There's this interesting unspoken quiet and sometimes not so quiet shaming around being a mother and a sexual woman. The silly part of course is that, the only way to become a mother is by being well...sexual.
And yet the message I heard as a young woman with a child, is that I shouldn't wear short skirts because I am a mother now. That statement is problematic in itself, because it's pointing to the very damaging "asking for it mentality", which tends to lead to the rape culture we see in the US. It's also problematic because it violates and shames sovereignty over one's body and what feels comfortable to them. That statement basically says " the only reason you would be wearing that is because you want to attract (men in particular)". Not only is that really not true; often times a short skirt is just that a short skirt with no particular agenda, but what if it was true?
What if the short skirt was to attract a partner? Again really need to emphasize that is most definitely not always the case, but what if it was? The idea that a mother can't be erotic or feel attractive in her own body, stems from a subconscious idea that now that she has a child, she is "owned" by a man, even if a man may or may not be around. It also stems from a strong shadow cultural shaming of women expressing their sexuality freely. It's form of verbal "punishment", as if having a child already shows you are sexual and you don't need to show it even more.
More than anything, cultural uncomfortableness with mothers being erotic beings, shows an uncomfortableness with pleasure, sex and joy being an inherent human right, not something you necessarily do for procreation. Women's sovereignty over their bodies and sexuality has been oppressed in many ways and in many cultures. It is still oppressed today in many ways and in many cultures, including this one.
A woman owning her body and sensuality and being a mother is in direct opposition to a toxic patriarchal system. Her body and sexuality are her own for her own pleasure and do not belong to anyone else. She is responsible to motherhood, but not owned by it. Motherhood doesn't mean her needs, desires and joy don't matter. If that was the case what kind of model would that be for her child?
Prioritizing myself and what nourishes me and fills me up allows me to give my child the permission to do the same and show up more fully charged for the needs of my child Being mindful of my own relationship to sexuality and my own body helps me make sure I talk to my child about sex education appropriate for his age, without passing down generations of unhealed sexual trauma and oppression.