Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Female Stuff and FEEEEELINGS.

Today is Headache Day, which unhappily coincides with I Finished All Four Chocolates In My Mother’s Day Chocolate Box From Church Day (that is not enough chocolate, not at all), Feel Inadequate and Unworthy Day, and Female Stuff Day.  So you could say that it is a Good (Terrible) Day.


It is fortunate for my family, and especially my husband, that I have book club tonight.  At book club, I can rage against the book that I didn’t much enjoy, eat dessert, and commiserate with girlfriends, one of whom is in the early stages of pregnancy and is probably having a worse day than I am, if her morning sickness is anything like mine was.  And if it isn’t like mine was, I sincerely hope she pretends that it is, because the last thing you want to to hear any woman say is “Oh, I feel great!  Pregnancy is the BEST!”  Because either no one believes you or they do, in which case they feel horrible about themselves and their own pregnancy, which they then think was imperfect.  This is why I like to follow up the stories of Charles’s and Jamie’s amazing (easy! ish! comparatively!) births with anecdotes about living with world’s most heinous episiotomy.  Bottom line, though, is that the book club girls will understand in a way that my husband does not, regardless of the fact that he has witnessed hormonal me for nearly a decade.


It’s also fortunate for Tony because female stuff now = no female stuff next week (calling it “female stuff” is easier than calling it “rage-y, painful, bloated menstrual week”), which means we can have vacation sex (aaaaand, this is the point my dad stops reading.  Hi, dad!  Bye, dad!), which we all know is better than normal sex.  Mostly because I anticipate being well-rested.


I wonder, sometimes, how many people feel like I do.  I wonder how many of these confident, composed, hard-working, sacrificing mothers I know stand in front of the mirror like I do at least once a month and wonder why anyone would ever want to love them.  Because the FaceBook posts never say, “I’m having a menstrual migraine right now and I feel bloated and totally worthless.”  Nor do they say, “Thank God it’s sunny because when it rains and I’m hormonal, I feel even worse about myself.”  No one at my fitness classes knows that the monologue going through my head when I sprint while pushing a double-stroller goes something like, “None of the other moms work this hard, and all of them look great.  Why do you have to work so hard and you only ever look marginal?  You will never succeed.”  Shit, I don’t even know what success looks like anymore.  Maybe I never did.  Is it being thin?  Weighing less?  (Full disclosure: I weigh 146.5 lbs, 2.5 lbs more than I did three months ago and at least 15 lbs more than I did when I got married, 7 lbs more than I did when I got pregnant with Charles and with Jamie.  I’m 5’ 5”, so if you’ve never met me, you could generously say that I’m “curvy.”)  Being a better mom?  How do you even measure that?  Making more money? 


What would make me feel better about myself, especially on these days when the hormones make it impossible to drown out the voice in my head that hates me so much?


I’m going shoe shopping.  At least my feet aren’t bloated.

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