Sex expert and author Kimberly Ann Johnson on helping mamas get the sex they want

Liz speaks with certified sexological bodyworker, somatic experiencing practitioner, and author, Kimberly Ann Johnson about post-partum sex, why our culture prioritizes productivity over pleasure, what makes female arousal special, and how mama's can start asking for better sex from their partners.

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Liz Tenety: We have some really exciting news at Motherly and have been hard at work behind the scenes on a big project. We recently launched the Motherly Shop, curated must haves for motherhood, and you can use code Motherly10 to get 10% off any order. Our editors have worked really hard to bring together the best brands for every stage of motherhood, all in one, easy to find place.

From products that help you conceive to beautiful rugs that are washable and kid-friendly to Montessori toys that inspire your child's imagination. We also have pregnancy safe, clean beauty, maternity wear matching family pajamas, and much more, including our brand new pregnancy book, The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama.

The Motherly shops' offerings are the perfect gift for a baby shower or a mom friend, or well, you it's the best products that make motherhood better and more beautiful. Go to shop.mother.ly to check it out and use code Motherly10 for 10% off your order. Mama, you've got this.

Liz Tenety: As regular listeners of this podcast know, I always like to ask my guests each episode about their superpowers, right? These incredible forces within us that we discover as moms. And if you listen to this podcast, you know, that a lot of our guests say that being really efficient and productive is this incredible superpower that they've discovered after becoming moms.

And I so relate to that, this idea that motherhood is this great forcing mechanism, especially at work, but also at home and other areas of your life. I know for me, after I became a mom, my ability to get work done really changed. Like how much I could accomplish in a given workday was dramatically increased. But I've been reading a lot more about how pleasure is the antidote to feeling like you always have to be productive in some ways, because we, as mothers in this society don't have enough support, especially during COVID, you know, we overcompensate for that by constantly thinking that we have to be productive, we have to get stuff done. But it really leaves you feeling like something is missing. And I have felt that way, which is why I'm really excited to bring an incredible guest to our listeners today, to talk all about pleasure -- and not just sexual pleasure, although that is really important, but pleasure in your daily life, frivolous pleasure, things that make you feel vibrant and alive.

Mothers deserve pleasure more than anyone else. And I hope this episode is a way to invite you into examining what that could look like for your everyday life.

Liz Tenety: Hey, mama! Welcome to the Motherly Podcast where we have honest conversations about modern motherhood. I am Liz Tenety the co-founder of Motherly and I am a mom of four myself. Today's interview is with Kimberly Ann Johnson, a certified sexological body worker, somatic experiencing practitioner birth doula, and the author of the fourth trimester, a post-partum guide to healing your body, balancing your emotions and restoring your vitality.

Kimberly's next book is The Call of the Wild: How We Heal Trauma. Awaken our own power and use it for good. And it's coming out in April. I had the pleasure of reading it early and I highly recommend it. We spoke to Kimberly about her newest book. Why so many mothers often feel unfulfilled in their sex lives and how our goal-oriented culture's emphasis on productivity has put us out of touch with our own pleasure.

And we talked about why communicating your needs to your partner is so essential to great sex.

Kimberly Ann Johnson, welcome to the Motherly Podcast.

Kimberly Ann Johnson: Thank you so much for having me.

Liz Tenety: All right. One of my favorite topics to talk about is what surprised women. Most about motherhood. I think we all have ideas about what it's going to be like. And often that is so radically different than what our lived reality is. But you are a very wise woman. So, I'm curious if anything, what surprised you about motherhood?

Kimberly Ann Johnson: I didn't realize that to be a mom, you have to be a general manager. I have zero project management skills, and I had no idea that that was what I was signing up for. I feel that as a culture, we're not really initiated.

We have people who get older, but very few of them become elders. People that we could really. Lean on and look to for intergenerational wisdom, the general manager part D had no idea. I don't know why I didn't realize that I'm not very domestic, so I'm not really good at cooking. I'm not really good at remembering what I don't have in the fridge. I'm a terrible cleaner. My mom is really good at all those things. Really good naturally, like she likes doing it. She was just on quarantine. Cause she got exposed to COVID and she loved cleaning out her wooden spoon drawers. So, I didn't realize that's not genetic. My sister kind of got that, but I didn't, and it's really important to be pretty good at those things when you're running a household.

