What happens when there are three in the bed?
Things have been getting busy in our bedroom. And no, it’s not what you’re thinking.
It’s more that the nocturnal comings and goings of our offspring are making it feel not a little unlike Grand Central Station. As for actually getting busy, forget about it. Though parenthood has me bursting with love for my new family, it has also had some other less lustrous effects in the bedroom department; effects no one tells you about as you’re prepping your bag for hospital, attending check-ups, or chatting with your parent friends about what stroller to get.
In fact, even most parenting and pregnancy books tend to glaze over it, but the reality is, despite all the joy welcoming a baby into the world brings, it can also lead to more fizzle than sizzle when it comes to your sex life. In particular, there are nine things that will be forever changed in the bedroom department after two become three…
1. Your libido will need resuscitation
Not only are your hormones changing dramatically, you’re also likely to be exhausted, emotional and completely overwhelmed, so having sex will be pretty much the last thing on your mind for weeks or even months after you’ve had a bub. You might even feel like mourning your old friend, sex, but given time your flat-lining libido will eventually come back from the dead.
2. Things may feel a little different
It’s understandable, you’ve just pushed something the size of a watermelon through your vagina, so things may be a little uncomfortable for a while. The differences are likely to be quite subtle and temporary. And different doesn’t always mean bad. Just proceed with caution and things will be back to normal in no time. You can speed up the process with Kegel exercises, which will help tighten your vaginal and pelvic floor muscles.
3. The weather bureau predicts drought-like conditions
Your body’s decreasing levels of oestrogen after childbirth mean less natural lubrication for the first few months. You may need to invest in a little personal lubricant to help smooth things along.
4. You won’t always feel sexy
Even Giselle Bundchen would have a tough time feeling sexy if she hadn’t showered in three days and had baby vomit down her shirt, so what hope do we mere mortals have in the overwhelming first months of motherhood? Don’t worry, it’s pretty much guaranteed that your partner won’t feel the same way… though a slap of deodorant certainly wouldn’t hurt.
5. You may feel a little self-conscious
Despite celebrities sporting their toned bodies in bikinis before they’ve even cut the umbilical cord, most mother’s bodies don’t snap back like tightly wound springs. Think of your post pregnancy body more like a slinky that’s been stretched out so much it won’t file itself back into a neat little stack anymore. The reality is, it takes a few months for your uterus to return to size after childbirth so your body won’t look the same as it did pre-baby.
6. Your mind may not be on the job
No matter how in the mood you are, sex can become a little like multi-tasking, because you’ll be listening for your baby and worrying about their next feed while in the throws of passion. Even new mama Mila Kunis admits to being distracted during sex; and she’s shagging Ashton Kutcher.
7. Privacy is a thing of the past
Just as your body and libido get to normal, your sex life will change yet again because your newly mobile toddler has zero understanding about the concept of privacy and, unless you invest in a Houdini-proof door lock, it’s open season on your bedroom. A friend who was mid coitus with his wife learned the power of the door lock when their four year-old daughter (who had woken up and tiptoed into the room unnoticed) started cheering “Go Daddy, go!” because she thought they were playing horsey. That’s enough to have all three of them in therapy for years!
8. Say goodbye to spontaneity
With a child sleeping under the same roof, those spontaneous living room romps and dirty weekends away are off the cards, replaced with a significantly more scheduled routine, and one that won’t awaken your little one. So because planning and passionate sex typically don’t go hand-in-hand, you’ll need to make the most of the intimate moments you do have with your SO and, while it won’t be possible in the first few months after giving birth, try to make time for the two of you to reconnect again by booking in a babysitter when you can. Just be prepared you may end up falling asleep from sheer exhaustion in your hotel room, rather than tearing up the bed.
9. It can be the most intimate time in your relationship
While sex may take a back seat for a little while, you and your partner have just created another life together. So even if you’re struggling in the sack, embrace the no-pressure intimacy of touch to keep the heat alive until your libido revives. And remember that, becoming parents is one of the most truly intimate things you’ll ever do together.
Images via giphy.com and tumblr.com
Comment: How did having kids change your sex life?
Aleney is a travel, food and parenting writer. When she’s not treading on Lego or being forced to watch Frozen on loop, the mother of two can be found hauling her ravenous offspring around the globe. Follow Aleney on Twitter and Facebook.