Since you had your baby, sex is possibly the least appealing thing you can imagine doing. Try as you might, you’d rather change poopy diapers than get naked with your partner. You never thought you could feel this repulsed by something you once found so pleasurable. You, and pretty much every other new mother in the history of humanity.
Rest assured, you are not the only one going through this.
It makes sense. Your hormones are all over the place, you haven’t slept properly in weeks, your body isn’t recognizable in the mirror, you’re concerned your breasts may explode at any second, and no amount of ‘sensual massage’ is going to make you anything but drier than the Sahara during a drought. All in all, a decidedly un-sexy time.
Undoubtedly, this is going to put some degree of stress on your relationship with your partner. They don’t get it, and you don’t get why they don’t get it. Not to mention you’re both suffering from lack of sleep and having your lives flipped upside down and your roles changed by a new baby. Frustration, resentment, even jealousy may rear their heads in your interactions with each other. It doesn’t help that you’re reading and hearing everywhere what the “normal” amount of time is for couples to resume sex, and you’re both panicking about being outside the norm and feeling pressured to measure up.
Before you google magic herbal sex formulas, there are some things you can do to minimize the stress this situation causes, and maybe even to get back into the swing of things.
Communicate. You’re pretty confused by your body’s changes, imagine how hard it is for your partner to understand. Tell them about what you’re experiencing, and let them talk about how they’re feeling. There may be a lot of misunderstanding happening, so clear the air with a frank discussion.
Do things together that are intimate but not necessarily sexual, and not necessarily without your baby if you aren’t ready to leave him or her. If you’re breastfeeding, bring your partner into the experience by having them sit with you, burp or rock the baby afterwards, etc. The family bed may allow you to have more bonding time and a more restful sleep.
Be flexible. You might be eager to get back to “the way things were,” but the fact of the matter is, things aren’t going to be like that for a while. Part of the process of adjustment is accepting that fact for what it is, then you can work within your new circumstances. You may only have small windows of time to be intimate.
Do your best to avoid comparing yourself to arbitrary standards of normalcy; they do not reflect reality and have no productive value. Your body will tell you when it’s ready, not a book. That being said, reviving your sex life is going to take a conscious effort and some energy. Letting it fall by the wayside isn’t going to help your relationship get through the transition into parenthood.
This aspect of the many changes you experience when you become parents is rarely talked about. Just as it’s hard to imagine what it’s like to have a baby in your life until you actually do, it’s also hard to imagine how that baby will affect your relationship.
So try to take a moment, however so brief, to look into your partner’s eyes and remember that you love each other, light some candles with a take-out dinner, put on your favourite music and dance – even if you have to hold the baby at the same time.
With Love from Judy… been there, done that, seen it all.