My husband recently said that hes been trying to romance me and i’m not reciprocating it. Its a fair statement on his part but I wish he would understand why I’m not in the mood. It’s not his fault but at the same time I wish he would see I’m at my least sexy I’ve ever been.
This conversation of being romantic threw me mentally. I used to be a sex craved monster. I loved it every single inch of my body and my thrilling adventures exploring. The appeal the cat and mouse chase all of it I thrived in being sexy. Then came along mother hood. I love being a mom, however I’m not thriving in wanting any human contact at the end of the night. I replaced my need to have nightly booty calls with just needing space and my cats. Mother hood has fried my brains and made any touch of the skin after nine pm feel like needles.
I used to go five rounds a night followed with a morning of breakfast in my underwear. Now my morning consist of me wearing day old sweat pants or black leggings and a bra of five years ago. I used to stand at my counter pre kid era and eat with grace by plating my new recipe, until recent my plating consist of whatever quick breakfast my kids like. Some days I don’t get to eat until supper time. My conversations with my husband before kids had substance. we could hold a conversation and it meant something to me and to him. We had time for sexy conversations not conversations about if today will be the day our three year old will poop on the potty. I feel like our conversations are either about work or about kids. The sexy substance of wooing my partner have been far and few between. Even our text messages are consisting of doctors appointments for our child with disabilities or mile stones for our toddler. Most of them are now are we going to the in laws for dinner. Then during the day; now that i’m back to being a stay at home mom I am having kid conversations all day. I’m talked about at nine in the evening because I have talked about trucks and Pokemon.
I’m mentally and physically exhausted from being a stay at home mom. If i’m not being a referee of two boys, i’m negotiating the use of a toilet. I’m not sexy when I have peanut butter hand prints crawling up my pants. My sexy is depleted in this gross mom bun on top of my head with my hours old coffee mug firmly gripped in my hand. My thoughts to my husband are that I’m not sexy because I just clogged the toilet twice and changed kitty litter while singing the potty song. Everything is mess or tears or just chaotic energy. Then by supper is the witching hour our kids go insane. Bonkers completely bat shit crazy. If I’m lucky and your home on time I might get fifteen minutes to breath before we do supper and bedtime. I’m not mentally all there for my partner during this time. I feel like I tap out and just want some space.
It’s not his fault and I know it’s my fault to not put the time into romance. It’s hard to be that sexy woman I once was. He once was my soul and my time. Then we had two boys who have needs beyond the bed sheets of privacy. My dignity went out the door the minute I pushed out those sweet little boys. I cant look downstairs and the parts of me that used to have the most fun. Looking at my body I want to cry, I don’t understand how my husband can find it sexy. It’s wrinkly in the tummy from our last, my boobs sag, and I don’t look like the woman he once caressed for hours on end. As many times as I try to feel like a goddess I feel depleted. I don’t know who I am right now and I cant out think how any one would want me.
It’s not easy being a mom and a partner. I’m battling with more than my husband knows. In my mind I’m not attractive. I feel gross and mentally I feel loopy. I’m not me, the me that is attractive is someone who likes themselves enough to give a piece of it out. I want to give the time to my partner because he deserves it. The human contact we all need. He deserves to be shown how much I love and appreciate him. I wish I could get out of this mom funk and out of my own brain to give him what he wants. It could be so easy yet it seems so far out of reach. Right now I’m at the least sexy I’ve ever been.
I’m slightly overwhelmed with my sons recent diagnosis of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA for short). On Friday we entered yet another doctor’s appointment with a new specialist in Toronto. Our expectations of getting a diagnosis were low from how many times we have seen other doctors in the past. Once the specialist gave my son his diagnosis I was the weird mother who laughed, not my best moment because this was pretty serious. I laughed because after three years hearing multiple doctors saying the ugly c word or surgery or the common we have no idea left me feeling frazzled. Hearing the words JIA had me floored.
This all started when we noticed Travis’s knee swelling to softball size. In the mornings he would limp heavily. His knee became so stiff that he could not bend it. We booked a doctor’s appointment with hopes that we could find out instantly what was causing his discomfort. What we did not know was this was the beginning of a long process of multiple doctors and appointments. Our life became speculation and misunderstandings of what was happening inside my sons body. His life was already complicated with autism and with this issue we threw normal out the window.
Trying to get this diagnosis has taken time out of Travis’s schedule and time with his studies. Being eight years old and autistic these are some of the most important elements in his life. We used to be able to count on these two simple routines to follow. With every doctor’s appointment made to get his diagnosis we had extra tasks to follow. We had to prepare Travis mentally in order to travel and be prepared for what will happen in the appointments. Our parental stress came from booking, missing work, and navigating what each specialist did. Often after these appointments we were left with more questions than answers as to what was going on with my son. This last appointment I did not expect to get the diagnosis that we so desperately wanted.
We have been to so many doctors that this last one was finally the one that clicked well with Travis. No longer having to drive to London, Ontario, for a full day of driving we ended up in Toronto. This was a great relief as I finally had time to think about where we are headed with my sons life. My thoughts pondered to how his quality of life will be affected if it was the great scary word of cancer given to us by the last specialist. Although relieved that it is not in fact cancer, I am floored of hearing JIA. This diagnosis was unexpected. When she said the words Travis has Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis my mind went blank, and I burst out laughing.
