Sex and the Working Mom
February 8, 2010
I must admit: In this day and age I wasn't expecting such a strong backlash about my job at Playboy. If you head over to Parenting's Facebook fan page, you'll see what I mean. Don't get me wrong, I'm used to evoking strong reactions in people when I reveal that I work for Playboy, but in my usual circle of friends the reactions are more, "What's Hef like?" And "Have you ever been to the Playboy Mansion?" (Answer: He's cool, and yes, it's the happiest place on earth.) In my new role as mom, maybe working here is not considered appropriate playtime talk amongst some moms. Maybe those moms and my friends wouldn't be caught dead at the same cocktail party. Okay, I get that. But this isn't playtime, people, and I'm assuming (hoping!) your kids aren't reading my blog.
Everyone's entitled to their opinions -- I won't fault you for yours if you don't fault me for mine. So here we go: I don't find the kind of adult lifestyle and entertainment content we do here at Playboy offensive, nor do I find it demeaning to women. (Okay, Conservative Moms, have at it!) The last story I wrote was titled "Top 10 Ways Not to Suck in Bed" -- it was geared toward men to help inform them, from a woman's perspective, about the little things they can do to improve their sex life (from man-scaping to being respectful in the sack). It's debatable if the story was actually a little demeaning to men, though that wasn't its intention either. How are our articles any more demeaning to women, than, say, "How to Touch a Man Naked," a cover line on this month's issue of Cosmopolitan? Or what about their "Sex Position of the Day" on Cosmopolitan.com? Compare women's magazines to Playboy -- you'd probably be surprised to learn that men aren't the only ones thinking about sex.
But I don't expect everyone to embrace Playboy's sensibility the way I have -- working here for almost eight years has desensitized me to the tasteful nudity and sexually driven content; if you've seen one pair of surgically enhanced boobs, you've pretty much seen them all. Can we at least agree on that? (She says with a wink.) What I'm trying to say is, not much fazes me anymore. And not to ruin the mystery, but it's not as "pornographic" around here as people might think -- have you seen a porno lately? Our content pales in comparison. However, I respect the fact that it fazes some people, so if this blog isn't for you, I will not twist your arm to continue reading it. No more than we twist the arms of the girls who pose for us.
That's all I'm going to say about that, because this blog is not about me defending my career choice, nor is it about defending Playboy -- in fact, I'm quite proud of where I work. And I'm quite proud of the fact that I juggle this job with being a mom -- my schedule isn't easy, but that's not to say it's any harder than yours. It's just not easy for me. As we know, everyone handles things differently.
Preston as a newborn: only 2 days old.
Speaking of, Preston's sleep schedule is starting to shift. (Like how I changed the subject on you?) He's been going to bed at 9 p.m. pretty consistently for a while now. As of last week, he's beginning to forgo his third nap and is ready to go down around 8, and I suspect it'll keep getting earlier. Since I get home at 6-6:30, I want him to go to bed as late as possible without going into overtired mode obviously. So right now we have enough time to play, have a bath, and then I give him his last bottle, read a book and we wind down to go to sleep. My time with him begins just as his day is ending.
That's the hardest part about being a working mom in my opinion.
I'm missing out on so much time with him during the week, which I try to make up for on weekends -- basically, any time I'm not at work, I'm with him. We're pretty much attached on weekends. But that also means, I have little to no time for myself, except after he goes to sleep. By then I'm so tired, forget working out or doing anything productive -- um, like cooking dinner for my husband? Yeah, right. (Sorry, Husband!)
I hate to sound like a whiner, because I know I have it pretty good -- I have a husband who supports my career, and who's home with our son two days a week. We have a great nanny, too, the other three days, whom Preston loves. The struggles I have aren't necessarily tangible ones -- the things I grapple with are, How can I be a good mom when I spend less time with my son than I do with my job? Does he notice I'm not there during the day? Does he care? I'm not expecting any clear-cut answers, because I knew this dual life -- being a working mom, or a mom who works -- wasn't going to be easy. And while quitting my job isn't an option, sometimes I feel sorry for myself, that I don’t have the time other moms have, for their husband, their baby, or for themselves--like I'm a victim of my own circumstances. As important as my career is to me, I have those moments of weakness--um, as in every morning when I say goodbye to my son and wonder whether I could be happy being a stay-at-home mom. In fact, I asked my husband this yesterday. "Babe, please," he said. "You'd last a week. I know you. You wouldn't be happy not working."
He's right. Yet it doesn't make this juggling act any easier.
But the grass always seems greener, doesn't it? So I would love to hear from moms on both sides of the coin: If you're a SAHM, do you ever regret your choice to stay home? Are you ever resentful of your husband because he gets to leave the house and go to work every day? Would you consider going back to work at any point? On the flipside, if you're a full-time working mom, how do you justify how much time you're spending away from your family, and how do you make time for everything?
My little playboy at 11 weeks.