So, I just didn't realize how much organization was involved. I bow down to my mom who took three kids skiing. Every time I take my daughter one daughter on vacation. I'm like, how did my parents do this? And I know you have four kids. Like I just bow at the altar. And then I'm just surprised at how much it takes to maintain a sense of self among so many others selves that are swarming around.

Liz Tenety: You have an incredibly interesting career where you are helping to guide and coach women in various aspects of their womanhood and through their journeys of birth and becoming mothers and becoming themselves as adult women. So, can you tell us and our listeners a little bit more about the work that you do and how your approach really helps women re-imagine themselves.

Kimberly Ann Johnson: I love your question. It relates to the surprise because another surprise that I had is that when I had a baby, I felt that I was very prepared for childbirth as prepared as you can be for something that's so unpredictable. And I was really healthy. I was a yoga teacher. I felt, I knew my body really well.

And I had an injury during my birth where my pelvic floor tore and the suturing that my midwife used, my body rejected. But I didn't realize that that's what happened until a couple of years later, I just knew things weren't right. And I was having a really hard time finding any help. It was a very humbling process because I had all of these spiritual practices.

I was a body worker. I had a lot of knowledge in, I realized that women had in birth was outside of my knowledge set. That shocked me because I lived in Boulder, Colorado, where I felt, I knew every kind of alternative treatment possible. As I healed myself, I was told I needed a full pelvic floor reconstruction.

I knew I didn't want surgery. That's why I had a home birth to begin with. I knew I could heal myself, but I just didn't know how. And as I began to talk to other women about what I was going through, women started telling me stories about their own like, "Oh my tailbone bones been hurting for three years," and then like, "Oh, what happened three years ago?"

"I had a baby." And they'd even had a baby in between that. But their tailbones still hurt. And as a body worker, I was courageous because I'm like, okay, well I'm used to touching territory. So, I'd say, well, do you want me to work on you? And they'd say, yeah. And then I would work on their tailbone and the pain would go away in half an hour.

So, the modalities that helped me to heal, which were sexological bodywork, which is a modality, uh, it's newish. And then I did a kind of somatic work, which is called somatic experiencing trauma resolution, which is looking at how our body stores trauma.

So, anyone who's had a baby knows that often after you have the baby there's shaking, that happens either the adrenaline and the cortisol, that's just working through the body. Or if you've had some kind of anesthesia, the process of that getting out of the body is usually shaking, but sometimes we're told to hold still, or we try to hold still.

So, I realized there were some incomplete processes that had happened during my birth. And when I put those pieces together, as I said, many, many women started telling me their stories. As I started doing more internal pelvic floor work combined with the trauma tracking, I found that the healing was really rapid, but as I sat on my table, it makes me emotional. Like I sat on my table with literally thousands of women. I was on a total crusade for about three years where I was seeing 20 to 25 women a week. My waitlists were like 150 people in New York. I couldn't even get to everyone who needed the help.

I realized like, we all need this because this is a part of understanding how our pelvis birth, sexuality, gynecological health overall health is interconnected with our wellbeing. And as mothers we're really neglected, we neglect ourselves, but we're also neglected. But the awesome thing, Liz is that I moved to the US six years ago. And in those six years, Postpartum care and the postpartum conversation has radically changed even since three years ago, when my first book came out and now a lot of women are like, "Oh my God, I need that." Before. It was like, really? I don't know. Let me ask my husband. I'm not sure, like, is this sexual, you know?

And now it's like, no, yeah, something's not right. Can you help kind of thing… So that's really inspiring to me.

Liz Tenety: It's really inspiring to me too. I want to pick up on what you said about how you were a bodyworker you were a teacher and a practitioner of yoga. You felt like you knew the body both your own and were able to, you know, instruct others.

