This editorial series, S-E-X, is brought to you by the Fort Worth Moms Blog and Andrea Palmer, MD FACOG with Fenom Women’s Care. All 15 original articles from the S-E-X series can be found on our website.
Dearest New Fathers,
You know that thing where the woman you love has your baby and then proceeds to forget every naughty thing she ever whispered in your ear? She’s the same person who used to send highly inappropriate text messages in the middle of dinner with your parents, but this version no longer wears cute underwear, occasionally takes showers with wet wipes, and doesn’t want you to touch her boobs. It happens right around the time she starts wearing bras with easy access flaps on the front. Flaps for the baby, mind you.
I’ve got good news and bad news, my friend. The bad news is the baby broke your wife. The good news is she will come back stronger and sexier than ever, never you fear. For future reference, you may file this in the “Stuff Nobody Tells You About Having Kids” folder. And by folder, I mean separate storage facility.
I’ve been married for almost 15 years, and my children are currently 10 and five. The baby days are over, and not only am I still alive, but sometimes I even put on makeup and jewelry. So I think I can put your mind at ease by offering my super wise and not-at-all-annoying view from the other side. The kids sleep through the night on my side, so that automatically makes me wiser. Plus, I’m still married, and I quit wearing maternity underwear at least a year ago. I’m an expert. Just go with it.
The Problem: Your wife has lost her sex drive. She doesn’t seem attracted to you. She might not even like you.
Okay, so you’re probably right on this one. I’m KIDDING! But here’s the deal. Down deep inside, the transformation to Mama Bear is intense and overwhelming. Like Bruce-Banner-to-Incredible-Hulk overwhelming. The only difference is that Hulk was a bit more peaceful. Literally every single thing about your body and soul is different once baby arrives. I mean, we grew a little human from scratch, and now we have to keep it alive and thriving, and earth is scary, y’all.
Baby can’t do anything. Mama has to do everything. And it’s worth noting here that she’s doing it all in two pairs of rotating maternity jeans because she’s suddenly fat in weird places that gross her out. She is also beginning to suspect all those people who claimed breastfeeding made the weight fall off are LIARS. Why do I have a literal flap of extra skin hanging around my hips?! Will it never leave? Was I ever pretty? Did I enjoy weekends? What is my name?
Anyway. She’s working through some stuff, y’all. And she loves you. SO much. Don’t give up on her.
I can tell you that if I’m feeling ugly, exhausted, worried, or overwhelmed, my head’s not in the game. As a woman, I need my head to be in the game. And I certainly don’t feel naughty when I haven’t taken a shower in three days, the dishes are overflowing out of the sink, and I still can’t manage to rock pants without a large elastic waistband.
I truly felt like a stranger in my own body for awhile there — and a very unattractive one at that. I had to rediscover myself and learn the new me was actually smarter, better, sexier — weight gain, skin flap, and all. And that took some time.
I didn’t do a formal study, but my girlfriends all say the same: Our feelings and state-of-mind are tied to our sexual desire. It’s really not you, it’s me! But doing some dishes on the regular and disappearing with these children for two
days hours would go a long way. I feel like sending an inappropriate text message just thinking about it. Moving on.
The Problem: Your baby mama has managed to get the cherubs to sleep and has completed the stealth-ninja-mom-jedi trick of turning into liquid form and oozing herself off the bed without waking the baby. By all calculations, you have at least 17 minutes of free time now, so obviously it’s orgasms for everybody! Your wife, however, wants to stand in the freezer licking Blue Bell directly out of the container. It appears as though she might bite you. And not in a good way. What is wrong with her?
Friend, your wife no longer sleeps. At all. Even when she appears to be asleep, she’s doing the new sleep. New sleep sucks. When I became a mother, my brain started this quasi-rest thing where the system apparently attempts to reserve power while remaining cognizant enough to hear and respond to a hiccup on the second floor. It’s clearly science, and I woke up to every single disturbance in the force. I still do. This means that I’m on high alert 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for basically EVER, trying to keep this tiny human alive. Even on the nights that you graciously offer to get up with him, I’m wide awake at the first cry and then trying desperately to shut my brain back down
Those first couple of years with each of my boys are a blur now — I was soul crushingly tired. I was overweight for no reason (I dare you to mention the ice cream), and baby books didn’t apply to anyone I birthed. I could generally be found sticking my breasts into either the baby’s mouth or an electric pump, both of which had to be calibrated properly so that it didn’t hurt too terribly bad.
Dang girl, that sounds SEXY.
The moral of the story? I don’t know. I’m still super tired and need to wash my hair. But I can tell you that I never forgot those naughty things. And I did start whispering them again. Sometimes I even wear underwear that isn’t sold in bulk at Costco, so don’t be afraid to dream big!
And I love him. SO much. I’m glad he never gave up on me. Your wife will be, too.
Preach. Your words made me laugh, cry, and most important, made me feel less alone as a current mother of two, 2 and under experiencing so many of the same things. Thank you for this!
Jan, you are SO WELCOME!!!! It’s the most wonderful and HARDEST time in the world and it feels so good to know we aren’t alone in this beautiful disaster! There is a period of time when it’s just impossible to be both new mom of tiny things AND vixen wife! It WILL get easier! But sometimes you’ll still be all, “Don’t touch my boobs.” LOLOLOL!!!!