Sex changes after having a kid. I was aware of this fact before I became a Mum but only superficially, I had no real clue of the depth of why this might be. After I had my daughter I stepped into a new reality, much like a parallel universe where everything is the same but nothing felt familiar. I had a new identity to contend with and sex really had nothing to do with it. I felt as if my whole attention had to be on my new baby, otherwise I was somehow neglecting her; I just couldn’t figure out how to switch my brain from the routines of mothering to feeling relaxed and ready to get it on.
After the six week check (the one that first-time dads seem to look forward to getting the green light to start shagging again), I was in theory good to go. I think it was around 8 weeks when I nervously gave it a shot, I was pretty cautious after having a second degree tear from the birth. It was ok, a bit like losing my virginity: it felt like something I needed to get done, accepted it wouldn’t feel that great, but with time things would get better.
Only they didn’t.
Libido was missing in action. Thanks to a traumatic birth and PND a year went by and nothing happened. I just couldn’t get my head around being a mum and having the passionate sex I used to have, and physically I didn’t feel sexy at all. Two more years have come and gone and we’ve had sex maybe 10 times. People might say “your poor husband” and I agree, but also poor me!
The thing is on a good day I want to want it, but on my knackered strung out days I couldn’t care less. It certainly has to do with tiredness and just wanting to zone out every evening, but it also feels chemical – like my brain has ceased to produce anything horny.
I’ve wanted to write about this for ages but never had a way to satisfactorily conclude it. We had sex twice this week, and I wonder if the answer is as simple as that. Sex begets sex. I’ve spent so long not doing it that I became sexually dormant.
The only way to break the cycle, it would seem, is to come out of hibernation. The timing of course is important, and no one should feel pressure to do anything – if a good boxset and an early night cheers you up then crack on, god knows we deserve to be happy.