And yet, the becoming of a mother was something you were just so unprepared for. And I definitely experienced that myself. I became a mom, um, almost nine years ago, but I want to talk about motherhood as this transformation and another way that I think, you know, all of us just culturally are not really quite prepared now is thinking about how there's girlhood, when you're not fertile, and you're not thinking about your fertility and sexuality quite in that way. There's puberty, when you become fertile. There's the period in your life where you're discovering your sexuality and often trying not to get pregnant. And then this thing happens around pregnancy, you know, whether it's intended or unintended pregnancy, where you're bringing life into the world.

And it really, you know, for many women, trying to get pregnant is like, it blows your mind, right? Because it changes everything you knew or believed about your sexuality before and when it's hard to get pregnant, um, that can really affect. How you see yourself when pregnancy is difficult and scary, it affects your view.

So, I guess my question is, how can we begin to present women with a more motherhood integrated view of their sexuality that is whole and healthy? And so that, you know, women don't have to feel so surprised by all of this.

Kimberly Ann Johnson: Like, we did so many layers to your question because it gets to the very fabric of our relationship to the earth, our relationship to our bodies, our relationship to our pelvis. One part of your question is about the integration of Eros and motherhood. Another part of your question is how do we make this transition more elegantly, more smoothly? There's no easy answer. I'm always going to bring people back to their wildness and their bodies because our bodies have a deep intuitive knowing. So many women, our culture still values masculine qualities so much more than feminine qualities, and we're all swimming in that soup. And those, these are principles that exist in every culture. I use the Chinese man yin and yang because they're always in relationship to each other. So, really it's like sidling up to this healthy, feminine and becoming accustomed to receiving, becoming accustomed to softening.

So many people approach fertility as something to do, you chart it, right? You do all those masculine things and they're not even enjoying lovemaking. They're not even enjoying being together. And I'm thinking you've been doing this for years and you don't even like having sex anymore because all of the joy has been taken out of… spontaneity has been taken out of it because it's only for a goal. And when pleasure is invited back in, and also an absence of what we think our life needs to look like, right? A partnership with life. I believe we live in a very entitled culture that's so control oriented that we don't even realize it.

So, something like a pandemic where we lose control is so much more destabilizing because many people have never been in a situation where they've lost their control before, because our culture is so sterile. So, it's an invitation to letting go and allowing life to move through you and making yourself a receptive vessel for life.

Liz Tenety: I want to talk a little bit more about the physical experiences of motherhood and finding out you're pregnant, becoming pregnant the first time that you experienced a pregnancy. I remember reading that your breasts actually don't reach full maturity for lack of a better term until pregnancy, because of the way that your breasts prepare for breastfeeding? How can we begin to have this reverence and appreciation for what it is that women do with their bodies? And how do you teach women about creating meaning out of all of these changes, sacrifices and beautiful moments along this journey of motherhood?

Kimberly Ann Johnson: There are a lot of practices and I think they're valuable, you know, what you're touching on. And what you touched on in your last question is like this evolution of womanhood over time and how motherhood is included in that. My daughter's 13. So, she just started her cycle last year. And in spite of the fact that she's overheard a lot and knows a lot. And she'll talk about that, of like what it's like to have a mom who has a podcast.

She's talking about sex all the time. It's still… like the other day she was having cramps. "I just hate this. And I know I'm not supposed to hate it because I know you're my mom and I'm supposed to think it's magical and everything, but I just don't like it, you know?"

There's so many practices, ways that we create a relationship that we're choosing that's positive and that's with ourselves that feels good. Breast massage. Giving ourselves breast massage, not just doing breast checkups, like checking for something that's wrong. Like, Oh, I'm in the shower and I'm like, go this way, five strokes, but like really actually touching yourself and really actually feeling into that. We can conceptualize and we can tell people, oh, you should have a better body image and you should feel good about yourself because of who you are on the inside. But if our only relationship to our body is how we look not how we feel…

Liz Tenety: That's a part of it too, for me, at least, you know, those practices of affirming the changes that you see in your body and talking to yourself and rewiring the sort of cultural training we have about what our bodies should look like.

