Embarassed when son's circumcision is seen - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 12-04-2013, 03:33 AM - Thread Starter
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As explained earlier, I'm from the UK where circumcision isn't as popular as in the US. Against my instinct, I was persuaded to circumcise my first son by DH (who is) and his family (where all males are) and my ped. 


Whenever I was bathing or changing my first baby boy, friends sometimes called or family were present and often watched. I always felt very conscious that my son's circumcision was very obvious. The problem is the exposed glans is really an internal part and a different colour, even when faded, from the rest of his flesh in that area. It therefore draws attention to his circumcision and I often felt embarrassed and wanting to say "it wasn't my idea to do this!". Of course I never said anything and neither did the onlookers. America is used to seeing circumcised penises.


It was different when on holiday at my parent's home in England, where my mother gave me a hard time over it and never stopped nagging me about it whenever she changed him. She has never forgiven me for allowing it.


Once in the UK, I went to the beach with a group of friends and our toddlers.  Not having swimming trunks with us on the day, the little guys ran and played happily in the nude. No surprise my son was the only one without his foreskin. This attracted some discreet comments and discussion. There was no criticism but I felt uneasy as I blurted out a lame explanation about not wanting him to be different from his peers in the US.


On another occasion I took him to my parent's doctor for a check up about something unrelated. As this involved removing his  diaper, the doctor commented; "Hello what's going on here, I don't see many of those!" (pointing to his circumcised penis) I was terribly embarrassed and felt guilty as I shrugged and said his dad wanted done.


Have any other moms had experiences like this?

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#2 of 7 Old 12-04-2013, 10:58 AM
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:Hug I honestly have not had that experience.  I've got three boys that are all intact, but that is usually the "different" thing in the US as you know.  So far we haven't seen or heard any issues about it.  My inlaws who would have seen my sons naked when they were younger, knew better than to say anything to me no matter what they thought, and my family encouraged me to keep the boys intact.  That being said, there are things that I have done as a parent that I have regretted later on, and that mama guilt is tough.  But when you know better, you do better.  So if you have another boy, you will be able to keep him intact.  

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#3 of 7 Old 12-14-2013, 08:19 PM
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Oh, I just want to reach out and give you a big hug!  I'm from Europe, too, and if my first one had been a boy, I would have also allowed my cut American husband and his friends and family here in America decide the fate of her genitals.  The only reason I didn't allow this to happen to my son was because when I was pregnant with him, I had already researched everything relevant to having a first baby, like stroller and car seat options, and was able to research circumcision in depth.  After that I said no way.  So, I guess I got lucky that way.  I think the reason you feel uncomfortable is because you think you may have done wrong by your first baby by allowing him to be circumcised.  You're an awesome mummy for making room for the possibility that maybe you didn't make the right choice for your first son and it may prompt you to make a different choice if you have another son.  Don't feel guilty either way.  What's done is done and I'm sure your son will one day understand your reasons.  But I do implore you to research it thoroughly (Use non-US literature!) should you find yourself pregnant with another boy!  Americans, especially American doctors, are terrible resources for foreskin questions, mainly because they don't have one and therefore don't value it as much as we Europeans do.

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#4 of 7 Old 12-14-2013, 08:46 PM
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I can relate! I allowed my 1st DS to be circ'd, they didn't even numb him or anything! I was so stupid to let it happen. I was only 17 but that's still a lame excuse. Then when I was pregnant with ds2, I was thinking about leaving him intact, I let everybody bully me with all their rediculous reasons. I felt extra horrible for him bc his circ was botched from day 1, it healed up bad, he struggled with reoccurring yeast infections for 2 years, and finally had to be re- circ'd. Needless to say DS3, is intact. But I do feel embarrassed that I let 2 of my boys go through that, and for what!?

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#5 of 7 Old 12-16-2013, 07:54 PM
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It's your guilt making you feel that way. I don't think you have to come up with a lame excuse. I think you can just say, "Yes, he's circumcised. I allowed the culture in the US to pressure me into it and I do regret it a lot." People will probably drop the subject when they hear that.


Also, admitting that you regret it to your husband is probably important.

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#6 of 7 Old 12-16-2013, 08:44 PM
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It sounds like you need to forgive yourself for what happened.  You can't go back, and you would probably make a different choice if you had the chance.  If you are good with yourself, what other people think won't bother you.  I think it's important for you to forgive yourself so that you won't feel embarrassed anymore and so that you don't pass on those bad feelings to your son.  He should always feel good about his body. 

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#7 of 7 Old 12-31-2013, 10:06 AM
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Hugs. I am sorry. I want to say that while you didn't want it, it happened and it is done with now. I would be aware of how you talk about your son's penis will likely effect how he feels and talks about it, or if he feels ashamed or embarrassed by it. We have one son who is and another who is not, I make sure to either not say anything or to only speak love and affirmation about both, we are in the US so in theory my intact son might have reason to feel embarrissment, It hasn't really ever come up with my sons, but it has with my mom and her apparent discust for his intactness, she acts weird bathing him and honestly I think she had never seen an intact penis before.

 I wouldn't make excuses or even give reasoning, or talk negatively about it in his presence or allow others to do any of that either. It is a perfectly functional penis in all the basic ways and while it isn't the norm where you live it is still a "normal" one even with out the foreskin. I know others might disagree, but after the fact I wouldn't get hung up all it not being "normal" or in its original state... that is just unkind to a boy who has been circed. If others make comments I would state something like "Yep, we were in the US and I was talked into that, hind sight is 20/20... but it is over now..." I think people will understand that we make choices, not always our best desire gets done, but as parents we will all regret things and we don't need to feel shame or regret or allow our boys to feel that either. 



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