The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Thursday, June 04, 2009


Unattainable Ideals Offer Unrealistic Comparisons

The Society for Sex Therapists and Research recently released the greatest public service announcement in history. Perfectly satisfying intercourse between loving partners most often occurs between three and thirteen minutes. This does not mean that somewhere in America, someone—not you—is coupling every three to thirteen minutes, but that longer is not necessarily better. What a relief that marathon lovemaking is more myth than measure of intimate pleasures.

We so often suffer from comparing ourselves to some unattainable ideal and bearing the shame of coming up short. Movies, magazines, TV commercials depict smiling people in designer homes living the good life, or at least having lots of long, hot sex. Excluded are those of us with cellulite or moods.

Maybe it’s time to recalibrate our standard measurements. But why stop with sex?

When my daughters were tiny, I went to a talk by a revered Bay Area nurse-turned-guru for new mothers. This is how she measured parenting success: At the end of the day, once the children are asleep and you no longer feel like killing them, on the whole, more days than not, does your pleasure about having kids outweigh your regret? If so, you’re doing fine.

By that measure, I’m doing better than fine. Usually I’m glad I became a mother even before the kids are asleep.

And how about the fashion industry? When dress sizes were reconfigured so that overnight I went from twelve to ten without liposuction, I felt much better. I also spent more money on clothes. No matter how you measure it, that’s a win-win for both me and retail sales.

Now I’m waiting for the next greatest public service announcement in history—research conclusively proving that perfectly satisfying sex between loving partners can occur far less frequently than one point five times per week.

By Lorrie Goldin

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I love what the guru said about how you feel at the end of the day. I love looking at pictures of my kids (after they are in bed). It's funny, I can't wait till they go to bed, and then I miss them in a way (when I'm not needed to feed them, etc.)

Nice piece!

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