That was really powerful to me too, after my body changed. And I was surprised that it didn't go back to the way that it was. I had an idea somehow that it would go back.

Kimberly Ann Johnson: It keeps. That's the thing. It doesn't just change one time. It keeps changing. I am 13 years out and my body's completely different than it was five years ago.

So is my sexuality, what I wanted 15 years ago. Isn't what I want now. Isn't what I wanted five years ago. So, this idea that somehow we're going to be frozen in time, our pre-child self who only has really external images of what good sex is like. So, a lot of the time it's just performative. It's just like, we're on like, high arousal. And we have the availability for that.

And, you know, we don't have other distractions really from that erotic connection. So, it's easy for us to segue into it a quickies, much easier to get to because you might've been thinking about it before and there's lesser things in your psyche.

This is the thing we somehow think, you know, look at what the ideal body is… It's like a male body number one, and number two, it's totally rigid. I mean it, I like it has upset me so deeply sometimes to see like, wow, like the ideal body is not, it's not even the ideal body for a woman is a man's body. Because even if now the ideal body type has shifted a little bit, it's still white normative, but it's a little more muscular, but it's still like broader shoulders, narrower hips.

It's like everything. You don't want to have a great childbirth and that's, what's upheld. It's like how much more obvious can it be that we don't respect as a culture, the beauty of creation and softness, right? Because a lot of the times what we have a problem with is fat and fat is softness fat. Is like a chest you want to, uh, the baby wants to curl up into.

Liz Tenety: Not to mention hat it's essential to the mother and child's having more fat on our bodies is a part of that act of creation of having enough calories for yourself, for the baby being in those things. Why do you think so many women and mothers, and I may underline mothers in particular because of our audience, why do so many feel unfulfilled or maybe at odds with their sexual lives?

Kimberly Ann Johnson: I mean, I really feel like we're emerging into a new archetype of woman. It's like a woman that's never been before because it's a woman that has, and this goes across, it is even starting to cross racial lines, where it's just like, we have all of these options that we've never had before that no other generation had. And we also have some knowledge because we have the prior generation where women broke the glass ceiling and now we know, oh, but our bodies are actually suffering because of that. Like, okay, we can do that. But when we do do that, we get sick.

And we don't quite have it down that there are like stages and phases, because we do come from a fairly impatient, immediate gratification culture. So, it's very hard. It's like, we're at odds with our feminism. We're like, okay, we believe it in our head, but in our bodies, it's like, oh, but I'm missing out and I'm missing time and I'm missing time on the pay scale and I'm losing ground.

And so we're just…. And that very well, maybe true where like being asked to make these choices. Like, I think about my mom. My mom, she worked after me and my brother and sister were out of the house, but it never felt like she was at an extreme inner tension as if she was sacrificing a part of herself, whereas I feel like most of the women around me, they feel like they're either sacrificing their creativity. Or sacrificing time with their kids. And I'm really interested in, maybe you have some insight on this, of the difference between martyrdom and sacrifice, because I'm not about martyrdom, but I don't feel like good mothering happens without sacrifice. Because I see people around me who are not sacrificing and I don't think their kids are doing well.

Liz Tenety: I mean, I, I don't know that line. I have four kids and a company and a dog and five quarantine chickens. So, figuring out that line every day. But I do pick up on, you know, the notes that you're bringing up around a general sense that women are having, I think, you know, particularly now during COVID around, where do I belong in all of this? I think we saw during this pandemic that so many of the structures in our society were just not there for women. Women hold the world together. And no one's holding women in the middle of so much sacrifice. How are you coaching mothers that you work with that, you know, and yourself to make space for themselves, especially at a time where there's, there's so much constraint for what is possible for our daily lives?

Kimberly Ann Johnson: I really am checking in a lot with my own body and what my own nervous system is doing. And I'm doing my best to be on social media as little as possible.

