parts. Other things random. The number of times when I worked in in preschools, and in childcare, that kids would tell me things about body parts, I had no idea what they were referring to. And a parent would have to identify asking, and they’d have to tell me, oh, that’s their, that’s this part. Oh, that’s, we call it. Okay. It’s cute and funny, maybe in your house. But from a safety standpoint, and from a developmental standpoint, please tell them what they’re actually called. Tell them what their body parts are. Because, you know, if, for any reason, they needed to be able to explain that someone had touched them inappropriately, or God forbid, anything had happened to them, they need to understand what those parts are, where they are, what their body, you know, parts are made up of. So teaching them the proper, just biological terms, and the regular names of body parts is step one. And then step two, being able to say, hey, oh, yeah, that’s, that’s just what that part’s for. It’s such a it really, it should be just a relief to you to realize that we know the answers to these things. I think it becomes uncomfortable, because we’re not sure how to respond. And the truth is, kids want the truth. And they need a lot less than what we think, at certain ages. So when they’re still little, I’d say when they’re under, you know, six, six or seven, you’ll gauge this by your own children’s development and their own interest. And the questions are asking, but you can really get away with simple, honest answers. And when I told him that we laughed about the fact that he thought they came from China. But I said, Yes, that’s that part of my body. Yes. It’s not called a China. We explained it. And he was completely happy with the answer. Oh, okay. That was it. And then, you know, my daughter as she got older, she wanted to know, you know why she didn’t have a penis? Why her brothers? Did she want to know she hers was going to grow because her brother and asked him why hers were so small. Or she didn’t have one. I think one time when they’re changing at the pool, he made a comment and was laughing. So again, those situations, you can shut them down. You can be like, hey, that’s That’s mean, hey, don’t say that, hey, we don’t talk about that. That would be a very common and normal response for most parents. Or you can take that opportunity to say, Hey, okay, so this is, you, you have those parts, but they don’t girls have different parts. And this is what they’re called. And it’s pretty cool, because your parts helped make a baby, her parts helped make a baby. And one day if they have children, you know, if you ain’t have babies, then that’s where they come out. And it’s pretty powerful that your body is able to do that. It’s that simple.
It really is a much more basic conversation that I think we make it in our heads to be. And again, as our kids are growing, they will generate the questions, but like I said, you can guarantee they’re hearing things. So even if they’re not coming to you with questions, making sure they understand that you’re there to answer some of those or just being open about your own in an appropriate manner. Right. You know, when you have your periods Mama’s you know, talking about that in a minute neutral conversation, as opposed to a negative conversation, talking about hormones in a neutral or positive conversation, explaining, you know, pregnancy or pregnancy loss or things like that, that you maybe you’ve gone through sharing some of that with your kids at the right age is there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s actually very powerful for them. So it again, shows you shows up, you show up as someone who’s human, you show up as someone who might not have all the answers, but you’re willing to find some of those and simply saying to our preteens and our puberty, you know, as they’re going through puberty, teens, pubescent to children, and being able to say to them, Hey, you know, things are changing. I get it. I remember going through that, and making it more you than them sometimes helps. But having that conversation saying I remember like thinking, you know, when would I have a girlfriend or would I have a boyfriend? Or I remember feeling all kinds of different feelings. When you know my first girlfriend when my girlfriend or boyfriend held my hand for the first time or it felt all kinds of things, right? Sometimes just having little conversations like That and sharing emails are funny stories or whatever opening that up, it shows them that you’re willing to be a little bit vulnerable, and you’re willing to be a safe place for them to have these conversations. So when it comes to the talking about sex, when it comes to talking about relationships, or hormones, or feelings, or puberty, whatever it might be body’s changing, it doesn’t become such a big uncomfortable moment or a taboo conversation, they understand that you’ve been there, you’ve been through some of this, you know, whether they think of you as an old person or not, whether they think of you as relevant or not, it does matter to them. And that’s something I’ve asked my kids and it’s something I’ve asked, you know, other teens in my life, you know, if you were to talk to your parents about this conversation, what would make you feel comfortable? Or what is it that makes you feel comfortable having these conversations and anybody I’ve ever and I do ask these questions, anybody I’ve ever asked this up, have always kind of said the same thing. It’s that, oh, it’s just they’ve shared some stories with me about their when they were dating, or their puberty experience, or when they got their period or, you know, the first their first kiss what it was like. So, you know, it didn’t feel weird for me to say that. And then on the flip side, I’ve asked kids who, you know, I’ve asked, again, couple young teens who have gotten pregnant by accident, and I accident, you know, without being aware of how that really could have been avoided. And