Here is something no one will tell you about having kids: Your child will likely be in the same room with you when you finally get around to doing it. That’s right, you have an audience. And yes, it is really weird. You wonder things like “Holy hell, will this scar my child for life?!” The answer is no. It probably won’t.
Here is another unspoken truth about postpartum sexy time: Your boobs are no longer fun bags. They are now a food delivery system and it will feel like you are breaking some ancient mama code when you let your partner touch them in a non-baby-feeding kind of way for the first time. And what’s worse, when your boobs are played with they will respond as if a hungry baby is trying to latch on by spraying milk. Not sexy.
My youngest child is now four-months old and he sleeps in our room with the safety of mom and dad. He has his little bassinet and a cozy bunting, his new friend Mr. Zebra, and human contact less than 3 feet away. This is great for him. This is problematic for my husband and I. Suddenly it feels like we are sneaky teenagers in the back of the movie theater desperately trying to be both quick and quiet so not to get caught. Honestly, I’m not sure which is worse, the nights when baby wakes up and we are interrupted or the nights when he doesn’t wake up but we are interrupted because we keep stopping to say stupid things like “did you hear that?!” and “uh-oh, I think we woke him…shhh listen!” Totally unproductive grown-up time.
The bedroom, in all honesty, will probably be the last place you have sex anymore. You will surely find yourself sneaking off to the bathroom or the living room couch or some other odd place because it better suits your child at any given time. It will happen when your sweet babe is napping in your living room or where ever and you have 10 minutes to get the laundry in the wash, the dishes put away and some semblance of lunch shoved down your throat before your little rascal wake up. This sliver of time, on rare occasions – because lets face it, sex happens about as often as winning the lottery – will be when you have some romance. Some uncomfortable, not really romantic, kinda fast love making with your partner in parenting crime. While Jr. sleeps for his regular short burst of REM, you and your partner will surly be canoodling, talking about canoodling, or attempting but failing at canoodling. Then you will give up.
Having kids will ruin your sex life. At least until they are old enough to not be sleeping near you. Or old enough to be spending the night at Grammy and Grampy’s house. And even once you have a child-free night it is more likely that you will pass out and sleep right through your red hot opportunity.
Even if sex is off the table there will most certainly come a day – sooner than you think – when you will become desperate to just get out of the house to have a real dinner with real adult conversation. Jr. must go in the gentle care of someone else for a few hours. And when this miraculous event happens do you know what will CONSUME you during your much desired and well-earned time off from motherhood? Your child. You will think about your child. You will talk about your child. You will worry about your child and second-guess your plans. You might – if you are like me – even feel a mountain of guilt for needing to get some alone time. You might even have to physically restrain yourself from giving into the urge to pick up your phone and call the sitter to check on your bundle of joy. Pretty damn romantic, huh?
I am not sure what the magic formula is for maintaining romance after the hazing period into Club Parenthood. Perhaps there is isn’t one at all. Maybe things like drinking wine all night while watching X Factor or dates with my husband are just plain not in my immediate future. I genuinely miss our alone time. But I also love – deeply and emphatically – our cozy Saturday mornings snuggling with two kids under a pile of blankets.
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