It's a real energy drain for me. I lost slash got my phone stolen and just didn't have it for a little while. And it was so relieving. I mean, it sounds trite, but I would consider it body fullness. It's like listening to my body. And following it when I start my day and I wake up, I just kind of make sure that before I kick into the do drive, I just take a moment for being and self-appreciation.

And it does come back to sexuality for me, which is what you said, why are women unfulfilled sexually? Because I feel like when you're fulfilled sexually then everything else becomes a little easier. It's like the battery pack. When you feel connected, if you do have a partner or you feel connected to your own erotic impulse, everything gets a little softer.

It seems to bring meaning. We tend to think that sex is the thing that happens when everything else is taken care of. Right? Productivity first, like, "Oh, I can't have sex because I've got to do the laundry and I've got to do this, and I've got this other spreadsheet. I've got to fill out." And yet it's so dramatic, but it really, I really do think about it a lot.

I do think like in the end, am I going to care about this? Or am I going to care about like the depth of connection with my partner and for me when I'm in partnership? There's so much creativity that's awakened in me. And my vitality is of such a different quality when we are connected sexually. So why are women unfulfilled sexually?

I believe that's because we haven't been able to articulate what we want. We feel burdened by having to quote unquote, teach our partners rather than understand that it is actually the feminine energy. That is the teacher. And it's not, we shouldn't feel like, oh, I've got to tell my partner again, what I want and how I want it.

It's like as long as there's receptivity on the part of the partner that female arousal, it's almost like you've got to roll out the red carpet because it's so undulating. We have to fill them in on when we're in an ebb and a flow. And if we can learn to say pause instead of stop, and they can start to understand that a pause doesn't mean it's just like over forget it, which is there's nothing wrong with that either.

I just feel like most new moms are used to just saying "no" a lot, because they don't know what to say "yes" to. They're afraid. If they say "yes" to one thing, they're saying "yes" to everything and they don't want the sex they're being offered. So, they're just like no sex at all, rather than being a creative participant and the sex that they do want.

So, it's this thing where actually we will have the best sex of our lives if we're able to make that transition, but we're also kind of having to learn a new language and we're having to enlist the other person in that language. My favorite phrase is "I do want to be intimate with you." I do want to be closer with you because from the partner's point of view, they feel like, oh, you're just rejecting me.

Like, you just don't want me at all. You're not attracted to me anymore. You care more about the kids than you care about me. I was just like the sperm depository or like, I'm just the provider or whatever it is. Like, you just wanted me for that, but you don't want me for this. The research shows that first year postpartum what most, and the research is from the Gottman Institute and specifically about men and women, but what most men want is to be told that they're still important. So, it's not actually that they want sex. It's just that men are permitted and know how to ask for sex. They don't actually know how to say, I need your acceptance. I need your words of affirmation. So, women interpret that arousal or approach as a demand rather than an offering,

Liz Tenety: You brought up productivity. And I think this was one of the most light bulb moments for me reading your new book, you sort of describe pleasure as the opposite of productivity and, you know, not only do we live in a productivity obsessed world culture. But when I interview mothers on this podcast, and I asked them what their superpower is. For so many of them, it is productivity, how productive we can be.

Kimberly Ann Johnson: That hurts. It hurts.

Liz Tenety: And I get it because so much is expected of mothers in our society. And so little support is provided to mothers in our society. No paid leave. Especially up until COVID no flexible workplaces school culture that expects you to be a stay-at-home mom, all of these things, no, uh, you know, corporate cultures that are just not accepting of family life.

And so, women have to develop these productivity superpowers in order to stay afloat. But I think many of us, myself included, you get to a point where you realize like, why am I running around so much? Like all this productivity is not leading to happiness and ultimately fulfillment. So, I was really fascinated by the idea that pleasure is the sort of antidote to productivity.

Kimberly Ann Johnson: It is hard for mothers to accept and embody, valuing their own pleasure in a world that asks so much of them. You read about people who are trying to convince women to have more pleasure. It's always related back to productivity, which cracks me up. It's like people are like, you know, just do less so that you can do more later, you know, not just like do less to do less.

