Honesty among parents and mothers in particular is celebrated. I am so fucking envious of that.

Week Two: Envy

Lately I find myself reading funny parenting blogs aloud to Kris.

The brutally honest kind where the moms (and thankfully lots of dads now, too) are like yeah this shit is hard. I love my kid, but damn I feel like a crazy person who hasn’t peed alone in four years.

I wondered aloud why I was drawn to these blogs lately as I don’t have or want children.

And I realized – it’s because they are permitted to be honest. Honesty among parents and mothers in particular is celebrated. I am so fucking envious of that.
These mothers have an outlet to bare all – the good, the bad, the ugly, the stretch marks, the tears, the late nights, the heart explosions, the milk drunk smiles of their newborns.
It is recognized and fully acknowledged that motherhood is hard. That it’s the most amazing thing ever, but that your mental health will be challenged.
These women are validated and praised for their vulnerable honesty in admitting it’s the best of times and the worst of times all at once. Other mothers come out of the cracks and say, “Hey I felt the same. This is normal. You are not alone.”

That’s why I’m drawn to the parenting blogs.

Because I don’t have an outlet like that. Entrepreneurs, the self employed, anyone making their own way – we do not have an outlet for our struggles. There is no framework in place to guide us or help us.

When a new mother has a baby and she is expressing her fears and frustrations, no one says to her – “Why don’t you just give your baby back? Go back to being a childless woman. You brought this whole mothering thing on yourself, so just change it.”

Why don’t they say that? Because it’s not possible. You can’t just give your baby back. Once you’re a mother, there’s no going back. Even if your baby died or you gave it up for adoption or left it at a fire station you’d never be able to revert back to the version of yourself that you were embodying before you have birth. And that is a universally accepted truth.

I am an entrepreneur. I left my “regular” job more than ten years ago. So long ago that when I think back to the time it literally feels like another lifeline (I meant to type “lifetime”, but I think that’s an interesting typo). So many permanent shifts have taken place within my internal landscape that I am a completely different person.

And when I have struggles or dark days or frustrations, people don’t respond to me like they would with a parent. Because they view the shift that has taken place within me as if it were simply a conscious choice…..something very fleeting that I could change at any moment. Their solution is to throw in the towel with self employment, get a “real” job, go back to the way things were.

Because in their minds, it’s that simple.

It’s the same way with anything outside the mainstream prescribed way of living.

For example, Kris and I are polyamorous (though I’m moving farther away from that word because it just gives people a reason to prejudge us). Anytime we have an issue come up related to polyamory, we realize there are very few, if any, people we can talk to about it and that is extremely isolating. Relationship issues are inevitable and it’s normal to talk things out with your friends or with a third party. But when you’re anything but monogamous, people don’t know what to do with you. Even professionals.

Again, the solution to a polyamory problem is just to be monogamous. Since poly is causing us problems, just revert back to monogamy.

Because that was so simple and didn’t present any problems.

If a person is truly polyamorous, at their core, it is another fundamental shift that takes place inside and is not something that can be changed by choice. Just like you couldn’t change yourself from homosexual to heterosexual because it seemed easier.

But that’s another problem with polyamory – so many people just use it as a bandaid or an excuse or something they’re “trying”. And that’s why people view polyamory the way they do – as just a passing phase. Their husband cheated on them, so they’re polyamorous now so they can never be hurt again. Or spouses cheat on each other and decide the solution is to open their marriage. Or a monogamous couple is dysfunctional, doesn’t know how to help themselves, so they “try” polyamory as their solution.

That’s not the same thing as being polyamorous at the core of your being.

That’s been another funny topic. The concept of people going from one extreme to the other. From cheating spouses to polyamorous. From anorexic to unhealthily overweight. From intense religious shame and guilt around sexuality to heavy duty kink and S&M.

Which brings us to another unmentionable – that I’m sexually transparent, open, and free – but I fucking hate gatherings or meetups on these topics. I don’t like play parties or fetish meetups or poly pot luck dinners or anything like that. Because they’re 95% full of people who are recovering from something. And because I don’t need an outlet. I’m not recovering from years of having to keep all those things a secret. I have a healthy relationship with sexuality. I grew up modest, like most, but one day I went to the hot springs with my friends and we all spent the weekend naked. It was as simple as thinking, “Huh – that was cool, let’s just be naked more.” Or when I stopped shaving my legs. I just did. It wasn’t a feminist statement. It wasn’t a fuck you to the man. It wasn’t a big fat finger directed at the unfair sexist beauty standards. I was just like, “Ugh. I’m not in the mood to shave my legs. I hate doing it….why do I hate it….why am I doing this again?” And when I realized I didn’t have a good reason, or even a reason at all, I just stopped. No big deal.

Not liking play parties and meetups and shit though is seen as a big fat judgement. But really it’s just – I don’t separate out that part of my life so I don’t need a special party or meetup to express it freely. One time Kris and I went to a naked art night and we sat around with a group of people and took turns posing and drawing each other. It was super fun and something you need a group to do, obviously. After the art portion was over, there was a play party that everyone kept trying to pressure us into staying for. But we were like, nah that’s okay we’re just going to go home and watch Netflix. We’re not in the mood for a play party. Because the thing is – we can “play” whenever we want. But these people – they had gotten baby sitters and put on costumes and were there to really get their fucking jollies off because that was the only space they had in their life to do so.

That’s not the case in my life though. I don’t compartmentalize thing, so as such – I don’t need an outlet.

While we’re on the topic, another unfair judgement around polyamory is that it means you or your partner are down for sex at anytime, that you’re both fair fame all the time, and that sex is not a big deal for you.

Literally the opposite is true. Sex is a huge deal for me. The actual act of sex is very intimate and something I do not share freely or lightly. Just because one is open about sexuality, does not mean they are casual with intercourse. Which is yet another giant misconception about polyamory – that it’s about sex. It’s not. The very definition of the actual word “polyamory” means “many loves”. Love has nothing to do with sex. You can have sex with someone you don’t love, and you can love someone and not want to have sex with them. Of course, in my opinion anyway, sex is the most awesome when it is with someone you love – but the two are not mutually exclusive.

I am envious of those mothers who write those honest as fuck blogs and get hundreds of supportive comments. I yearn for the day when conversations on any topic of life are met with similar acceptance and openness.

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