It’s been a while since I’ve added to our series on sex and intimacy in marriage. With the change over from My Cracked Conclusion to Social Media Mom, there have been some other pressing issues to post…but now let’s get back to sex!
One thing I found to be one of the hardest parts of marriage is kids. Not raising kids, even though that is always a challenge, but once baby or babies come, gone are the spontaneous, drop what you’re doing and hop on the kitchen table days with your spouse.
Ok, so maybe you never “did it” on the kitchen table but you know what I mean.
Children change that. At least at first anyway. Most moms are tired, and sore, and most doctors will advise them to wait 6 weeks before getting back to intercourse after a vaginal birth.
But fast forward to after mom has healed and has the green light to engage in intercourse with her husband……. What happens when you’re up three to four times a night nursing and you have no energy to rally for sex? What happens when you have a couple of toddlers and you’ve spent the whole day with kids hanging all over you, needing you, wanting you, demanding you? The last thing mom usually wants is her husband to come to her with his sexual needs too!
Sheila Wray Gregoire emphasizes the fact that kids will affect your sex life….
“Once we have kids, we feel differently about our bodies. We’re exhausted. We’re distracted. We have so much on our plates. And it’s easy for sex to be sacrificed.
But now that you’re a parent, your marriage matters more, not less, because now other people are counting on you!”
Sex and Intimacy can become a chore or one more thing mom feels like she has to add to her list of things “to do” when their is a new baby or babies at home. And when hormones are going nuts after childbirth, her body is sagging in all kinds of different directions and depression looms, desire is the last thing mom feels.
Here are five things to remember when it comes to sex after kids:
- Plan - Sex after kids will require some planning for a while. Get a babysitter or take baby to grandma’s house so you and your husband can be alone with no crying baby in the background to interrupt your time together. Plan this time together when you’re rested and not needing a nap. Put a few bottles of breastmilk in the fridge and go to a hotel overnight if you can. I know planning for sex is not as romantic as the spontaneous, passionate, kitchen table times but who says you can’t plan romance?
- Cold Cuts - I remember going to a marriage counselor early on in my marriage and I’ll never forget one thing she said to me when it came to sex…..”cold cuts”. Sometimes having sex is like having cold cuts for dinner. Even though it’s not a gourmet meal, sometimes it’s ok for the new mom to not even feel like sex but to still be there for her husband. Men have a physical need for sex whereas women usually have more of a need for intimacy. There will be times when the man gets his need met and the woman does not. But there will also be times when the man needs to sacrifice his need in order to meet her need of intimacy.
- No Does Not Mean Never - Let your husband know that just because you’re saying no to his desire does not mean you don’t want him. It could just simply mean “not right now”. And that’s ok. Explain and reassure your husband that although you do want him and love him, you don’t have the energy to make love.
- Quickies - So, baby just went down for a nap and you finally have some time to relax. There is nothing wrong with a quickie. In fact, most new parents become really good at quickies because with a new baby, that is often all you’re going to get! It’s ok and quickies won’t last forever. When the kids get older, and they are settled in front of the electronic babysitter watching Sesame Street, there is no reason you can’t slip upstairs for a few minutes. I remember the times my husband and I would go into our bedroom, lock the door, and if our kids came knocking we would tell them that we were talking about Christmas presents. This always sent them running away with excitement so they wouldn’t ruin their surprise. We were so sneaky. (Now, when the door is shut…they walk away in fear of not wanting to know what exactly it is we are doing in there. Heehee)
- Kids in Bed - I was never a fan of letting my kids sleep in bed with us. Mostly because I can’t sleep with too many bodies touching me but that’s a whole other issue. Unless my kids came in my room from having a bad dream or there was a bad storm that scared them, we did not encourage them to sleep with us. I know this seems to be a controversial issue. Many moms worry about bonding and attachment to their babies and opt for letting them sleep in the “big bed” with mommy and daddy. I’ve got news for you……bad idea. There are so many ways to bond with your children that sleeping need not be one of those ways. Granted, there will be times when you are so tired that it is just not worth the effort to get them put back to bed and so you scoot over and drift back to sleep. I totally get that. But to insist that junior sleep with you in the name of attachment is absurd. And the worst part is, once the time comes that you feel the proper attachment has occurred, you may never be able to get them out of your bed! That will be a whole other habit that you now have to break in your child’s life….getting them to sleep in their own beds. Trust me when I say, your kids and your husband will appreciate you more for setting boundaries in the bedroom than not.
Sex and intimacy is not always about how we feel, sometimes it’s a choice of how we can honor our spouse. And while our kids will always need us for one thing or another throughout their lives, our marriages have to be our priority or they will fail in spite of our efforts to be a good mom.