It's like, yeah, just take pleasure because then you'll do better in your business or something. Not just because, just take pleasure. You know, like just enjoy, just have some enjoyment for the sake of it. But I want to relate it to sex actually, because it's hormonal, we have exchanged in our brain. Our brain has now substituted the dopamine hit it gets by checking off a to-do list for oxytocin, which is a warmer hormone of connectivity. I produced that. I had a day where I did all those things registers to us as fulfillment.

And when that's the circuitry you're running, that's hot sex too. So that's why porn escalates in its severity because watching the same level of intensity, doesn't do it for you anymore. So, you need a higher level of intensity to get the same dopamine hit warm sex is. Connected sex. It's not goal oriented. You're not trying to work hard to get someone off you're exploring and getting off is something that happens along the way, but it's not like the objective of everything you're doing.

So, the same would be like, okay, so I'm doing all these things, but it's can be both. Like, I like having hot sex and warm sex and people think, oh, well, my partner is not going to like it because they only wanted this sex. But sometimes we have to show them an experience of something different because actually we're all craving that oxytocin connection.

Like I said, it doesn't just have to be one or another. And that's what people think, right? Cause trauma makes you think in stress cycles make you think it's only black or white. For me, it's just also a perception of like, softening back into myself, occupying my back body, not just like being out there in the world with my eyes and grasping and grasping.

Liz Tenety: This may be me coming from the place of productivity. But I hear you about how many others want pleasure in order to be more productive. So, I'm not asking that, but because I, and, and our listeners, we live in a world that's so values productivity again, especially because moms feel that they have to be productive.

What are the practical, daily ways I'm bought in on the idea of more pleasure for myself, for, for other mothers, but on a daily basis, hour to hour, what is making space for that look like in women's lives?

Kimberly Ann Johnson: Two things. One is being really clear about priorities. So, to me, there's really only, you can only have like two or three at a time.

So, like right now, my priorities are CC. My daughter. And my book. And then there's a lot of priorities under my book, which are like, I have a new website that's coming out and I have, you know, things like that. Now I have a third one. That's my courses that I teach because that's how I drive my business. So, I have to also attend to that.

But everything that comes my way, I have to filter through that. And I have to just remember, oh, well actually, if I build this new network, I'm not going to be able to be present with CC the same way that I can and really protecting the things that like, I want to be able every week to have a spontaneous walk on the beach with a friend. To me, it's like, none of any of this is worth it if I can't do that.

So, if that starts not happening, it's like, well, then I need to make less money because I don't actually need to make all the money. You know, what are, what are the absolute necessities for you or for me that make life worth living that at the end of it going to be like, wow, that was a good life? You know, like, I'm so glad I did this.

And for me, it's the immediacy of knowing that my daughter only has four and a half more years in the house. I thought I was going to have a lot more kids. I thought that my life would look much differently in that way. And so, it's really important to me that I'm as present as I can be for the time that she's in my house.

So, remembering those things and, you know, it could sound obvious like, oh, well I'm married and those are all roles. Those aren't really priorities. So, to me, if I was living in a family that was more like a traditional family, and I had a partner that I shared a house with, to me, it would be connecting with my partner every day, even if that was five or 10 minutes that was just actual connection.

Even if that was just laying together and looking at each other. To me, I want the sex at the center of my relationship. That doesn't mean that I want penetration at the center of my relationship and every day we got to hit it in order for me. No, it means that there is a resonant connection between us that we're attending to every day. That would be a non and it is a non-negotiable for me. I just do it on FaceTime because I've tried not doing it and then I don't like the way that I feel on those days. And I was also out of relationship for a really long time. So, what that looked like for me was different. That's like a time of the day when I just stop for five minutes, 10 minutes, let myself lay down and just be with myself and that doesn't have to be like a self-pleasure practice. It's just actually just feeling the physicality of my body and sinking up myself in terms of my spirit, my emotions, like what's actually happening. Am I out in front of myself or am I actually inside myself?

