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Good Bad Boys and Crazy Stable Girls

07/13/2010

Beautiful Readers,

It’s been a while since I wrote–and there is actually a very good, very personal, reason for that, which I won’t go into. But let’s just say, as one disaffected young lady in my Williamsburg Brooklyn oil painting class did “Oh. Drama. I get it.” Now this young woman is 20 if she is a day, and I am, um, not– but whatever her age I certainly like it that she seemed to feel that a little drama in life was like a thunderstorm– something to be expected sometimes and not a disaster of any epic proportion.

And now for my little secret. I love the part of me that, with two kids, a house to run, and a normal adult life to lead, is still passionately engaged enough in my world  that sometimes things can go a little haywire. I like the part of me that gets swept up –or can even be thrown off kilter sometimes, by life events.  And you can’t convince me it’s bad. In fact I believe that if you want to be authentic, flexible, resilient and strong–it can be essential to let life toss you around a little–not try to control it all.

Of course there has to be balance. I always loved the idea that I would be all June Cleaverish by day, cheery and muffin-makey with my kids and significant other, and yet never turn into an automaton or end up with a medicine cabinet of “mother’s little helpers”, burying every emotion or desire not appropriate to that role so deep that I could no longer even see them anymore. But I equally love the idea that at night (or when the kids are not around) I could have a whole separate and different world, one wholly inappropriate for children–one that was more wild and free and creative and honest and uninhibited than any child of mine would ever want to know about. And, frankly, I have kind of got that, or at least the makings of it and the desire for it–now I just need to make the time.

And I have a male counterpart too. You know the smoldering male who is tough and ornery, and lives life by his own terms and really doesn’t care about the rest? I like him too. We all do. But in my world this man by day can do what I do, and collect himself, take care of business, and manage the rigors of a reasonably presentable home and care about the details of a family. And then by night…well, it’s a whole different thing. And I’m not just talking about sex–but the whole great big sexy adult world opened up full of subtlety and bawdiness and passion.

I have read blogs written mostly by moms about  parenting/self  balance and a lot of what I have been hearing is that you need to incorporate elements of each into both–but after 12 years of this parenting thing, I’m afraid I disagree. Kids need and want full 100 percent parenting when they are with you–they like it conservative, regular, and, well, boring, for the most part–and frankly, what I have discovered at least for myself is that some kind of integration of  that plus a more “sexy” personality just doesn’t really work.

And if it did work, what would that even look like? Wearing stillettos while you breastfeed? Witty banter with your significant other, 9 year old, and 12 year old, at the dinner table? Flirtatious innuendo during Barney? It just doesn’t make sense. Kids don’t like that stuff nor can they contribute to it. And what I have seen for the most part in this world where we like to think that we are “ourselves” in front of our kids–is that there is a large part of us that doesn’t get any play at all.

And I’m afraid that eventually, for some couples, that part of them starts to go away– and they begin to  feel “old” in the, bad, zombie-like way. And among couples where the younger more irreverrent alter-ego seems to have a strong will to live–the incompatibilities between these personnas can cause real problems in family life– unless they get enough time alone both together, without kids, and apart, without kids.  

And as challenging as trying to manage both sides of myself can be, I feel privildeged to even have this problem to figure out. Trying to manage it has been an elaborate and sometimes painful process for me as I try to discover  how to live in two worlds without screwing either one up – but I would never ever trade it for living in just one. And if I work it all out the right way–I promise to let you know. And if you know already–please fill me in.

Thanks for reading,

Alix Florio

President – Beautiful Fitness

www.beautifulfitness.com