Friday, May 15, 2009

This is a Mom

Today I was a mom.

Yes, I’ve been a mom for five years now, but today, I was just a mom.

I did not even try to make time for my writing. I did not work on marketing. I did not work on drawing.

I prepared for a gaggle of little girls to invade my home tomorrow for Genny’s fifth birthday party.

I organized the living room, dining room, and kitchen. I cleaned and emptied the back porch and washed off all the outside paraphernalia. I dug up the dirt and grass that had overgrown our slate pathway. I washed muddy slippers and shoes, which reminds me, they are still in the dryer. I cooked supper for daughter and father-in-law. I nursed. I ferried my daughter to and from school.

My back aches. I’m dirty and sweaty.

I now understand why it takes a mom to run a home, to do all the stuff that needs to get done. It really and truly is a job and a half.

It seems the only way to make mothering work is to commit to it absolutely and completely and only do other stuff if you happen to have some free time. I do not like this. But I think I must accept it. Or somehow make oodles of money so we can hire someone to help with all the housework and drudge work.

I know there will be a balance between me and me-as-mom eventually.

But I can’t expect so much from myself.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


No one ever mentions the downsides of nursing your baby.

There are obviously lots of pluses: nourishing your child with life-giving food, voluptuous breasts even for the small breasted, and an amazing bonding experience.

There are negatives: never being able to be away from your baby for more than a few hours (unless you pump or supplement with formula), never getting many hours of uninterrupted sleep, and uncomfortable, painful, leaking breasts.

At the moment I have one hard, lumpy, painful right breast, which is always much larger than the left, by the way. Cole is nursing on it right now, so hopefully he’ll help the over-milk full feeling.

Nick just carried Genny upstairs to bed since she fell asleep on the couch. I am soon to bed myself.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Random Thoughts

Lack of sleep is making my brain fuzzy. I’m finding it hard to concentrate. Cole just doesn’t want to sleep for a long stretch anymore. Maybe I’m the one of the lucky moms who gets one of those babies, you know, the kind who doesn’t need too much sleep.

Unfortunately, I’m one of those babies who DOES need a lot of sleep.

This Saturday our home will be overrun by four and five-year-old girls for Genny’s fifth birthday party. I’m watching the weather with bated breath, hoping the rain stays away, so we can play outside.

Cole is blowing spit bubbles and chewing on a toy octopus’ legs.

I am washing clothes and being splashed by spit bubbles.

Did I mention I’m tired?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

This is Me

Stripper Mom breaks expectations and conventions. Unintentionally.

How many mothers do you know that wear makeup every day? Not me. Here's a photo of what I look like on your average day after having maybe four hours of sleep. Yes, I do have a five-month-old baby. Four hours of sleep is good.

When I was stripping most people would never guess what I did for a living. I only wore makeup when I performed. The rest of the time I was simply me.

The same goes today. I hardly ever wear makeup in “real” life. I guess I got that sweet bit of freedom from my mother, who never wore makeup.

I’m happy with who I am and what I look like. I thought most of the world was catching up with the attitude that women are most beautiful when they are just being themselves, but then I realize this isn’t so.

There are so many straightjackets of expectations I have dealt with in my life as a girl, as a woman. I imagine this is true for many women, but having been a stripper, a model and an actress, I’ve been exposed to truly confounding expectations from others.

I realize now though that I truly am fine with what others think of me. I know I can’t control how others perceive me. And I certainly don’t intend to try to figure out what others might expect from me. As long as I am happy with myself—that is all that’s important.

My greatest hope for my daughter is that she will always feel secure in herself just as she is. This is my dream. This is my goal.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Itsy Bitsy This!

Today is one of those days that feel like the universe is laughing at me.

It all started with my second Itsy Bitsy yoga class this morning. Cole napped on our way there and was in general quite happy during the class. I, on the other hand, was cranky.

It must be my post-partum depression coming out because I was thoroughly unhappy with yoga class. I felt so out of place with the other new first-time mothers who were just so happy about everything baby-related.

The instructor asked us to share something “funny” about our birthing experience and that word just ticked me off. There was absolutely nothing at all that I could describe as funny. And then as I listened to the other mothers happily sharing their different levels of labor pain, all I could think about was how horrible my birth of Genny was five years ago.

Nick’s mother passed away the night before Genny was born and my own mother was horribly ill with cancer. To say there was stress involved is putting it mildly.

Cole’s birth was much better, but still, there wasn’t anything funny or fun about it.

The other mothers were also just very happy about the whole motherhood thing. They were laughing and bubbly and loving everything baby-related. I was not. I felt out of place. Out of sorts.

And then the whole Itsy Bitsy yoga thing started feeling so wrong. All the moves are done sing-songy and yes, I do speak to Cole in a cute, sweet voice, but there was just something so fake and contrived feeling about this today.

I’m thinking I should write my own baby-yoga book, but it will be about letting out our mother-angst. There will be drum beating and wailing and moaning and writhing about on the floor. Once we’ve let all that out then we’ll turn to our babies with love and say, “I love you, but I really would love some time to myself.”

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mom’s Day

Stripper Mom was reminded of her past today on the drive to her step-sister’s house.

We drove through the valley along Route 8 and passed through Waterbury.

I remembered The Patio—a strip club that was also a restaurant where I once thought I was going to have to strip for a very elderly woman (her husband removed the unaware woman before the strippers started their shift).

And I remembered another Waterbury club, whose name I can’t remember, where the bar back kept sneaking a peek of me through a large crack in the dressing room’s door.

And at the moment, my children will not let me have two minutes on the computer: Cole sits on my lap kicking me and blubbering, and Genny will not stop saying, “Mommy, mommy, what does this say?” as she scrolls through the LOLcats on icancheezburger.

So I will end with saying Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there.

And a remembrance to my own mother…