So, prioritization. And then these mini moments. Because when you're a mom, you don't have like, I mean, depending on how old your kids are, I know for me was like, wow, I used to have like an hour and a half for a yoga practice now. It's like, I have time for one yoga pose.

Liz Tenety: I mean, for me and my husband's, so our youngest is one they're one, four, seven, and eight. And the older ones are staying up later and the younger ones are getting up earlier. And so, we're like we're running out of that like truly sacred time that we used to have. So, I have to, we have to find time within the day to do that kind of connection and breathing and like, you know, last night, we were watching a webinar online together.

And like two of our kids got out of bed. And like, we're just like, we're not talking to you right now because we are doing something together and like, please don't interrupt us. I'm not even going to take the time to go put you back to bed right now. We were just protecting the thing that we wanted to do.

And yeah, I mean, I think that's the thing about motherhood, especially is like, it is a 24 seven job and you feel like you're rejecting your child. Or your partner, even when you make time for you. But what I hear you saying is ultimately I'll have to ask hard questions about our daily lives and what are we prioritizing? Like if we're living in a day different way, then ultimately we want to be living, we need to find ways to change that. And then to, within the course of the day, it probably isn't a lot of big dramatic things. For you it is a walk on the beach once a week with a friend, but for others it might be a lot of little subtle things that add up and ground us and help us live those connected lives that we want to live.

Kimberly Ann Johnson: And grace, right? Being so forgiving because these things, you know, life happens and parents get sick and dogs have to go to the vet and I lost my cell phone and you know, setbacks happen. So, realizing, you know, our culture values perfection so much, and it was like, we're so hard on ourselves. We're actually very resilient. Our children are resilient and we can trust that.

Liz Tenety: At motherly, we always like to ask, I think motherhood brings out superpowers in women. And often those are superpowers that we didn't know were there before. So, I would love to know Kimberly what you see as your superpower.

Kimberly Ann Johnson: I feel like my superpower is being a mom and doing the things that I do. So the supe power is like the fact that I'm just a mother and I'm still on a path and still committed to composting those most painful moments for me into something that could make it easier for someone else. It's like potentiated it, coalesced it, and just made it burn so much stronger.

Liz Tenety: I love it. Kimberly and Johnson. Thank you for all your wisdom. Thank you for sharing so openly. And thank you for joining us today on the motherly podcast.

Kimberly Ann Johnson: Thanks so much for having me. I really enjoyed it.

Liz Tenety: So, Mary, what is something you do? That's just for fun?

Mary: Toys. I love toys.

Liz Tenety: And what is something you do, or like that makes you feel good.

Mary: Playing.

Liz Tenety: Outside playing or inside playing?

Mary: Outside games.

Liz Tenety: What is something mom does that makes her feel good?

Mary: Work.

Liz Tenety: Do you think work makes me feel good?

Mary: Yeah.

Liz Tenety: sometimes…

Liz Tenety: Well, that's it for our show this week. Thank you so much, Kimberly. And thank you for listening to our podcast this season for anyone interested in getting in touch with their sexuality, alongside Kimberly and a community of other women, she's offering a free upcoming class on January 26th, titled Sexual Mother: Integrating into the New Archetype of Woman. I'm obsessed with this concept. And on February 2nd, she'll be offering her Jaguar mother class and you can sign up for them on magamama.com. As always, we would love it if you spread the word about our podcast, share it with a mom friend or leave us a review on Apple podcasts. If you loved this episode, it'll only take about 30 seconds to leave your review, and it really helps other mamas discover our show.

The Motherly Podcast is produced by Jennifer Bassett with audio engineering from Seaplane Armada. Our music is from the blue dot sessions and I am your host, Liz Tenety. Thank you so much for listening.

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Hosted by Liz Tenety

Liz is an award-winning journalist and editor, and the co-founder of Motherly. A former Washington Post editor, she thrives on all things digital community + social media strategy. She's passionate about helping to provide women with more support, (and way less judgment), on the journey through motherhood. This podcast is an extension of her commitment to hosting honest conversations about modern motherhood. Liz resides outside NYC with her husband, two sons, one daughter and one amazing au pair.

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