in other situations like that, too, and they say, we it was just never discussed, it was a bad conversation, it was considered to be bad, I was considered to be bad if I brought it up. It was a no, no, gozone, like, you just don’t talk about sex, you don’t talk about your feelings. And you know, there was a lot of negatives, shared around that around women’s cycles, and around hormones, and around sex, and all of that was derogatory, or vulgar, or, you know, just not depicted in a healthy normal way to me. So it was wasn’t something I ever felt like it was safe to talk about. And those are, those are the answers I’m hearing. And those are the conversations I’ve had over the years. And in these scenarios, and it’s always It breaks my heart because we should be doing better, we should be creating safe places to have these conversations. And not just with the youth center, and not just with their friends at school. And not just with because you’re you’re not always going to maybe have the right information coming your way. Or there will be a lot of conflicting things being presented at a time when you still don’t even know who you are. Like, when you think about 12 and 13, I didn’t have a clue who I was until I was into my late 20s. So the reality is, when you’re you’re trying to figure this stuff out as a kid, you start to feel like it’s all in your head, you do need to figure it out. And your friends are usually the people that you’re going to go to for information. And I can promise you, they don’t have the answers either. They’re still trying to figure it out, too. So I think it really is something that as, as we kind of go through this series, and as we have these conversations about reproduction, there’s nothing wrong with sitting down with your kid or putting this podcast on in the car while you’re driving. Kids are gonna hate me for saying that. But the truth is that you can share this with the teens in your life, you can you can share some of this information or other information that you get, you can just easily share that with them and
say, Hey, this was pretty cool conversation. I was listening to the other day about your cycle and periods and some of the questions that, you know, I realized preteens have, and it made me think maybe there’s some questions you have about it. There are really simple ways to open up with them. When you are vulnerable. When you’re willing to share a bit of your experience, again, in an appropriate manner. I don’t necessarily think you know, you need to tell your 10 year old what the first time you had sex was like, but you might want to tell your 1416 year old if you have experiences like that, and again, you share the details that are pertinent to share. I’m not a fan of giving them more information than they need. Nope. Because again, you’re the one determining based on their questions and their lifestyle and their personality. You get to determine what the conversation looks like and what information they they get beyond that again. If you start that if you go down that road, like Emma was on our last episode or when she was talking about you know that she loves to ask the question she is she’s my kid he’ll question and she has no shame whatsoever which I love in this topic because she doesn’t care if if somebody else might think it’s a improper if we’ve been with her friends and she’s asked me questions and her friends are just like, Did you seriously just like jaw on the floor? Did you just say that out loud? And I respond totally matter of factly it’s not a there’s no big reaction. There’s no like, oh, how could you ask that? Because I want them to understand these are safe questions to ask and I’d rather they’re asking me so that I can determine what information to give And if they want more information, they’ll keep asking. Because once that conversation is opened, it will bring up more questions. And again, there are some times they asked us questions. And you know, my son asked me when the other day, and it was not an appropriate time to ask it because there were other people around. And I just said, You know what, that’s a really good question. I would like to answer, but I’m probably going to wait to answer that one. It’s like, okay, and because it wasn’t, it wasn’t an age appropriate question. To be very honest. It was something that he had heard in a comedy. stand up comedian said something. It was as random as that. And he was like, What? What does that mean? And I’m like, not something we’re going to touch on just yet. I said, but I will, I will answer that question. And so I did, we came back to it the next day. And I just said, You know what, there’s a much more in depth answer to that. But I’m just going to tell you, it means this. And it wasn’t it was derogatory, it wasn’t a good term, it was a vulgar term. And I said, Really, not something you really need a full explanation on at this age. But as you get older, you know, if you haven’t figured it out, by that point, let me know. And I’ll give you a fuller description. Some things don’t need to be fully defined. If they are not, you know, biologically correct in the sense of like, being vulgar or derogatory to a woman, if they are outright just rude, right? But here’s the thing. You can’t let your you know, maybe restrictions of your upbringing or whatever was applicable or allowed in your life to determine that either. So like I said, I mean, we we had a pretty strict upbringing in a good way, though. It wasn’t I didn’t find it very confined too much. But these weren’t regular conversations we had either. However, I knew I could ask if I wanted to. I just never did. I just wasn’t that person. I’m not. I’m not a great question. Asker Believe it or not, I am getting better. But I didn’t question a lot of things My sister did, she was much better at asking those questions and finding answers wherever she needed to find them. But I also know that there are some things that are outright we know in the society we live