Ok so let’s just get it out there and say the word out loud that nobody is comfortable saying out loud… Sex. Let’s not get stupid here, we’ve all had it and hopefully we all still are too. It’s not like sex is a swear word.
Let’s push it a little further and talk about…Sex After Kids
I’m not sure about you but suddenly since having kids sex is an issue. I am sure that I am not alone here and I am not going to be writing in detail about my sex life on my blog.
Firstly I am not a Kardashian so my sex life is not open to the public, but secondly this is not just about me. So I am going to keep things general here.
I just want to get things out in the open and talk about it because most likely some other women (yes line up I know it’s probably most of you) also have difficulties with sex after kids.
The thing to look at now is what exactly is causing these problems and what has changed? Duh, like everything has changed.
Just think about it, how has your life changed in the last 5 or 6 years? (Or just take however old your kids are)
Well 6 years ago I was single, living alone and childless. Sometimes I long for those days again!
Fast forward to today I have been married for 5 years, my son is nearly three and my daughter turns five this month.
Yeah go for it, do the math I don’t care. I sometimes wonder what on earth happened because it all happened so fast! Once upon a time I was single and carefree… I blinked and I was a married mom of two.
So why exactly has sex after kids become such a problem?
Lack of Sleep, Exhaustion and Low Energy Levels
I’m just going to bundle all these things up together because they all cross over into each other.
I can clearly remember the day I started getting “mommy tired”. It was Valentine’s day 2011 and I was all emotional and teary. I could not figure out what the problem was. I felt so drained and exhausted.
A week later I found out I was pregnant. Since that day I have gotten progressively more and more tired. Pregnancy is terribly hard work.
Never, this is just the way your life is.
I never had the chance to prepare myself for pregnancy and I am a bit resentful about this.
If I could go back in time to the year before I fell pregnant and I could know what was coming I would have spend a year mostly sleeping and in my few odd waking moments I would leave the house alone and just come back again, you know just because I could.
“Mommy tired” should actually be a term and it should be distinguished from being tired or being exhausted. It is something in a league of its own. Only a mother knows what I am talking about.
A few months into being a new mommy I was sitting on the couch one night feeling “mommy tired” and I told my husband how exhausted I was. He looked at me and told me to go to bed. I replied that I can’t I am too tired to get up.
He told me I was being ridiculous.
Yes, it does sound ridiculous doesn’t it? Too tired to get up and walk a few steps to bed to go and sleep.
Have you ever felt like this?
I told my mom and she said oh she knows exactly what I mean.
I am getting a little bit of energy back now that my kids are mostly sleeping through the night and I have to just say that even now the thought of sleeping is usually much more exciting than having sex.
I look forward to sleep with a passion I never thought could be possible, at times it consumes me.
The problem is my hubby wants me to think about him and sex in that way and it is disturbing to him that sleep is taking this spot instead.
Sex After Kids – Change of lifestyle
This is something that for me has been biggie. In the past (yes my childless and single existence that seems so far away) I only had to think of myself.
This is something I struggled with. The change from being completely selfish to having to be almost completely self-less.
It is not about me and it doesn’t matter how tired I am. I must go to the shop and buy that food and I must make supper tonight. The family has to eat.
Suddenly the toilet is always covered in poop… yes toilet training is not for sissies. Everything is always sticky and it does not matter how often I do the laundry the basket only stays empty for a matter of seconds.
I don’t know about you but if I just finished scrubbing turd marks out of the toilet bowl then sex is off the cards right now.
I just can’t switch from poop to passion like that.
Forget about oral sex, do the dishes for me and scrub the poop out the toilet and that becomes better foreplay!
I have become a strange creature indeed.
Breastfeeding and enough of being touched
While I was breastfeeding I had like zero inclination towards having sex. My boobs belonged to my baby and if my boobs were touched it was awful.
I can’t explain this feeling but suddenly boobs were not sexual and they were off limits except for breastfeeding.
I had this awful feeling of being too touched all the time so anything other than the baby touching me was the feather on top that upset the entire apple cart.
Self Esteem, Hormones, Baby Blues and Post Natal Depression
A lot of this overlaps all the other points, but in a way is its own little point. I suffered from PND after my first baby. It was awful.
The changes to my body were huge and these left with a feeling of self-consciousness, having Post Natal Depression left me with feelings of being helpless and unloved.
Breastfeeding causes hormonal changes too.
When you become a new mom and you start with the “mommy tiredness” and add in the breastfeeding and emotional changes it really is hard to stop and try to have sex.
At least it was for me.
I thought of sex as being something that I had to do to keep my husband happy. Not something I wanted to do.
Sex on the to do list?
This is going to sound awful but for a long time sex became like a chore.
If I don’t have sex the husband gets miserable so it must be done right? Sometimes it is not clear whether it will be easier to try and get out of sex or just to do it and get it over with.
So it becomes something that needs to be done at some stage.
Ok so today I have to do the dishes, make breakfast, dress the kids, pack the kids lunches, drop the kids at play school, go shopping, write a blog post, do the laundry, pick the kids up, make lunch, clean the kids rat cage with them, cook supper, bath the kids, read them a story, put them to bed and have sex.
In that order. That is my life.
But of course don’t let the hubby know having sex is a chore that is on the to do list right?
Men are Fragile Creatures
Men have this reputation for being strong, but the way I see it is their egos are actually really fragile.
Society does not encourage men to be in touch with their feelings and their emotional side.
The way I see it is that it is a great challenge for a man to become a father.
