My midwife asked me to get back on the bed.
I was currently squatting on a stool. I looked at her and stayed still.
Right then, he grabbed me from behind, and flung us both back on the bed. She asked me to push.
I'll never forget the feeling.
A head pushing through my body, slipping from within to without. My daughters first moments, earth side.
Yes, all of that is sensual, very much so indeed.
However, when my daughter grew, and could walk and talk, I found myself wading through layers upon layers of preconceived notions about motherhood and what it is.
I found myself thinking thoughts like:
Desperate housewife. Ball and chain. Frumpy mom. Boring. Lame. Not sexy.
I struggled with my new identity, mama.
Sure, I was different. Bigger. Thicker around the middle. I had new scars to show for having created a human. But was I so lacking in luster?
Signing my daughter up for a Waldorf play group was the turning point.
Instead of resisting my new role as mama, complete with poop and diapers and laundry and lots of dishes, I began to surrender to the experience in a new way.
I indulged in natural soaps, and taught Sophia how to wash her hands. I got flour and yeast and began to bake homemade bread. I bought a new apron. I brought layers of warmth to our home in the form of rugs and lambskin and candles and quilts. And perhaps most importantly, I invited Sophia into the rhythm of house work, and together we did it all, while singing songs.
Inside of my transformation of our home and our routines, I found myself deeply nourished by the rhythm of home life.
I found myself enjoying the sensualness of being human, maybe more than I ever had before, or at least since I was a wee babe.
So many new moms are buried under bodies of children, wading out to try to make a meal, or take a hot shower, or finish a load of clothes.
It is in these stories that we bore the tales of a frumpy, tired mama, desperate and plain.
However, the truth, as I am discovering it, is that when we stop resisting our role, and we give ourselves over to it, it becomes a spiritual journey- one that is deeply nourishing for all involved.
I've never enjoyed life more.
From baking bread, to sweeping and singing and lighting beeswax candles and hunting in the yard for gnomes, I find myself experiencing the sensual energy of childhood.
I find myself delighted to be in a body, and thrilled at all available to us. Knowing that I can just go to a store and get everything I could possibly need is quite remarkable. The act of scooping out flour from a bulk bin is highly erotic, have you noticed? 😉
A child in their first 7 years is in the most magical time of childhood.
They're very sensual- everything they taste, touch, hear and smell, they become. They are one with their world and their senses.
This is why creating a safe, warm, space for them to explore and develop their imagination with play is so vital. This is why slowing down, enjoying child-hood and creating a meaningful experience of home + daily life is so instrumental.
In Waldorf, they emphasize surrounding the child with natural things- wools, cottons, wood...these are pulsing with living energy.
Once I took all plastic toys out of my space, and brought in elements of nature, everything shifted, and I too began to feel more alive and in touch with my sensual self.
It's true. I'm a maiden no more.
My belly likely will never be as flat. I'll never be able to pick up on a whim and go on a road trip and camp in a tent under the stars, or make love as a young and free vessel...
Yet now, as a mother, I am in tune with life in a more vital way- I know what it is to create it, to carry it, to birth it and to sustain it, in warmth, and love, and a rhythm deep enough to last a life-time.
So, maybe I'm frumpy on your average Saturday and admittedly a bit less cool, but I'm on a whole new level of knowing fulfillment and love.
And what my maiden self knew of surrender, and service and warmth, pales in comparison to what my mother self understands. So it is now, that I am uncovering, and discovering, the new Self, that I AM, at one with the pulses of life, embracing it all, on an average Saturday.
If you're a new mama, overwhelmed, stressed, not enjoying it all...I have a game for you to play...
Try getting rid of, or at least packing away, all of the plastic toys that make noise. Have your home be filled with only natural materials, dolls, play things. You'll be amazed at what this simple act can do!
Bring in warmth, as much as you can, in the form of table cloths, nature altars, singing, lighting candles.
Slow down and do less. Stay home a little more, and perhaps you may even wish to try baking with your babe- oh, do they love it so! Check out the Waldorf Kindergarten Snack Book with easy bread recipes.
P.S. If you're local to Boulder County, consider signing up for the Boulder Valley Waldorf School Sweet Pea Program. This is a place to come, with your babe, stay awhile, sing songs, bake bread, eat, play, rest, sew, and meet other mamas. You'll be nourished, from deep within, I promise.