We don't see mothers, not really. We see the archetypes, we see the Facebook and Instagram feeds, we see the presentations of mothers. We make assumptions based on a few pictures or a few minutes in line at the grocery store. We judge mothers so harshly that it is scary for a mother to step out bravely into the truth of their motherhood journey and be seen. Visibility is a vulnerability, yes, but there is also power in it.
You don't need to 'get your body back' in order to be worthy of desire. The ideas that you grew up with about what is sexy may not have included motherhood. Patriarchy loves a binary and Madonna/Whore is a classic. But you need to know that your level of sexual desire is not wrong, or bad, or selfish, or dirty. You are not a prude or a whore and you are not dried up or washed out. You're just you. Still you. Always you.
When I was a little girl and people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up my first thought was always, ‘happy’. I learned quickly that what they meant by that question was what career was I interested in.
What I really wanted was to have a home, a place where I felt safe and valued. I wanted to be a mother of six children. I wanted a big, dumb dog who would follow me around and look at me adoringly. And I wanted to write stories that people would read and love.
None of those things sounded appropriately exciting, so I said I wanted to be an actress.
Your name is not Mommy.
Your name is not _______’s mom.
You have a name.
When was the last time that someone took care of you in any way? What would that look like in your life? As mothers caring is our primary function and we show it in so many ways. We take care of scrapes and cuts. We take care of laundry. We take care of dinner. We take care of broken hearts and forgotten book reports and lost shoes and we take care of teaching consent and respecting boundaries and teaching them to love themselves and, and, and...