in, that this topic on sex is outright presented in oftentimes in a very derogatory way to women in a vulgar way. And just downright misinformation, on what women enjoy, what our bodies are made, like, how we how sex would feel, if it was actually the way you know, some, it’s sometimes portrayed, what the reality of that is the reality of how our bodies function, what’s normal, what’s common, what’s you know, so those are the conversations that I want to see us having, those are the misconceptions I want cleared up without having to go down those rabbit trails of, of dealing with all the vulgarities. Instead, let’s stick with the facts. Let’s stick with the beautiful, powerful, you know, pleasurable ways that our bodies are actually made to feel things and interact during sex, and you know, the way they fit together and the way you know, women’s bodies work. And men’s bodies respond to things, it’s just those can be presented in such normal, comfortable conversations, to be very honest,
if we can strip away what society has made it if we suppose that Hollywood has made it and whatever else has made it. Let’s look at what keep it biological. Let’s look at what our bodies are actually created to do, how they work, and have the conversation starting there. What grows from there you can deal with as those questions come up, and and that I think is what’s very interesting is seeing how our kids then take that information and grow with it. So I leave you with us. I remember probably four years ago now. So Ashley would have been only three and a half about somewhere in there. And he we were all all of us were in London and we went to the Natural History Museum, which was such a treat. We love it there. And there is an incredible section in there that is dedicated to human reproduction. And I didn’t know that I thought it was pretty wild. So we were going through like the bug exhibits in this in this room in this room, and then suddenly my kids wandered into this room. And when you walk in the right up on the wall, and this huge wooden cut out like you know artistic rendering is a man and a woman together with a picture fully described of all their internal organs and what intercourse looks like. And I was floored not because I thought it was inappropriate. I was floored because it was the first time in my life. I had seen an anatomically correct description of what is happening that point and I was like I just kind of stood there like Finally, this is this is what it should look like, this is, this is what we should be, you know, explaining. And my kids roll again just standing there going, what are they doing? Even though my older one had had a very basic, you know, description at that point of what how babies were made. It was just as much for me as it was for them. That the seeing that now get my little guy did not even pay attention to it whatsoever. And I just let him do his thing. I was not trying to like, Hey, honey, look at this. No, even my daughter at that age was kind of like, huh, I get I didn’t tell her not to look at it. I just said yep, that’s that’s how babies are made. That’s how the sperm gets in meets the egg. And that’s how they get together make a baby. And that was enough for her. Okay, great. No problem. My other one was like, I’m not too sure. I want to see that. Again, it was whatever you’re at. And I just said, Well, then don’t You don’t have to see it. I said, but that is what it is. That’s That’s how mechanically our bodies work. That is the mechanics of it. And he he still remembers that. And I’m not gonna like a traumatic way. Because he was, you know, 10 He wasn’t like he was little. But it was enough for him to go, oh, okay, got, right. This is this is how this works. And they the older to remember this. My younger one remembers, we walked over, we watched a video which showed a baby developing great for the moment of spring meeting egg and everything that happens, right point of delivery. And ever since then, he is fascinated by watching videos like that of how baby develops in utero. And he’ll still ask me, Can I go on YouTube and watch that one where it shows how the baby is being formed? And can I kind of watch one where the baby’s like in labor and how the baby moves down? And I’m like, yes, go do watch away. This is my kind of thing, right? I think the point is there, there are really good, you know, resources available to us. Now they’re really good opportunities. But then life is going to just bring us these opportunities too. And preparing yourself a little bit for how you might respond and understanding your kids and knowing what’s appropriate for them at their ages. Those are all good conversations to have with your friend to have with we can have them with me. You can have them with you know, your husband, your spouse, whoever your partner, and just say, hey, you know, how would you approach this? How would you answer this question? It’s totally okay to do that. And then again, just be vulnerable with your kids and be willing to say, You know what, that’s a good question. I’m going to get an answer for you. Or, hey, let’s talk about that. Or, Hey, I could probably find a great YouTube video that shows you how a sperm and egg get together. Right? So don’t be afraid of these conversations. But let’s change again, let’s change the narrative. Let’s bring in some really good, beautiful, factual information for our kids so that that conversation, we can start shifting these conversations for future generations as well. All right, hang in there because we are going to continue on with these conversations. We’re going to talk more about pregnancy. We’re gonna head into the pregnancy topics. I’m so excited to talk about my wheelhouse, and talk about some of our fertility conversations and everything surrounding all of that. Make sure you subscribe and leave us some reviews too. Obviously, we love to hear your feedback, so we’d love to hear some
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