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Having Kids Didn’t Ruin my Sex Life

by Jolita Peterson

honestly

August 21, 2014

Having Kids Didn't Ruin My Sex Life

It is a truth universally acknowledged having a baby changes things in the bedroom. Even before I had my first baby, I’d heard the horror stories – intimate moments thwarted by crying infants or curious toddlers, partners inhibited by yours, mine and ours breast confusion and romantic moods generally dampened by post-baby body-image woes. 

So as I prepared for motherhood, I expected the same unwelcome changes in my own sex life. I have to be honest – in those early days, being intimate was difficult. Constant sleep-deprivation, combined with sore breasts and little time to shower, certainly did diminish my libido. As our children got a bit older, my husband and I realized our sexual relationship, despite its challenges, had actually gotten better since having kids. 

It may seem counterintuitive (and I admit this may not work for everyone) but we found in order to keep our intimacy a priority, we had to plan for sex. We picked one night of the week when we would definitely be intimate (allowing for spontaneity at other times, as our energy level allowed). I found knowing ahead of time we’d be having sex that evening helped me feel more romantic. On those days, I made showering a priority and tried to spend more time on my appearance. Anticipating our time together reduced the anxiety of trying to get in the mood when I was tired or worrying about my husband’s arousal if I hadn’t shaved my legs that day (or week!). We also both knew, even though we might not be having sex as often as we’d like, we were still keeping it a priority. 

At the same time, we found a renewed joy in the “quickie.” Being exhausted most of the time with limited free time away from the kids, we had to look for brief interludes when we could. While these stolen moments may have lacked finesse or creativity, they helped solidify our relationship and keep us connected. 

After becoming a mom, I grew in my self-confidence (being in MOPS was a big part of that!), which included how I felt about my body. Despite the often unwelcome physical changes having kids brought to my body, becoming a mom increased my self-awareness and my self-esteem. Being more confident about myself trickled into the bedroom as well, empowering me to become a more equal partner with my spouse instead of letting him initiate or set the tone most of the time. I discovered my husband loved when I initiated sex! 

My growing self-confidence also empowered me to talk more with my husband about our sex life. Even though we’d been married a while, honestly discussing our needs, wants and dislikes in the bedroom didn’t come naturally. But we recognized true intimacy was important to our marriage, especially at this stage of life, so we pushed through the awkwardness and began having some frank discussions. The more open we were, the more we both were able to be satisfied. 

So I found parenthood did bring changes to my sex life, no question. But I also discovered not all the changes were unwelcome.


 

Jolita Peterson is a former MOPS Volunteer Staff who currently lives in Yorkshire, England with Dana, her husband of 20 years, and her kids Sofia (13) and Nathan (10). Her favorite thing about living in Yorkshire is seeing fields of sheep surrounded by stone walls! She blogs about their England adventures at musingsfromthemoors.wordpress.com.

How do you keep the romance in the midst of new mom exhaustion?

Share your thoughts

Finding other ways to connect for the first couple of months, especially outside of the bedroom, was critical for us. I have severe pelvic floor damage after the birth of my daughter, and it took about 10 months for us to even begin attempting intimate relations again.

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Totally agree! Great article, thanks for sharing!

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With kids who are now 4 and 5, the brand new mommy stage seems like it was ages ago. My best advice for new parents is to find other ways to connect for the first couple of months, at least, like holding hands more often, taking care of the baby together (like giving baby a bath together), being purposeful about checking in with each other at the end of the day, giving each other a foot rub or back scratch. For me as a new mom, I needed to be taken care of a little more often since I was using most of my time and energy to take care of baby.

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My kids are only 16 months apart so most people would think we didn't have any issues... that's a joke! My daughter didn't start sleeping through the night until she was two and I had another infant. Added to the fact that my husband worked on the Gas Rigs and was gone for two weeks at a time. However because he was gone we made each other a priority when he was home. During his week off we would get a babysitter for the day. We had to keep our son with us since he was nursing but he at least took good naps at the time! My husband has a full time job at home now so things have changed again, for the better, and since my kids are older and mostly sleeping through the night we "have time." Mostly it was reminding one another that we did love each other even when we were exhausted, cranky, and had crying kids. (BTW its okay to let them play in the crib so you and daddy can have some "alone time! ;) )

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Great perspective, Katie. Thank you for sharing.

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