Sex, Drugs And Motherhood: Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad

I have always been The Emotional One. Growing up, it was considered a weakness in my family and whispered across the dinner table like “cancer” in a John Hughes movie. (Apparently, crying counts as being emotional but anger doesn’t.)

To be fair, I am super emotional. The highs are blissful but the lows get pretty low. Some people in my life are uncomfortable with all this emotion, so I’ve learned to curb it. I’ve also began to wonder: where does creativity end and mental illness begin?

Just recently, life was becoming rather intense and I decided to go back on the antidepressant I was on after experiencing postpartum depression when my second child was born. I was like Alice licking the mushroom in Wonderland: as soon as my body got even the smallest dose of the drugs, it remembered all of the side effects and doubled them. These include gastrointestinal issues (that part wasn’t so bad, actually, because my jeans fit) and sleeplessness. I also remembered what it was like having to work so hard for for an orgasm (even a wimpy one). That’s right, these drugs pretty much killed my sex drive.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for drugs (especially therapeutic ones), and Zoloft helped me get through a really difficult time when my little one was born. But now my kids are older, I have more freedom than before and, well, I want my orgasm back! It seems that’s impossible to achieve while I’m on antidepressants. So, the big question is: what makes me a better mom sex or drugs?

Let’s weigh the options:

I should be working out but I’m not. I love yoga but am totally lazy when it comes to dragging my butt to class. Sex limbers me up and helps me connect to my breath. Score one for sex.

My husband drives me crazy. Solution? Take my crazy out on him. Score two.

But then the parenting guilt comes in. In an ideal world, I’d be calm, even and empathetic on evenings and weekends (during the weekdays, my kids are at camp). I would be neutrally engaged at all times and only use my indoor voice. But that seems impossible without the meds (score one for drugs).

Seems that sex outweighs the drugs (at least for now). In the meantime, I’ve come up with a pretty solid compromise: parenting therapy (for me, that equals mindfulness without the meds).

Still, I am a bit shriek-y with the kids. But as long as I can be within respectable boundaries, I am going to let them see me for who I am: an emotional and creative, loud and soft, up and down mom. I am letting my freak flag fly and they will just have to learn that grown-ups make mistakes and can repair them, too.

Besides, something about having the script filled in my medicine chest is keeping me reasonable. If I eventually do get it filled, that’ll mean saying goodbye to the Big O for a while. But so be it.

At this precise moment, I am mindfully and willingly putting my arms up in the air on this crazy roller coaster we call parenthood. And I, Roller Coaster Mom, with my IUD firmly in place, am enjoying the ride.

(Photo: iStockphoto)

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