Who is the authority on sex that decided if you’re not going at it longer than a Love and Hip Hop reunion special, you’re doing it wrong?
For me, sex has always been about the quality over the quantity. One great quickie in the shower is better than a night of rose petals, Usher playlists and switching through twelve different positions any day.
This is a concept I’ve come to appreciate even more since having a baby changed my sex life as I knew it. For the past nine months between late night feedings and a pretty active case of separation anxiety (for both me and my newborn since moving her to her crib), there have been times I have been so tired it physically hurt.
The sleep deprivation is real. When you’re raising a child and working full-time,
[Tweet "It’s only a matter a time before sex becomes something you have to schedule."]
Or it just very well may never happen. Those first few months as a new parent sleep will have sex looking like a McRib in the middle of a Morton’s Steakhouse. The only thing that will disturb your rest will be the prison of paranoia that as soon as you enter the sacred circle of REM sleep, your neighbors will decide they want to argue about the American Idol winner and wake up that baby who will use any excuse not go the f**k to sleep.
Luckily my husband and I are long past 2 AM feeding territory. Our daughter has been sleeping through the night for a solid four months, but she’s still fighting bedtime as hard as Floyd Mayweather, which means by the time she’s knocked out, hubby and I have about a good five minutes before a night of Pinot Noir and catching up on our sci-fi shows turns into The Strain watching us.
So as of late, I’ve found myself doing what I once thought was corny and certified sign I was headed to old-and-not-that-sexy status: planning sex.
Every few weeks after getting through repeated, “Don’t touch that’s” and football spin moves to keep my baby from going head first over the edge of the pack and play, there comes a rare Saturday when the grandparents cut me some slack so they can spend the day with their grandbaby. In preparation for my child-free weekend, my brain starts imagining all of the awesome things I can do with 24 hours although I know there’s no way in hell I will accomplish it all. Smoke hookah. Do laundry. Watch DVR’d episodes of The Have and Have Nots. Have bomb ass sex with my husband. Of course I usually just end up changing the Diaper Genie liner and catching a nap.
Maybe my hormones are still getting it together since childbirth or maybe this is just what happens when you’re married with children, but my sex drive has no chill and I find myself either all over my husband for filling my gas tank up or wondering why he’s all up on me when he sees I’m very much dedicated to cleaning the Keurig at the moment.
Beyoncé wasn’t BS’ing when she said she wasn’t herself since the baby. Besides the physiological changes your body experiences with childbirth and pregnancy (it can take as long as a year or that to get back to normal), there’s adjusting to your new self-image. There will be scars, stretch marks, mommy guilt and the media reminding you that sexuality and motherhood should be mutually exclusive, unless you have a snapback like Teyana Taylor --or you just happen to be Kim Kardashian. If you’re Kim Kardashian, then hot butt-naked pregnant selfies will land you on the Huffpost homepage.
[Tweet "Sex after pregnancy sometimes requires a little more effort."]
Before giving birth, my energy level wasn’t an issue; a night of cuddling always easily turned into something more. But sometimes I find myself having to fake it until I make it. There were also times even during my pregnancy when I questioned my sexual interest. Certain acts I was completely down to do before, I suddenly found myself hesitating with the thought, “I can’t do that. I’m someone’s mother.” Lately I’ve come to the realization that it’s not anything my husband is doing wrong, and more importantly I’ve come to understand there’s nothing wrong with me. In a study of 150 pregnant women published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, the researchers found that sexual satisfaction declined as the women's pregnancies progressed. And what’s worse is that it’s even easier to make sex a non-priority when you have burp cloths to wash and bottles to make. Yvonne K. Fulbright, Ph.D., a sex educator and coauthor of Your Orgasmic Pregnancy reveals, "The happier you are in all aspects of your relationship, including your sex life, the better parent you'll be." She’s right.
A horny, stressed out mama is no good for you, your partner or your baby.
There isn’t a day on Instagram where some celeb isn’t posing semi-nude a week after giving birth to prove they’ve “still got it” or that motherhood doesn’t mean they can’t still break their Internet with their post-baby bods. And while that’s awesome, it can place a crazy amount of stress on new moms who are just trying to figure out how to work a breast pump and get more than three straight hours of sleep. If having kids does anything it will make you appreciate the sex you are having, even if the whole thing is over before a NBA commercial break. The good news is that whether you want to get right back to making baby number two or don’t want anything between your legs but toilet paper, there is a whole range of “normal” when it comes to how you feel about yourself and your sex life post-pregnancy.
I'm sure I'm not the only one singing the post-pregnancy blues. If you've experienced a change in sex drive after having your baby, let me know below!