Turned {On} Moms

by Natalie Thiel  Nov 4, 2013
Natalie and Paul

I was embarrassed to find that when recently faced with the question, “What is a Turned-On Mama?” I froze. I felt like I was failing to define a literary term on an English exam; I didn’t know how to describe it, but I know it when I see it.

A Turned-On Mama is... well, you know, turned ON. She’s got her groove on, she’s moved by her mojo, she’s following her bliss, she is living her life ignited. A Turned-On Mama is doing what she loves to do. I love being a mom. I mean really love being a mom, and not in the Hallmark way, or in the all-good-women-should-want-babies kind of way. If I had wanted to be a “good” woman I would have waited to have children in my 30s when my career was established and with a steady man, and likely joined a moms' group to talk about how my sex drive was gone and what to do now with a child in a passionless marriage.

Instead, I had my first child at 19 in college, with a wavering baby-daddy who, while being far from husband-material could turn me on like a light so bright I couldn’t think straight. I was a single mom for many years.

My path to motherhood was considerably different than most, but it was exactly where I wanted to go. It's not flowers and rainbows and babies cooing—it's long nights and tested patience and re-living all of your own childhood triggers. It is like having a little miniature Zen master at your side at all times, whispering Koans in your ear day and night—sometimes you want him to just shut up already but ultimately, it is a deep path of learning. I charged into motherhood with no regrets—a number of complaints perhaps, but no regrets. Motherhood does not drain me, it feeds me—all the way down to my bones. Sure, having a teething baby who sleeps in no more than 3 hour increments through the night doesn’t exactly leave me feeling energized, but I am talking about the big picture here.

Motherhood is also not the only thing that feeds my spirit. Were that the case I would be seriously malnourished, and my children even more so. A long time mentor of mine has reminded me time and time again, “Natalie, you can be a mother and have your orgasm, too.” To some this may sound obvious, to others a contradictory, but to me I have made it somewhat of a mantra.

There is a great deal of weight behind what I like to think of as a great cultural misunderstanding that mothers are not sexual creatures, and I think that’s a crying shame because this job is a whole lot easier with a little (or a lot of) orgasm in my life.

Orgasmic Meditation is what you could call my touchstone in staying turned-on. When I have strayed too far from feeling my body, it brings me back time and time again. Now this is not as romantic as it may seem. Parenthood has a way of turning anyone into something of a pragmatist. I don’t OM because it is romantic, or exciting really, I OM because it works. It works like exercise and a balanced diet and low-risk investments work. Don’t get me wrong, OM is a profound practice—and I'm sure I will appreciate its profundity even more in the future when I get a full night's sleep and more than a few fleeting moments of alone time sprinkled throughout my day. In the meantime, my main reasons for persisting with this practice during the always-tired infant year are these:

  1. It’s simple: After finishing the logistics of the day and finally wrestling the kids into bed, don’t ask me to do anything fancy or complicated. I can build an OM nest half asleep, and lie down even if I don’t feel “in the mood” thanks to the simple routine of it. Oh, and then it has this lovely effect of perking me up—I lay down a mom-zombie, and sit up a human again.
  2. It’s short: Spare time is not plentiful in any family with young children. Our post-bedtime childless window is 2 hours, tops. If the options are, a) spend an hour of that time verbally decompressing and sifting through the mud of the work day in order to get reconnected with your body and your husband, b) spend 15 minutes having an OM to get reconnected with your body and your husband, or, c) don’t bother reconnecting at all—which would you chose? (I confess: I sometimes chose a and c because I forget how well b really works.
  3. It’s free: Babysitters cost a lot these days. So do movies. OM is free connection with my partner, better than any date night or movie can provide.
  4. It keeps me turned on: I mean this in a broad spectrum of ways. Yes, when I am OMing regularly I want to have more sex with my husband. Getting connected through OM relieves the pressure of sex—if one of us doesn’t feel like it, it’s not a big deal. It also keeps the lights on elsewhere too—as a writer, I can tell when we have missed a few days in our OM practice because I start to get blocked or lethargic as I try to write. As a mom, I stay more energized and patient. OM is like vitamins for my vitality, and I can tell when I haven’t been taking them.

My husband’s attitude about OM is equally pragmatic. When asked, “What’s in this for you?" his response is typically, “What isn’t?” When he learned what a monster I become if I am caught out and about with the kids and I get hungry, he started to leave small snacks hidden in all of the compartments in the car. He knows that a well-fed mama keeps everything and everyone else running smoothly. The same goes for OM. I can start to get rough around the edges when orgasm isn't happening, and he takes it as a cue to smooth things out with an OM. It nourishes me, it nourishes him, and the kids feel easier to handle afterwards, too. It’s like putting energy back into the grid so that everyone can benefit. A Turned-On Mama is a happy mama, and a happy mama helps make a happy family.