I’m glad the doctor was not judgmental on how terrible I acted at that moment. She gave me a minute to adjust my behaviour accordingly and led with statistics. One in every thousand child has JIA in Canada. This equates to ten thousand Canadian children and teens. What did it mean my son was another part of statistics. Then she said this is a chronic condition he will probably have his entire life. She then stated he will need to go attend Sick Kids Toronto Hospital for treatment. She mentioned steroid injections, physiotherapy, and extensive blood test. When he gets this done he will have to be under anesthesia, I’m pretty sure my mom brain blanked after this.
I’ve given myself a couple days to understand the meaning of all of this. It’s a great amount to take in as a parent. When you have children the one fear that is commonly held is their quality of life will one day be compromised, and that as a parent you cannot give them the best. Taking the good out of the bad is that we can get him treatment and support Travis fully. I can raise awareness with more that I learn. Join communities with other parents who are dealing with the same disease and build better understanding of JIA. I still have my Travis and it is my duty as his mother to give him the full support and never give up hope for his future.
I parented hard in the last two days, so much, that when my husband called me supermom tonight it felt good to hear. I just got my tiniest human down at ten twenty-seven pm. For the last day and a half we had to manage through RSV and bronchitis.
We were between hospital and home starting at night again in the morning to return due to my eighteen months old laboured breathing. His fever soared to high temps of 39.4 degrees Celsius with no sign of relief. We have been here once before when Max was six months of age. Last time we had this he stayed one week on the pediatrics ward of the Guelph Hospital. Recognizing the signs this time around I’m glad we took a pro active approach.
Going through this again was draining on my emotions and my ability to feel like I was doing my job as his mother. When we had to do his x-ray and nebulizer I felt like the worse mother who existed. The x-ray for infants and toddlers seems like torture devices. As I put on my lead vest, placing my baby into the tube holding his arms above his head, he screamed so loud. I felt so useless, the only words I could say to him was I’m sorry. Tears streamed down both our eyes. I would never cause my children pain and seeing him in distress tore my heart out. I know that these treatments are to help him but non the less I wish I could have stolen his pain away and made his world harm free.
The moment that hit me the hardest was trying to place a nebulizing mask on my sons face. As advised from the nurses I had to hold my son down and keep the mask on his face. The first nurse left Max and I to our own devices. Maximus with his strength of fifty babies on steroids; fought hard like Muhammad Ali in the ring, left me feeling defeated. I was thankful another nurse took sympathy and held the mask while I tried to wrangle Maximus to stay still. Essentially I channelled my inner Steve Irwin and crocodile wrested my stressed toddler. In these moments I felt so primal that afterwards I wanted to break.
This emotional ride of Maximus being sick has left me feeling defeated. I waited for the cab for thirty minutes with him sleeping in my arms. From the wheezy breath sounds and small whimpers escaping from his lips I had a moment of panic. How can I be a good mother when all I wanted to do was get home and cry. I felt utterly selfish at this moment, I wanted to be a good mother but instead I thought of myself.
Since we got home he was given a plethora of medication, adding to the layers of distress. After napping with Max to monitor his breathing I put on Thomas the Train and took a shower. I got my moment of clarity that even feeling defeated is part of the mother package. Being alone today and handling a sick child was my wake up call that even with life throwing some serious wrenches I can do this. When my husband called me supermom; I choked back my tears of self-doubt, and plan to hold on a little longer.
This is a stepping stone in learning motherhood. I can either sink or swim or roll with the punches. I sit here typing feeling relieved to know my baby will be OK, all of this will be OK. My muscles may be sore from rocking my child, my body tired from the last day and half, but I feel clear in how much I love my children and what it takes to make sure they have a mother that cares. I will give one supermom moment at a time until my last breath.
Before my first child was born I feared motherhood and swore it off. I thought that if I had children I would abusive just like my mother and foster grandmother. The belief I held so close was that I was incapable of loving anything because I would break it. At the time I felt that anyone I touched or cared for would just disintegrate into thin air. How could anyone with my history be a mother and raise another human being to be a good person?
The day my first child arrived in this universe was the day my heart cracked open. Every mental barricade I placed came flooded with emotion I have never felt. I remember debating if I should place my son up for adoption. Only being eighteen and on the verge of homelessness, I felt that I had already failed this small life. The doctor placed my son in my room and told me to think on it. If he hadn’t done this the outcome of my life would be so different, actually I wouldn’t be alive today. Upon seeing my son I lifted his tiny body and held it to mine. At that moment my world changed as I felt whole for the first time.
My son held my finger his little hands could barely wrap around mine. His full head of black spiky hair smelled so good. He looked so small and fragile that I didn’t want to put him down. My purpose in life so crystal clear: protect this little human at all costs, and learn together to love each other. Something primal climbed into my soul I was his mother and a mother knows no bounds for what she will do for her child.
I don’t have a manual for my child or how to parent when I did not have a mother to guide me. Sometimes when my son and I are fighting I hear the faint promise of the first day that no matter what I will love him. When he says I hate you I respond with I love you to, at that moment he may not see it but I will love him to the end of the universe. I still have fears on the bad days of motherhood but I will never give up trying to find new ways to love myself and my children.
We are a growing garden with fresh bulbs of unique flowers. We grow every day with the promise of eight years ago to never let the stalks go dry and tend each petal with grace and compassion. In the far future I will watch my children water their small gardens of life with the same promise of love and good will.