Is that you
Let thirty seconds pass
Before I cross the room
To pick up my phone
It’s a fucking ad
For solar panels
It was years ago now
Sitting in a privacy cubicle in the parents’ room in the middle of a shopping centre
Playschool on the tele on the other side of them
Seeking some rest before attempting
The epic effort of loading the car with baby and self
Back to the place of endless labour
and insufficient sleep
Feeling a little self pity
At my lot
As a single mother
not by choice
And a voice
From the next cubicle
Where two local mums had been talking
Cuts through my ruminations
“Babydaddy’s a useless C##T anyway
All he ever does is
F**k putrid hoes.”
Yes, I remember that.
Sometimes a crow in the distance sounds like a child in another room calling out “Mum!”
Sitting with the selectively obedient schnoodle on the hillside grass of the vacant block in our suburb
Meditating at the pre-schooler’s suggestion
She shouts to the passing cars
“We’re having PEACE!”
Oh subtle maiden, so light and ephemeral… are you even real?
Who was your namesake, that you are such a simple pleasure, in your blue Twinings paper gown, with an arousal so light that you tempt me a second time?
Today’s early start and less than well child take their toll as the afternoon wears on.
I urgently scrape the wet side of the last piece of Turkish delight through the icing sugar, hanging out for a hit of false zest.
Water, some nuts, perhaps a meedjool date – I know what I ought to do. And I do these things earnestly, I do. And in addition I crave my fragrant mistress, who seems to promise that she’ll never tell.
Please don’t, my afternoon darling. Don’t tell those neural pathways of the night that we have trysted so late in the day. Our romance depends on your discretion.
For you serve me not well as a morning friend. Not even your husband The Earl will do as a prelude to that exotic dark beaned stud who visits just once a day.
No. Your place in my heart is discrete as it is discreet. My 3:00-5:00 pm liaison. And in that window, I adore and revere you.
But ’tis on days such as these that I may seek your pleasure double.
And if I dare, and I know you won’t dissuade me; how can I know that you will let my True Love, Sleep, wrap her most sincere arms around me when I seek my nightly rest?
How can I trust you not to jostle with her, taking me in rapidly changing directions through diary entries past and future, through refrigerator contents, choreography ancient and yet unknown, through band names, song lyrics, childhood wounds, current concerns… oh light touch you may have; but I know your secret depth.
As I know what you give me in this moment; as the stretch in front of me gapes wide, alluding to another walk, (this time with teapot, unicorn, and boots on the wrong feet), more trampoline bouncing, some kind of cobbled together evening meal and the epic bath book etc end of things… of course I need your sweet whisper of courage.
The bergamot on your breath urging me to recall my optimism at sunrise; your warmth in my mouth softening my every cell to continue my gracious surrender to every moment’s gifts.
Your soft lips brushing mine, with a lightness even more delicate than that of your notoriously gentle husband. Oh my treasured friend, you know I favour you above herbal remedies, or excess sugar, or the sensible option of a protein snack.
So please, as we repeat our most adult dalliance within minutes of the last sip, I beseech you, as the kettle steams in anticipation of our second kiss of the afternoon; betray me not, as I lay me down tonight.
Let me find slumber deep and sweet, and your place in the front of the drawer you shall keep.
I don’t even know when or how it happened, it must have been gradual, or I just forgot one day… I don’t know, I try to practise mindfulness in daily life, but that’s because it’s essential to my functioning. It doesn’t mean I’m on top of everything. It’s the magic glue that helps hold me together and respond with loving awareness to my children when their developing brains aren’t supporting them to be pleasant. But anyway, I haven’t lost my train of thought; surprisingly, I know this is a piece about my pelvic floor and its incidental recovery from massive weight gain, pregnancy, childbirth and nowhere near enough post partum orgasms…
Yes. Hooray for me. I no longer need to anxiously insert a panty liner before working out. Or before leaving the house. And I definitely don’t need to leave a class half way through to change my panty liner. I do still wear only black leggings, however. Because I invested a tonne of dollars into quality active wear as a gesture of self love when I knew that keeping me going is essential to a) keeping my kids going and b) modeling empowered feminism to my kids.
No martyrdom here please, my life choices are choices, and if I’m not enjoying the way my life is, let me figure out what I need to do to change that. There is only now – it might as well not suck!
For me, that’s the main thing I want my kids, my students, my friends to take away from our time together. That we are agents of change, and that life circumstances are invitations to practise our personal power.
So when my ladybits were left in a state of softness after my magical female body lovingly and enthusiastically gave itself over to the work of building a tiny human, I could have let them stay that way. And spent my whole life paranoid that I smelt a bit like wee. And gone through who knows what huge big feels every time I jumped or sneezed or coughed or even laughed. Avoid laughter? No thanks. And I get hayfever. So…
… I set alarms in my phone to remind me to do the elevator squeezes – ten sets three times a day. Heaps of times, I would put the alarm on snooze, and by the time it went off again, I would have totally forgotten all about them.
That’s why I needed the alarms.
Heaps of times too, the alarm would go off at fairly public moments – during a counseling session, at playgroup, driving in the car with my teen and her friends.
Lots of times I would actually say “oh, that means it’s time to do pelvic floor exercises”, and co-opt the people I was with into being cheerleaders for my elastic hammock, and hopefully their own too.
Is that embarrassing? I don’t think so. I think people like talking about their muscle building prowess with most other muscles, and lets be real; the pelvic floor muscles are pretty major heroes when it comes to keeping it all together.
Letting people know that I’m a mum who’s recovering my pelvic floor is not as embarrassing as having to run to the toilet after 60 seconds of jumping rope (or ten, as it was the first time I went to boxing after baby). It’s not as embarrassing as regular light bladder leakage or more serious incontinence problems. I think my daughter would rather grab my phone from the cradle while I’m driving and switch off the alarm (with muscle flex emoji), than be put off having children because I never want to jump on the trampoline with her baby sister…
So, as I said, in who knows what interval, I stopped buying panty liners, because at some point I must have stopped using them at a rate of ‘keep the entire industry in profit’.
And that’s the thing about support. Sometimes we really hardcore need it in a big big way. And we’re hypervigilant about clutching to it and keeping it in place. But, my Super-vag and I have discovered, that when we couple external support with mindful behavioural choices and strengthening work that is at least mildly consistent; then that urgent, desperate need for the ‘absorbent bleached cotton product’ lessens; and eventually our ecological footprint can lighten a little bit more. And we are more free to enjoy more of what life offers as enjoyable things. Even sneezing – maybe enough of those could make up for that lack of orgasms? But I don’t wanna go through too many tissues…