Motherhood has the alarming effect of stripping away most of your dignity, yes? Not to mention any facade of privacy you may have once held dear. It starts early. Very early. Actually, come to think of it, most of your dignity and privacy is stripped away in the few hours before you, technically, become a mother.
Let’s be honest. How may of us have maintained our calm, our composure, and our clothing whilst birthing a child, however it was done…? Hmmm. Not many. That’s what I thought.
Time for one of those random memory flashes from the rusty filing cabinet that is Lori’s brain… a flashback, if you will. It almost needs The Wonder Years soundtrack playing behind it. And… cue music.
The Man and I, attending ante-natal classes. Me, most heavily pregnant, in a room filled with other most heavily pregnant women, and their scared-sh*tless-but-putting-on-a-brave-face husbands and/or birth partners. Discussing the in and outs of boobies, pethidine and blessed gas with a forceful, slightly scary midwife. Unsurprisingly, the subject of nudeness comes up. Nudeness, and legs splayed, and strangers staring at your rapidly enlarging vagina.
Birth is so glamorous, yes?
“That’s what I’m most worried about. Being humiliated”, chimes in one pregnant chick.
“Me too”. That, from me. “*Gulp*”
“Ha!”, says the midwife. “Believe me, when it comes to that point, humiliation will be the last thing on your mind. By then, you will not even care.”
Well, as it turns out, yes, really. Three hours into labor, and my sense of dignity and self preservation where gone. They have never really come back.
There’s been boobies flashed, inadvertently, in early breastfeeding. Six weeks post-natal check ups (“You will just feel a little bit of pressure form both inside and out, OK?”). Being fitted with The Diaphragm of Misadventure. And then, you know, giving birth the second time in the back yard. with my-mother in-laws hand on my hoo-ha.
And that’s just the nudity in front of strangers, or evil relatives. There then there’s the Eternally Open Toilet Door.
You know what I mean, I’m sure you do. If you’re a mother of small children, your house has one of these. The Eternally Open Toilet Door. You both urinate and, if the situation requires, defecate with the door open.
“What?” I hear the childless people call out. “Why?!“
The answer is quite simple. There is no point closing the door. Because if you do, it’s quite possible- nay, it’s probable– all hell will break loose between siblings. Or your loungeroom will be absolutely covered in toys in the three seconds it takes you to wee, wipe and flush. Or, you won’t get to wee in peace anyway, because small hands will be banging on the door. And little people will be crying out “Mum, what are you doing?”.
And so we have the phenomenon known as the Eternally Open Toilet Door. If you’re not going to poo in peace anyway, you may as well have a genial conversation with your almost-three-year old whilst you’re there; concerning the finer points of exactly what you’re doing, when you will use the toilet paper and why the new front loader washing machine is not scary as it looks.
I draw the line at tampon or moon cup insertion though.
That, I think, is going a bit too far. It doesn’t have to be done in peace, I’m OK with a ruckus going on. It doesn’t require a lot of concentration, really, after years of practice. But it does require the door being closed (and preferably locked and soundproofed, but, hey, I’ll take what I can get). And I really don’t want to have to give the Chop a running commentary on tampon/moon cup insertion, just yet. It may just scar him for life.
So… the Eternally Open Toilet Door. Discuss, my lovelies. It’s not just the Purple House that has an Eternally Open Toilet Door.. right? (Please, please tell me it’s not. Because if it is, this post is going to come across as being really, really weird and I may just have to delete it…)