Sex and motherhoodNov 23, 2022
Having kids doesn't change your life; it ends it
This jokey comment, untrue as it is, reflects the fears of many. It is known that having small children in the house often makes it challenging to maintain an active and exciting sex life. Firstly, there never seems to be time for sexual play. Secondly, there is often the bottomless tiredness that most new parents are familiar with. The choice between sex and sleep is usually very easy to make. And thirdly, we seem to need any extra energy we can muster to deal with the massive change the new family member has brought to our lives – and even
The kind of relationships that lead to starting a family are romantic. Romantic means romance. And romance means, usually, sex. In our sex-obsessed time (when, oddly enough, people have actual sex less than before!), a sexless relationship sounds depressing. It also sounds like a shortcut to separation. No wonder many new mums see sex as a chore, something that must be done.
And this is a shame. Sexuality is a beautiful gift. The wonderful thing about sex is that it is a many splendored thing. And sexual interaction is stimulating, refreshing, and at its best, simply too marvelous to be ignored when one is blessed enough to have a partner with whom to do it. The necessary and, yes, also the sufficient condition for sex is intimacy. Intimacy comes from the Latin words meaning to make familiar.
But humans are social animals, and the need to be close to one another is innate. If you look at sex from the perspective of intimacy, it ceases to be a performance and becomes a beautiful way to familiarize yourself and your partner. Many couples would like to get back to that but just don’t know how, or feel incredibly overwhelmed.
‘Childbed’ is the archaic term for what is today known as the post-partum period. It lasts up to 6 months after the delivery, during which time the female body makes a full recovery from the delivery. During the childbed period, women were not expected to have sex in the way sex was perceived in those days: as an act leading to reproduction. Sexual interaction has since become free of such expectations. A cuddle, a kiss, and spooning in bed after an exhaustive day is often enough, even for the new dad.
If you are worried about your sex life, the first thing to do is not to beat yourself up about the situation. You are not alone, and there is nothing wrong with you. Having a baby is the single most revolutionary experience in a woman's life, physically, mentally, and sexually, and all emotions it raises should be greeted with compassion.
The next thing to do is to talk with your partner. This is often super hard, but you do not have to say more than what you are feeling and experiencing. Be open with your emotions but try your hardest to avoid judgment. Be gentle, loving, and forgiving both to yourself and your partner. Remember: becoming a parent is a life-changing experience for both of you.
If things get too rocky, seek professional help. Talk to your doctor, nurse, or psychologist. Modern women often have to deal with their issues alone, when in the old days, there was the whole community to support them. There is no shame in asking for help.
Whatever you do, don't panic. Everything is solvable. You are doing fine because you would not be reading this blog if you weren't. You are a caring person and a great mum. Trust yourself and focus on the one thing that always works, no matter the situation: love.
Love yourself, your baby, and your partner; you will all be fine.
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