Sex after baby: A sexual crisis

Recently I’ve been the butt of a few jokes. I’m not too concerned about it because I was prepared. I knew when I agreed to be interviewed for an article on women’s sex drive that, chances were pretty good I was going to get some ribbing. But I don’t mind. I think it is too important.


 

A sexual crisis
In my opinion, there are so many misconceptions about sex in marriage. When the reporter from The Star called me to say that there is a sexual crisis with modern women I had to snicker a bit under my breath. Crisis? Really? Come on. Yes, women are busy and yes, there are most definitely times – and some of them extended periods – when sex is either off the table all together or merely another item to add to your endless To Do List. But a crisis? I think not.

I know that sex sells but sexual crises definitely get people talking (and emailing and phoning) because the minute the article Can Sex Drive Be Revived After Baby hit the stands I was inundated. Some got in touch to poke fun or make a crack but many reached out to thank me. They were grateful that someone had the courage (and lack of modesty) to go public and say, “Hey, lay off. Stop sensationalizing. This is natural. This is normal.”

Defining “normal”

The truth is, it is different for everyone and every relationship. Some women have a baby who sleeps well, their baby weight falls off and they are back in the bedroom in no time. I have a name for these women. Joking! But seriously, I am thrilled that for some women it is so straight-forward but for many it is not. When I had my first child I was completely and totally overwhelmed. Not only was I fat, and desperately tired, but my world was unrecognizable and I needed to get my bearings before I could resume anything resembling “normal.”

Plus, no one told me how totally “touched out” I would feel. I absolutely adored my baby but he was challenging. He would have been happy nursing 24/7 which meant he was almost never happy if he wasn’t which meant that he was pretty much attached to me all day, every day for the first few months. So, you can imagine how keen I was when I was finally able to extract him from my overly squishy self and get some rest and my husband leaned over for a hug. I have to be honest, I cringed. It wasn’t personal. I had just had more than enough physical contact.

However, as I stated in the article, this time is very limited. Just like the stages of development for your baby, your relationship with your partner continues to evolve and eventually, hopefully grows into something new and different but even stronger. Motherhood has tested me and taught me and I have been able to bring all of those things into my marriage.

Now, don’t get me wrong. It will never go back to the way it was. My husband and I have known each other for nearly 20 years. We’ve been married for 13 of them. He’s seen me at my absolute worst and also at my best. Our lives are ridiculously busy and the truth is we have way more things to fit into 24 hours than we did before we had kids. We often joke to each other and ask, “how did we ever keep ourselves busy before we had kids? What did we do with ourselves?” I can think of a few things. But now, all aspects of our relationship takes conscious thought. We want to be together and we know all of the things that we need to keep our marriage strong.

Making the adjustment

So, please, do yourself a favour and think long-term. Don’t beat yourself up because you’re not leaping into bed 6 weeks postpartum or that you are not thrilled at the thought of sex after a busy day with your kids. This is normal and everyone goes through it to varying degrees. However, if your sex life doesn’t continue to evolve or if you have completely lost interest for an extended period of time you should consider if there is more going on than hormones and lack of sleep. But don’t buy into the media hype because for most of us, we will adjust and for many of us our relationship with our partner will evolve into something even better, both in and out of the bedroom.


 

**Jen, mom of 2, marketer, and founder of urbanmoms.ca, philosophizes about modern day mothering, social media marketing, and the true value of community at her blog: Mom’s The Word.

 

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