Mummy Diaries: Respect

Right now, Max is in that stage where he can´t stop going backwards.  At the moment he is currently bashing his head into the sofa, destroying a Sophie the Giraffe teething toy and simultaneously crying and laughing. He sounds like an ewok. Should I go rescue him? Yes …in five minutes.

We don´t have a full-length mirror in our house. I turned it sideways and hung it on the wall to open up our teeny tiny bathroom. I haven´t seen my bottom half in months, only my boobs which have been out so much they are no longer interesting. They have taken quite a beating lately. Max is like a flaming grizzly bear sometimes and the last few weeks it seems like I´ve been feeding him every half an hour (I want to say not literally but …)

In fact, my breasts have seen so much action in the restaurant recently – on the side of the road, in the supermarket, on the metro – that they have lost all hint of sexual connotation. They are literally non-things in the bedroom (they aren´t big anyway, to be fair). This depresses me for two reasons. The first is I was enjoying not needing a pushup bra (I wrote pushchair there like five times – doh!) and that amazing feeling that I still had cleavage in a granny bra (oh the comfort!). The second is that they got crazy sensitive in the months after Max was born and things were coming very easy (if you know what I mean!). Now nothing happens!

Here we go again!

The other day I took the mirror off the wall because I dug out my winter leggings and they seemed tight (around my calves of all places!). Maybe some of you will be annoyed that this was an issue for me but honestly I nearly burst into tears. I went my whole pregnancy thrilled about my weight (I gained 7kg) which was all gone a week after Max was born, something I didn´t try to achieve it was purely due to all the vomiting. With Emilio I put on 18kg so it was something I really noticed because every second person was telling me how huge I was (thank you, considerate friends and strangers). But in the last two months something strange has happened to my appetite. I am eating – A LOT. I have been crazy, crazy hungry and – because this is Chile after all – I have satiated my hunger with marrequeta, that ubiquitous bread people wax lyrical about.  All that bread has gone straight to my hips. My thighs. My calves, ankles, arms, face, stomach – everywhere except my breasts, basically.

This has bummed me out so much that I have literally gulped back a tear every time I have gotten dressed in the morning (or at noon – meh).  It had even started to affect those (rare) intimate moments with my partner. I would run away, turn away, cower in the dark, dress in sacks and squeeze into jeans and get all aggressive with my muffin top.

It was exhausting.

Focusing all that hatred and negative energy at myself in a moment when I was already fragile was like half pressing a self destruct button.

So I stopped.

The time came when I had to make a choice – either go forward and be happy, or go forward and be miserable. My decision was sparked after hearing my own mother say something negative about herself when showing her our holiday photos. I told her she had to pay a thousand pesos every time she said something bad about her appearance.  I realized I should apply the same advice to myself.

I can´t tell myself to love my body when there are so many things I would like to change, but I can tell myself to have some respect. 

I made a human being!!!  

My stretchmarks are battle scars, they circle and lead away from my bellybutton like lion claw prints, evidence of the amazing achievement it is to grow a baby beneath them.  The pouch that hangs over my jeans or that dangles like an alien life form when I lean forward is the remnants of the home I had built for my sons, a home that protected them and nourished them when they couldn´t survive any other way. My aching nipples and limp, fluctuating breasts are the single source of life for Max – they perform tiny miracles every half an hour. My body has worked and is working HARD, doing something that so many people around the world crave to be able to do. I am blessed to have my body, and am so lucky to have it work the way it does, albeit with a few varicose veins and cellulite ridden pockets of skin here and there.

So I have come to the realization that this is my present. I don´t know what the future may bring but for now I am drawing strength knowing that my body is strong. This realization spreads to all corners of my life – yes, even to the bedroom – because I refuse to be a victim to more evil thoughts.  Confidence is what is sexy – own your body, ladies!!




The Mummy Diaries are my own diaries based upon my life as a mother in Santiago.   I publish them because I believe that there are many universal themes that we mothers come across, but these themes are not always touched upon publicly so it is easy to feel isolated – especially if you are an expat (like me!) living in a foreign country. I fully subscribe to the idea that communication is everything.  Share your thoughts below, get in touch privately, talk to your friends – but if this is not working please get in touch with a healthcare professional. For those living in Chile, I can recommend an amazing nurse who is fluent in English, Spanish and Arabic, who can point you in the right direction.

