I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it means to be a woman. What it means to be sexy, desirable. Someone said to me, just before having Jack that once you start pushing that stroller around the streets, you become invisible. And it’s true.
The first few months, hey, even the first year of being a Mum did NOT feel that sexy to me. Sleep deprivation; not hot. Breastfeeding; not hot for the first excruciating six weeks, but now my most favorite time in the world with my son. It’s intimate and life-sustaining, how absolutely gorgeous is that?
Motherhood changed how I saw myself. No longer a carefree, impulsive spirit, I felt like a boring Mum all of a sudden. I didn’t know how to dress, I didn’t like the extra weight and I saw how much I defined myself in the physical.
I had a drug-free, natural birth. I thought it would be empowering. I did the most female, beautiful thing possible. I created life and brought it into the world. This isn’t just sensual, it’s magical, a rite of passage. But for me, the process of birth and the following few months, felt anything but magical, I felt like I had PTSD.
Unfortunately most of us women define sexuality and desirability in male terms or by male measures. How much men want us is how ‘sexy’ we are. And a Mama lugging her baby around covered in bits of food and poop, trying to surreptitiously get her boobies out in public to feed, not that desirable.
Things with my partner deteriorated too. That’s a killer on the self esteem and another way I saw how the external was such a huge part in how I valued myself.
But it’s changing. How I mother my son and how I have dealt with the past year’s challenges are fucking sexy (most of the time). The inner strength I’m discovering is really freaking hot. The power I feel as I navigate the world, my company and life’s ups and downs are really attractive – most of all to me. And that’s the key, I have nothing to prove or be to anyone else. Being feminine is about being soft, vulnerable, nurturing, we create community and communication. This is not weakness, being authentic and owning your femininity is empowering. We are, by definition the complete opposite to men and masculinity and I feel like we need to embrace that.
It’s the complete opposite to the women we see on TV, magazines and exploited in music videos and in porn. All a measure of sexuality in a man’s world, with masculine values.
Power to the Mamas! embrace your new body, get strong and healthy. Love the vulnerability motherhood brings and the new sense of what it is to be a woman. Love yourself for all it’s quirks and wobbly bits, love what you have done and love yourself.