Someone somewhere decided that it would be really good for the world if a woman became a mother once she gave birth. Correction: Someone somewhere decided that it would be really good for the world if a woman became a mother and nothing else once she gave birth.
In this giant negation of womanhood not entirely unlike the hundred other kinds of negation she is subjected to in society, the subject of control remains as ever a woman’s sexuality, the site, as always, her body. Ah, patriarchy! Motherhood is almost too convenient for its mechanisms and how they play out. Since a new mother feels a distance, an alienation almost from her own body – she has, after all, spent nine months sharing it with her soon-to-be child, whom my doctor frequently referred to as “parasite”, but that’s another story! – it is a simple enough “truth” to bear down on her. As you nurse endlessly, you might, for instance, forget that your breasts once had sex appeal. Or if the stretch marks automatically branded your body as forever undesirable. And while you feel all this, the world around keeps sending you messages, some subliminal, some more direct that all basically boil down to the same thing: You are now a mother and nothing else, hence nothing else is more important. Especially not your body, not your sexuality.
A good mother is invariably an unhappy one, apparently. Sample a quick exercise and do the Math yourself: Ask all the mums around you about their kids, what they do for them, how much they have to do for them, and chances are you’re in for endless rants and cribs. By this logic, we have plenty of good, unhappy mothers about.
But, like any other fight, you’ve got to fight this one too. An active libido generally aids you along I found, and besides, the only kind of mother I was and am interested in being is a happy one.
Which is why, when the call for an anthology showcasing erotic writing by mothers came along called exactly that – “If Mom’s Happy” – I looked upon it as more calling than call. When my story was accepted, I was thrilled to be part of a group that celebrated the sexuality of mothers – here were 15 sexy moms, so to be speak, showcasing via the form of the short story, what I had been feeling so strongly. As one of the mums here put it succinctly, ‘Look, I have a kid. I’m not dead.’
Alive and kicking I might add. And getting our kicks too – welcome to motherhood. A happy one.