Check out my other related entries:

Love in a Love Motel

Someone much wiser than I once said “there is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you (Maya Angelou). However, without disrespect to the great Mrs Angelou, I  can think of a few things more agonizing than witholding material at my next cahuin. Luckily for this post, its something that collides with all of the above: its a good story, its a little unknown and its a bit agonizing at times. Any idea what I am speaking about?

It’s sex, of course. Or more specifically, it’s the absence of sex that inevitably drives you bonkers when you live in close proximity to others, be they flat mates, family or (worse still) your baby.

Nearby my house, a brand spanking new motel opened recently. The property was originally some old, crumbling houses that have since been done up, painted a bright red color and given a nice entrance with plants and the usual trimmings.

This motel is not the type of holiday accomodation you may be used to, given that its of the X-rated kind.

Now I have no experience with that particular motel so I cannot reveal whether it is any good or not, but I have been to several others. In my early days here, Santiago’s “love motels” used to fascinate me endlessly. I’d ponder them at length with my oldest and dearest expat amiga and we’d always reach the same conclusion: they were dirty, foul places for dirty people looking to engage in extramarital affairs.

I quickly changed my mind after I visited one.

A few years ago, Luis and I lived with a guy who was always having parties, in the same house where we live now.  There was no privacy thanks to the walls being paper thin and one time, after a stage of bad arguing, we found that all our intimate details had done the rounds of Luis’ friends.  So we were desperate for some alone time, and Luis suggested a motel.

This did not make me happy in any way, shape or form but I was so desperate to get away and we had no other option so off we went.

It was glorious.

We discreetly drove in and parked our car in the allocated park space. Directly in front was a staircase that discreetly took us upstairs into a big, clean, spacious room. To the right was a bathroom with soaps and shower gels, and opposite the bathroom was a jacuzzi. To the left on a little platform was the bed, lined with mirrors, and there was also a TV and radio. There was a menu offering different meals, snacks and drinks and you ordered by phoning reception. When it was ready, a knock came at a tiny wooden window, where the food was pushed through.  When it was time to leave, we simply called reception and paid the bill via the window. Then we drove off. The entire transaction was completed without seeing a single person.

These hotels are rented in blocks and there are different quality rooms and services depending on how much you want to pay. One of the cheaper ones we went to was literally an old bed in a dark room and a bathroom (we didn’t stay). My favorite love motel can be found on Avenida Peru in Recoleta, opposite the Parque Bicentenerio de la Infancia, called Hotel El Buda.  It’s expensive yes, but if you want to spice things up its worth it (especially if you were apart for 9 months, or are co-sleeping with your baby!).


This motel is lit up like a disco at night time and when you enter you are taken into a little waiting room where you peruse the menu of themed rooms you can choose from. When you are ready, you are taken into a glass elevator and taken to the room, but you are also allowed to see different options first. Some of the themes include: Aztec, Egypt, Under the Sea, Paris, Las Vegas, Jamaica and many, many more. You can see the list here. The website bleats on about the teachings of Buddha and the many joys of Tantric Sex, but really this is just a place that makes things convenient in a city where people often live at home until they marry, or live with extended family members. It’s also located on the outskirts of Bellavista, which must make business boom on weekends

So my opinion? Don’t knock them until you try them! You never know when you might need some alone time with your loved one.  Maybe jot the address down in case the opportunity arises when you haven’t tidied your bedroom 🙂

Rates for Hotel Motel El Buda:

(Jacuzzi o caño)
Todos los dias entre las 08.00 y 14:00 hrs
(3 horas)
(3 horas)
(3 horas)
(3 horas)
De domingo a jueves entre 14:00 y las 08:00 hrs
(3 horas)
(3 horas)
(3 horas)
(3 horas)
Viernes, sabado y vispera de festivos
(3 horas)
(3 horas)
(3 horas)
(3 horas)