The Allure of a Butch Mama

butch mama

We’re in month three of Life with Boys; beginning to settle into new rhythms and having What Were We THINKING?!! conversations with decreasing frequency. It’s looking like we might just survive this thing. The bright spot in this hazy land of infancy has been my super hot wife. Now I’m not overlooking all of the more directly baby-related loveliness like hearing Yogi refer to his “brothta” or seeing Monkey smile for the first time, but I am saying that there is something particularly fabulous about butch Mommies.

My affection for the masculine female dates back to my thirteenth year when I first saw Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls on a stage. I had been wondering if perhaps I leaned in the girl direction for awhile by then, but when I heard that low, gravelly voice rising out of all that dark haired swagger, I knew for sure. I didn’t just lean girl, I leaned butch. In a big way.

When I try to intellectualize this attraction, I think it has a lot to do with contrast and opposites and the unexpected. There is something overwhelmingly hot about the tension between the curvy softness of pregnancy and the powerful lines of her body. This is (only) one of the reasons why my wife’s desire to carry our children and wear a suit in our wedding makes her the perfect girl for me. Finding maternity clothes that involve neither ruffle nor plunging neckline isn’t easy, but watching her occupy a space that is quintessentially feminine and make it her own is fabulous.

There is much to love about the butch Mommy. There is the impossible loveliness of a tiny body cradled in a ropy arm during a breastfeeding session. There is the knee weakening combination of a woman in a baseball hat with a giggling toddler on her shoulders. There is the pride that wells in my chest when I tell people that she carried both of our children. There is the awe that comes from knowing that you are married to a woman who can do anything.

Alison Armstrong* is a Southern, Stay-at-home-Mom getting used to life outside of academia and raising a child, Yogi*, with her wife, Parker*. You can follow her family’s adventures at her blog, Love Invents Us or read her previous posts for It’s Conceivable here.

*Names have been changed in order to honor a flair for the dramatic and to play nice with the family.



  1. Tara says:

    I know exactly what you mean! My wife is not only 10 years my senior but much ‘butcher’ than I… When we were trying people would react with widw eyes and a loud ‘really?!’ when I said mu wife would be carrying our child, but it was perfect for us :) On our family outing the other day, I got to see some of her ‘spunk’ again (our little on is only 8 weeks old so it’s been PJ’s a lot) check shirt, cool hat, dark shades,, and our son in her arms… Perfect! Your words resonated with me.

  2. Polly says:

    Thank you for this beautiful meditation! My favorite: “watching her occupy a space that is quintessentially feminine and make it her own is fabulous.”

    Gals like me (I didn’t *Carry* both our kids, but I sure carry them daily) are so, so, so, impossibly grateful for gals like you.


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