05 Feb Let’s Talk About Sex (After) Baby!
For the last few weeks, I have been hinting at launching a new series on my blog, before I make the announcement, I thought I’d share a bit of a story and I how I got to this place…
It must have been a few weeks just before I gave birth, when I found myself standing in a queue at Clicks. I could feel the eyes of the woman behind me staring into my basket. I thought, “meh, whatever, people do it – I do it.” But when her boyfriend joined her in the queue, she whispered something, pointed at my basket and they both laughed. I glanced down into my basket, trying to figure out what caused the reaction and then it hit me.
There I stood, 36 weeks (heavily) pregnant, with a basket that contained nappies, condoms, a big stack of batteries for one of the kid’s annoyingly loud toys, lube and toothpaste.
You see, I had woken up with a bee in my bonnet – the sort that had me running through all the things that I still needed to do and buy before the baby arrived. I remembered that pretty soon, there’ll be a baby, tiredness, check-ups, feeds, nappies and before I knew it, those first six weeks would be behind us and my doctor would look at me and say, “it’s cool to start having sex again.” – only, I remembered from my last child just how hard that really was, so right there, in that crazy-scattered-nesting moment, I wrote on my list, “condoms and lube.”
I realized that no one really speaks about it – sex – or rather, sex after children. I mean, yes, it is an intimate part of your relationship shared between you and your partner but pick up some glossy magazines, and you’re bound to find an article with, “10 tips for a better orgasm” among hundreds just like it, targeted at the young, fun and still dating.
But what about sex after kids – where are the articles that tell me what to expect? I wish someone had told me that at times you’ll feel like sex is a damn chore or that your kids will almost always walk in on you, that sometimes it will seem like weeks since you last smooched, or how hard it is to feel sexy when you smell like vomit, haven’t washed your hair and haven’t shaved in a week not to mention coming to terms with your new “mom-bod.”
Sex was really hard after having my first child – it was uncomfortable, confusing and it took a long time for me to feel like my body was mine. Back then, I didn’t have mom friends – I was alone, and I thought that I was the only one trying to adjust to this new version of intimacy.
You see, this was all new to me. I was raised in an open-minded family. My mom had me when she was young, so I was always around when she had friends and her sisters over. I overheard conversations I probably shouldn’t have and didn’t really have “the talk” because well, it wasn’t a big deal – I knew what I needed to know and if I ever had questions, it was okay to just ask.
Later in life, my aunt started a business selling sex toys and when I matriculated, I sold them too. I spoke to women about the most intimate part of their lives. When I tell people about this part of my life, their mind immediately thinks of a scene from 50 Shades of Grey and while there isn’t anything wrong with that, my best customers were women like me and you. I am talking about moms who are head of the PTA and just want to try something new or wives who didn’t know how to tell their husbands what they liked. I gave up my sales gig when I fell pregnant (the irony isn’t lost on me!). So, for me, sex has never been a taboo topic – until I had kids and it started to feel like one.
One night, after catching up with some friends who are also moms, it hit me that we were all in the same boat. The days of spontaneous sex had long been forgotten, replaced by a never-ending to-do list and knowing that somewhere, on that list, we needed to find time for ourselves and our partners.
Being quietly laughed at while standing in the queue at Clicks, for being overly pregnant and buying a basket full of random stuff, lube and condoms wasn’t humiliating, it was sort of eye-opening. I was buying those “essentials” because I knew that I would forget to during the 6-weeks haze, and when the time did come and we finally found a gap to be intimate, I didn’t want to experience the uncomfortable feeling that I had previously. I was there because I knew better and because despite having children, I still value intimacy and the (limited) time with my husband. So, instead of crawling back into my usual hole, I was sort of proud that I had remembered intimacy, especially during the craziness of my last few weeks of being pregnant.
It was this experience, and many chats with mommy friends that inspired me to launch a new section on my blog dedicated to relationships and intimacy. I will be the first to admit that I am not an expert – but since first drafting this idea last year, I have made a few friends who ARE experts with loads of resources, advice, and products. With their help, I hope to create a new platform for moms and expecting moms to seek tips, help and recommendations when exploring intimacy after children. I want this space to be honest, open and humorous – because let’s be honest, you’ve also put Moana on to keep your kid distracted, while you rush off to the bedroom.
So, let’s talk about sex (after) baby! A new series focused on exploring relationships and intimacy after having children.
My first official post (and giveaway) goes live next week – but I’d love to know if you have anything in particular that you’d like for me to focus on? I will also be partnering with local brands who will be making this campaign possible – with their guidance and expertise, I look forward to creating a platform that you can always rely on.