Ask Scary Mommy: Just Had A Baby And Husband Is Ready For Sex -- I Am NOT
Ask Scary Mommy is Scary Mommy’s new advice column, where our team of “experts” answers all the questions you have about life, love, body image, friends, parenting, and anything else that’s confusing you.
This week… what do you do when you’ve just recently had a baby, and your husband is ready for sex but you are absolutely not “there” yet? Compromise? Gently let him down? Have your own questions? Email email@example.com
Dear Scary Mommy,
My husband and I welcomed our first baby two months ago. I’ve recently been given the “go ahead” by my OBGYN to continue normal activities like exercising, going back to work, and –dun dun dun– having sex again. While I do enjoy sex, I’m just not quite ready for it yet. My husband, on the other hand, is practically feeling like a teenager again. We didn’t “do it” much throughout my pregnancy, because it was super uncomfortable and we were both too anxious to enjoy it the way we usually do. So yeah, he’s ready. Really ready. Meanwhile, I spend all day every day covered in baby puke, breastfeeding round the clock, am usually unshowered, and am so tired that the only thing I fantasize about between the sheets is how fast my head can hit my pillow. HELP! How do I handle this?!
Oh, honey. We’ve all been there. Hell, my second baby is six months old and I still harbor those same “fantasies.” Though our partners are, for all intents and purposes, equal partners (they should be, anyway) in this parenthood thing, the truth is — if they didn’t carry the baby and they’re not the primary one feeding the baby, they simply DO. NOT. GET. IT.
You’re still a sexual being, of course, but now you’re also somebody’s mom. And that just automatically means you’re more tired than you’ve ever been before and will remain so until your child is old enough to not use sleep (or lack thereof) as an unintentional form of torture.
Plus, BREASTFEEDING. I’ve nursed two babies now and I can tell you from my own personal experience, your boobs go from “sexual playthings” to “bottomless baby feeders” in no time, and it’s hard to feel sexual about them when they’re you know, being used to feed people. All damn day. And, for many of us, all damn night. During those early weeks especially, they’re tugged, sucked, yanked, sore, blistery, and always out. It’s only natural you want to tuck them in and say goodnight when they’re not being used.
As for sex, mustering up the desire to do it is half the battle. It’s not that you no longer desire your husband — it’s not personal, even though many men often take it that way (also exhausting). It’s just that you have such precious little time to re-charge what’s left in your energy reserve. Sleep is essential and sex, well, it can feel like you’re sacrificing one for the other.
The good news is, it will absolutely not always feel this way. One way to get to The Point Of Actually Wanting To Grant Entry is by taking care of yourself. And your needs. You need to feel as relaxed, cared for, and supported as possible right now. It’s hard to keep yourself on your list of priorities, but you need to stay on top of it and be honest with your husband about needing his support, however that looks for you.
Schedule a date. Your baby is two months old, and as long as they take a bottle, go out to dinner for a couple of hours. Getting some alone time outside of the house can make you feel more connected to your husband again.
Don’t rush into sex, or feel pressured to do so. If your husband is pressuring you, you need to give him a Come to Jesus talk about why that’s a shitty thing to do. Masturbation is a great place to start — he likely won’t have an issue rubbing one out when he needs/wants to, and it’ll help you get back in touch (literally) with your sexual side.
And if he’s pawing at you to try and get you “in the mood” but the only mood you’re feeling is unconsciousness, well, GOODNIGHT SIR.
Ease into this and don’t be hard on yourself. Kiss, cuddle, and let your husband focus on what you want and what you like. Communicate your feelings and be honest about why you’re hesitant. If he loves you, and I’m sure he does very much, he’ll do whatever it takes to make you comfortable first and foremost. And remember — no one ever died from having blue balls. This too shall pass.
Have your own question? Email firstname.lastname@example.org