Sex and Motherhood: When Three Threatens Two

Sex makes babies, so it’s ironic that babies deliver such a fatal erotic blow.

Parenting means being dependable and responsible, but a good sex life thrives on spontaneity and unpredictability. With nappy changes and broken sleep, sex can become a struggle. Keep talking, make time for each other and put some playfulness back in your relationship. Maintaining an erotic and emotional connection between you as a couple is the biggest gift you can give your child. On the long list of what children need, parents who have an erotic connection should feature as one of them.

Let’s face it: It’s not children who extinguish the flame in a relationship, it’s the parents who fail to keep the spark alive.

Clara, 31, lives with her partner David, 32, and their 20-month-old son. They were only together six months before Clara got pregnant and now with a baby their sex life is suffering. Like many new dads, David feels Clara has a ‘new man’ in her life, while the demands of motherhood means making love isn’t a priority for Clara.

They want to bring back that lovin’ feeling.

Motherhood is filled with selflessness and caretaking. Being a lustfull mother can feel threatening and bring up feelings of guilt. Allow yourself some pleasures, like a relaxing long bath, a walk on the town, plunging into a book, a dinner with friends. These are not sexual activities per se, they connect you to your erotic self, they make you feel alive, and playful.

Sex is more than just intercourse. When you feel distant from your partner, closeness comes first. You’re always hugging your child and, equally, no couple can survive on a diet of quick pecks. Lots of caresses, kisses, tender words and humour are part of the sexual relation. If you measure sex only in terms of the sexual act, thinking that unless you go all the way, it isn’t sex, then you eliminate most of what is fun and important about sex. To resist your disinterest, broaden the possibilities. Tell your partner that for you sex post children is more sensual than genital. Touch is key, orgasm, not always.

You come home, you inquire about the children. Don’t forget to check in with each other. Feeling that you matter as a person and not only as a function is key. Being erotic is leaving your role as partners of management Inc and enjoying each others company for it’s own.

Don’t leave sex until last thing at night. It does not matter that all the lego pieces be put in the closet. Being a mother and being sexual is about giving your self the permission to think about you, and know that it does not make you a bad mother.

The connection between mother and child is sensuous and sensual– touch, smell, gaze. The untold story is that often when you say that at the end of the day, you have nothing left to give, you in fact are saying that at the end of the day, there is nothing more you need. The physical touch with the child should not replace the touch with each other.

As a mother, you are a caretaker attuned to the needs of your children. So when your husband or boyfriend invites you to be intimate and your gut response is: “I already have 2 kids, I don’t need another one”, be careful not to confuse invitation with demand. This is an adult man inviting you to be to make love, not a child making more demands on you.

You don’t have to be in the mood, or turned on, you have to be willing to be in the mood. That is a powerful point of departure. Sex does not need to start because you are excited, or desirous. Willingness to engage, is what is key. You know that it is a nice way to feel intimate, that you never regret afterwards, that you are happier together the next day, these are sufficient motivations to experience “willingness, and openness”.

Surprise your partner is common advice. Why not surprise yourself. You seek novelty for your children, don’t settle into downtrodden routines for your couple. Pick a different restaurant, leave the bedroom if you can, meet him for lunch, when you are awake and dressed up, rather than waiting to connect to him as the last thing on your to-do list.

Take off your ‘mummy’ gear and wear something that makes you feel feminine and sexy. Not sexy lingerie meant to turn on your partner, but clothes that connect you to the woman in you.

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