OK so let’s rewind a little bit. Back to when we first met our spouses, before all the parenthood and responsibility got involved when it was just the two of you. When I met my husband what drew me to him was the way he looked, it was a physical attraction and I’m going to hazard a guess that’s the same for the majority of us. Now let’s go a little primal for a second; as grownups that very quickly turns into a sexual attraction, it’s an animal instinct. So you find someone sexy, they find you sexy, which often makes you feel sexy and then there’s a whole lot of sexy sex – we get it it’s all very sexy!!! Then those precious, life altering, little blessings otherwise known as our children come along and very often the sex makes a sharp exit out the door labelled ‘I’m sorry you’re a parent you don’t get to have fun anymore!!’ I want to shout “Wait!! Come back!!!!”I definitely did not sign the bit in the parenting contract where I agreed to give up my sex life!!
It seems to me there is a strong presumption that we women are the ones saying no to sex, that we simply have no need or desire for it. And that’s crap! It’s not that we don’t want to have sex but the reality is after having a baby it takes time for your body to heal, you’re exhausted and then there are all the physical and emotional changes to adjust to. The actual physical changes that your body goes through during and post pregnancy are immense; as the owner of that body your total lack of control is extremely difficult to adjust to. Don’t get me wrong being pregnant is an amazing gift, it’s what forges the incredible bond that you have with your child. You grew that baby; your body created that life, it sustained them, it protected them and it brought them into this world. But that doesn’t alter the fact that the entire process is also undeniably overwhelming. Compacted by the fact that our society continues to celebrate women based on a ‘smaller is better’ size scale; your newly enlarged figure can leave you feeling less Victoria secret model and more Mrs Potato-head in a bra.
So how do we get our sex lives back? While this undoubtedly takes two, (funny that!) both you and your partner have to work together. I honestly believe we as women have to take the first step in attempting to come to terms with the changes we have undergone physically and emotionally. And it’s important to point out these aren’t necessarily negative changes but any change requires adjustment. One of the biggest difficulties I have experience after having babies is regaining my confidence. Having seen my body change; the body that my husband fell in lust with, I no longer felt comfortable in my own skin, let alone sexy. Yet often it’s the smallest things which can start the ball rolling in making big differences. Half an hour in a bubble bath, a manicure, getting your hair done or just a bloody nap!! This isn’t about the way you look, it’s about the way you feel. It’s about acknowledging that you are important, that you deserve to be pampered and have time and money spent on you. Give yourself permission to be a priority, you do deserve it!!
But let’s not forget those men, because they have such an integral part to play in all of this (and I don’t just mean the sex). If the men in our lives are also craving their sex lives back they need to do a little bit of leg work. So listen up fellas; men need to support their partners and build up their confidence as a whole. It’s not just about telling your spouse she looks beautiful, it’s about reassuring her that she’s doing an a amazing job in this all-consuming role of motherhood for which there is little preparation. It’s about encouraging her to take a break and coming to her aid when it all gets too much, because it does and it will. If you want to rediscover your passion as a ‘parent couple’ you have to adapt your relationship to fulfil the fresh needs of each other, now as parents. Remember to be patient with one another, it may simply take time and that’s OK.
Being a mother shouldn’t prevent us from feeling like attractive, sexual women; the two don’t oppose each-other. You can be both. You are both. You can love and nurture your children, while also being passionate and intimate with your spouse. Being a mother is the very embodiment of womanhood but likewise so is your sexuality; your children wouldn’t exist without it. So embrace both; they are equally part of the incredibly beautiful, multifaceted experience which is being a woman.