Firstly a man must watch as the woman he loves grows this little life inside of her and he can only experience this amazing gift through her.
He then has to watch almost completely helpless as the person he loves goes through a painful labour and birth, or perhaps watches her get cut open and a baby pulled out of her.
He watches her love this new being with a fierce passion and I am sure he feels a little left out.
He watches her struggle with her body, her emotions and her new role
Suddenly he can do no right as the mother of the baby is not happy with the way he holds his new baby or wipes his baby’s bum.
Or maybe this was just me? Maybe I was the only crazy bitch that was just not happy with the way my husband did anything? If he didn’t help he got nailed by me and if he did he got it even worse from me because he did it wrong.
His wife becomes a mother and suddenly this little creature’s well-being is put first above everything.
This new person, this mother, is now tired all the time, emotional and quite frankly a little bit crazy.
This mother just doesn’t want any sex and this is a big time self-esteem squisher.
Perhaps a big problem here is that men do things backwards?
Maybe they need the sex first to be intimate, then they feel loved and appreciated and then they can give love and support?
When it comes to sex and intimacy I am starting to wonder which comes first.
I have to say it really reminds me now of the chicken and the egg situation.
Ok so now what? What can you actually do to make things better?
Tips for having sex after kids
Ok so this post may have been entertaining so far or maybe you are nodding your heads in agreement. But although you agree that doesn’t help much with the situation of the lack of sex after kids does it?
Something that I must mention about sex after kids that is great is that although I may be fatter and covered in stretch marks there is a deeper level of intimacy on so many levels. Having someone by your side through labour and birth, having him help latch a baby to your breast and weathering the storms of PND means my husband really knows me.
He has seen me at my absolute worst and he has stuck by me like glue. We have created two perfect beings together and we are a great team when it comes to being parents.
This all counts for something. I have fallen in deeper love with my husband all over again for the most unromantic things ever.
Sex is really important for a healthy marriage and all relationships take hard work and dedication.
Talk to your husband about sex and your feelings. Try and be careful not to hurt him or bruise his ego but be as honest and straight forward as you can. Suggest ways that sex can be better and more fun.
Tell your husband what you like and what you don’t like. Tell him the truth, that if he wants sex he can make you want it.
Tell him what turns you on so he can try these things out when you are being a grumpy bear and moody.
Let him know that things can change and that he can do it.
Maybe decide on how often you want to have sex and set some sex days. You must have sex on the days you agree on and you are not allowed to have any sex on the non-sex days.
This will mean that the man knows when he is getting some and he can relax knowing his sexual needs will be met.
For the women you can relax on the non-sex days knowing you won’t be hounded for sex. You might even find you want it now that the pressure is gone, but you must stick to the rules…
By having sex on these set days will mean that you will produce feel happy hormones and you will be less prone to depression (yes its a fact) and it is also known that the more sex you have the more likely you are to want more so this can only be a good thing.
Then also focus on physical and emotional ways to promote intimacy that are not sexual. Things like back massages, holding hands, going for long walks together, physical affection, spending time without the children, going on dates and talking are all ways to promote intimacy.
Not only will these things strengthen your relationship, but chances are high that you will be having more sex in the future.
What other moms are saying about sex after kids
I asked the moms on my Facebook page to share their thoughts on sex after kids and here is what they have had to say!
I hated it just after my baby was born, I mean babs was on the boob the hole day and in my arms as he had colic.
I felt all touched out when hubby came home.
My sex drive has not been what it was and my son is nearing 3. But it is a mind set thing.
Once babs started sleeping through I had to start thinking about sex and wanting to want it. It has always been good but it’s like a switch has been turned off and I don’t know how to turn it back on.
I find thinking about sex helps a lot.
I think it’s a time in a woman’s life where she feels the least sexy.
From having baby breast feeding and giving all your time to your baby, there’s sometimes no time for even a shower, let alone a “sexy” evening.
But I guess once I got over the emotional stage, I was actually glad to know that my husband could still be aroused by me and how I look, so even though we might feel down in the dumps, it’s actually a great “pick me upper”.
After having my little girl my libido was extremely low. It took a while to come back.
It’s still not like it used to be. a few weeks after your baby is born you are too tired to do anything with hubby.
The baby takes all your energy and time
Haha Weeeeelllll my man is 39 (I’m 53) and he is gorgeous!!
We started having sex quite soon after the kids were born, although we co slept so it was sometimes tricky.
Menopause has kicked in big time in the last few years, so I don’t really feel like much, although I will never say no.
I must admit I did try what all the mammas on the mamahood group were talking about….sucking a black halls while giving a BJ.
It was as good as they promised!!
I avoided sex after birth. I had normal births with both my girls, so it took me a while to recover.
Mia was first born and with time it gradually got better.
I find sex after the second one more of a mission.
I am tired, still breastfeeding a 10 month old, need sleep, so the last thing I have on my mind is sex.
Somedays I wish I still had the pregnancy hormones as sex during pregnancy was good and the drive was there.
Sex was never the same after my baby was born. I was always tired when he wanted it. No time for anything else but being a mom. But I guess that’s the price I paid to be a mom and I’m fine with it.
I seem to have the opposite problem. My husband has no interest at all.
My little boy is one and still sees me as a mommy and not as a wife. It’s terrible.
I know it’s isn’t on purpose but the attraction isn’t there and I don’t want to force him to do anything.
Unfortunately for me from when I found out I was pregnant to now he just doesn’t see me the same.
So how do you feel about sex after kids?
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Also published on Medium.