MamaBlogger365 – Not Tonight, Honey: I Have A…Baby (How Parenthood Affects Your Sex Life) by Mary Rekosh
I was recently asked to write an article for a local magazine about how parenthood affect’s one’s sex life, including my own, and here’s what I came up with as a first draft:
What sex life? I’m exhausted and there’s a toddler in my bed.
Obviously I was kidding (mostly) and the piece needed a few minor adjustments (my editor complained that it wasn’t “thorough”), but sometimes it does feel that way and I thought I’d share the gist of the more extended version of my article with Mamazina readers. Here goes:
It’s ironic that the shenanigans that caused parenthood in the first place prove to be darned elusive once their product makes its wrinkled, screaming, miraculous appearance in our lives. Hours after my first child was born, our doctor had the audacity to ask me as I lay in the hospital bed wearing an ice diaper, “What do you plan to use for birth control at this point?” Really? I had just been through 12 hours of labor, and had somehow managed to fit a cantaloupe through a light socket, if you’re picking up what I’m putting down. It was all I could do not to yell at him: “Well, Doctor, I’m going to go with the moderately effective combo of stitches in my netherbusiness and a screaming newborn! How do YOU keep from knocking up the ladies? I’m guessing your banged up grill does the trick!”
Now, obviously the impediments of the postpartum state eventually subside, and as parents we get into a groove where we – in theory – can carve out time between the sheets together. However, there are a few things that occasionally get in the way of sexytime. Here is a partial list of those things: nighttime feedings, fevers, laundry, work, Band Aid emergencies, potty training, hangnails, sleep training, packing lunches, bad dreams, Dancing With The Stars marathons, kids in your bed, the boogeyman, falling asleep while reading bedtime stories, cleaning up, visiting family, household tasks, grocery shopping, nighttime diaper changes, cup-of-water-getting, stuffy noses, monsters in the closet, nightlight management, door-crack width negotiations and of course mind-numbing tiredness. Who has the energy to put on the Al Green CD and slip into a negligee after all that? The most provocative thing that most of us wear these days is a leopard print Snuggie. Can I get an Amen?
Some moms also struggle with body image issues after pregnancy and childbirth, which can affect one’s sex life. You might feel like those stretch marks, unshaven legs, plus all of your newly wiggly and/or southern facing anatomy makes you less attractive to your mate. Let me tell you something about that: Do you know who doesn’t notice, or care, and definitely still wants to get laid? That guy. And even if he does notice, he would be a moron to say anything and send you running back into the waiting embrace of your flannel pj’s and People magazine. Bow Chicka Bow-Wow.
The point is, people, we parents have got to continue to get our groove on, or distance and eventually resentment can grow. Author of ‘Rekindling: Your Relationship After Childbirth’ and psychiatrist Dr. Martien Snellen advises, ”If your sex life is fading after childbirth,” Snellen says, ”open up a dialogue about it. But never in a fight — introduce it when things are good. This prevents defensiveness, withdrawal and anger.’ (And, I’m guessing, over-reliance on flannel pjs and gossip magazines.)
So there you have it, moms. Now stop reading this blog post and plan your next date night. Doctor’s orders!
Bio: Mary Rekosh is a freelance writer, children’s yoga instructor and mother of three in Charlottesville, VA. She is also a parenting columnist and a blogger who hopes that documenting the found humor in her journey through motherhood will help others gain a fresh perspective as well. She believes that children are meant to be seen, heard and definitely laughed about.