I recently helped out at a fundraiser for my kids’ school. Nowadays we have to raise money for all those extra classes that made school bearable for me as a kid: art, music, foreign languages, P.E. It just isn’t in the budget. Fortunately for my kids, I live in a wealthy community that has plenty of money to donate. So several of the more “involved parents got together and planned a big event with a Kentucky Derby theme. One of the “horse-y families owns a beautiful ranch and provided their space as well as horse events like jumping and riding tricks. Many other participants donated their endless amounts of free time, their artwork and other fine goods for auction items or simply showed up and spent tons of money.
On the other hand, I was completely uninvolved until the day of the event, did not lend a hand or help with planning and did not pay a cent to attend. However, I was willing to walk around with hors d’oeuvres platters and schmooze all the rich folk, so this is the role I was assigned. One of the mothers, the main planner of the event, who put hours and hours into it, and most likely quite a bit of her own money, was talking to me one day about what my job at the event would entail. After finishing up this part of the conversation, I thanked her for her tireless work on the event. Her reply struck a chord. She stated, “Of course! It’s for the kids. THAT is what our lives are all about, right? As you might have guessed, this was for me, an off-key and stridently harsh chord that she struck. I most definitely did NOT agree with her.
Even when my kids were younger and I was at home with them on a more regular basis, I would have never said that my kids ARE my life. I remember very clearly the anxious feelings I had during the six weeks of family leave after my second child was born. I love my children dearly; they are incredibly special to me. But Good Lord! I need more stimulation than just child rearing. I need to stimulate my brain, talk to other adults, and do something other than household duties to feel like a productive person! Childrearing has its glorious moments, no doubt, but sometimes it is simply drudgery. Cleaning, cooking, disciplining, supervising, feeding, changing diapers, cooking again, making sure everyone has their naps/medicine/snugglies, playing mindless children’s games. Yes, that moment when you are holding them close, feeling their warm breath on your cheek as they snuffle and relax into your arms, falling asleep-that IS amazing. But it cannot hold my attention forever. I need more.
As a server at the event, I was told to wear something “fun appropriate to wear to the Kentucky Derby. Being a southern belle, of course I knew what to wear. However, instead of wearing the “proper dress, I wore a slinky, tight dress with a plunging neckline and a flowing skirt that emphasized my ass and showed just the perfect amount of leg. I receive many admiring looks and remarks, but the comments of one mother struck me as fascinating. She looked me up and down, then stated, “You know, about a year ago or so, you got really sexy. What’s that all about? I told her that I made a decision to get in shape and started feeling really good about myself again. She jokingly asked me if I would be her personal trainer. Although it was flattering, I realized that there is no way in hell that I could do that for her. Even as I teased her, “Oh yeah, you wanna be sexy like me? she rolled her eyes and emphatically stated that “it would never happen.
I came to the conclusion that I cannot relate to this particular type of “mommy mindset anymore. I don’t believe, even when I was experiencing the lowest libido of my life, that I ever hated sex or felt like I could live my life happily without it. Before I found my “sexy again, I was still what I will call “sexually motivated. My husband reports that I was sexy even though I didn’t see it. I saw myself through a distorted lens a lot of the time and had little desire to do the work to change it. I am very aware that this perception was my own issue, after having attended multiple play parties where women with bodies of all sizes are definitely feeling their “sexy. In the end, I realize it’s not at all about size or looks; it’s about what radiates from within you. If you feel sexy, you are sexy and others will perceive you as sexy. I wish more mothers felt sexy.
We are truly brainwashed from an early age that women use “sexy as a tool to rope that man into marriage and then start popping out those children. Once we have the children, what do we need our “sexy for? And moreover, we cannot expose our innocent children to our sexiness as mothers! God forbid it may harm them. What parent doesn’t know that humans have their hands on their genitals from birth? I have two boys and I can attest that it does not matter how young the child, his hand is on his penis the minute it is available. Diaper off=hand on. It’s uncanny sometimes, but it makes sense to me. It feels good! Tell me, what is the harm? I have struggled with this lately. Sex can be beautiful, rough, dirty, sweet, emotional, raw, intense and exciting. But most of all, it’s simply one more form of connection to other human beings. It is part of the human experience.