Let’s face it. The very thing that got you pregnant in the first place is hard to get around to once the baby arrives. Exhaustion and hormones strip away your libido, leaving you craving sleep more than sex. What’s a mother to do?
Well, you can start by convincing your partners that if they want you to put out, they’d better start putting out, too. Putting out the trash, for starters. Washing the dishes. Folding the laundry. Holding the cranky kid in the middle of the night. Nothing says, “I love you” like a good Hoovering. Floors, people, I’m talking floors. Watching someone help out is an aphrodisiac, in the post-kids household.
And pssst… guys? there’s nothing sexier than watching a man with his babies. I was watching a single father friend of mine wrangle his three year old and his seven month old the other day and realized my heart was melting into a puddle of warm goo. Imagine how much better it works when the guy holding the baby is your husband! Watching a father with his child is an amazing, unguarded look into a man’s heart. Works better than backrubs.
Be patient with yourselves as you settle into parenthood, and take some time to set a mood. Especially if this is your first dip back into the pond since childbirth, go easy. When my son was born, I warned my husband that he was going to have to woo me all over again. The experience of pregnancy and childbirth were a crucible for me, and the woman that emerged was very different from the one I had been before. I needed time to reconnect, feel loved, and feel wanted.
Depending on the type of birth you experienced, there might be some discomfort, as well. Be honest about what you’re feeling; and please, warn your partners that this might happen, before you get to the sex part. Set up some sort of safe word or way of communicating discomfort, so that no one’s feelings get hurt in the event that something isn’t working. And remember, some women’s libedo doesn’t come back until after they wean their children from breastfeeding, so… be patient (do you sense a theme here? be patient, be kind to yourself).
And if your partner actually does take care of the house, and the kids, and the drycleaning, and and and ends up being the one to say, “Not tonight, dear… I’m just too tired!” at least you know… they finally understand how you feel all the time!