I know. It starts off innocently enough. You have a newborn, and they stay in your room to make middle of the night feedings easier. Maybe you’re nervous to move them to a crib or down the hall, so they stay in your room, longer than you had originally intended. Months go by, and their thoughtfully decorated nursery sits empty of it’s little prince or princess night after night.
And then, there is the whole self image thing post partum. Your breasts are sore from some whippersnapper playing hoover vacuum several hours a day. Your hips are more round and that thing you used to put a skinny belt around (formerly known as your waist) has disappeared. Despite valiant eating efforts and rigorous work-outs, your pre-pregnancy wardrobe taunts you daily in your closet. Dammit.
Lastly, labor wasn’t easy. You tore…”down there.” Or you got stitches. Or who the heck even knows what hanky panky is gonna feel like after all that rigamarole. I mean, you watched the video of the birth! How can THAT area even be remotely a turn on after…seeing “it” in that condition. And how can you actually enjoy sex when you are so scared…about what you look like in the buff, about how it will feel, about what he will think. And truth be told, the last thing you want as you drop into bed exhausted is to be touched one more time today.
So baby stays in the room. Or toddlers and little kids begin to dwindle in one at a time because they are “sick” or “have bad dreams.” And the next thing you know, what you have really done is begun to use the “family bed” or “family bedroom” approach to delay or set off as long as possible your parlay between the sheets with the spouse you swore to love, honor, and cherish. Your using your children as human shields.
Ladies, let me be honest. Your spouse doesn’t care about your extra inches. He’s got extra inches of his own that need attending to. And if you don’t “do your duty,” you can bet you are giving the enemy ample playground for internet porn, or worse, that cute new secretary at the office.
Sex after baby is no different than sex before baby. True, it takes (pardon the blunt expression) just gettin’ back on the horse and practicing to make all those fears of physical discomfort and poor self image melt into an evening of steak, red wine, and Barry White. Your husband is not going to notice (or care) about your self image if you begin to meet his needs regularly again post-baby. And once your “back in the saddle,” and things are fun again (because through time and practice, you too have realized that your couple of extra pounds are slowly disappearing and sex is still fun anyhow!) you will have avoided one of the biggest marriage killers. A sexless marriage is NOT a marriage. Show him you love him by being the wife he married, by meeting his needs. And don’t use your children as human shields to hide behind your fears or selfishness.