Having a baby is exhausting. Not just the giving birth part, but the whole parenting thing afterwards. Suddenly, you are responsible for a whole new person and it is hard. I am still breastfeeding too so I find it draining- although I wouldn’t change it!
By the time Little R is in bed, asleep, and husband and I have eaten and talked (or bonded over some rubbish on the T.V) it’s normally 10 or 11, by which time, I am ready to pass out. Husband, on the other hand, does not go to bed to sleep.
One of the things I have struggled with is having sex after becoming a parent. It has always been quite an important part of our relationship and since having Little R and becoming parents, it has been difficult to get back into our old routine. Whether it is due to my hormones having changed, the anti-depressants I now have to take for my PND, or whether it is pure exhaustion, I have completely lost my sex drive. It is a vicious circle though; we don’t have sex because we are so tired, which makes us argue because husband wants it and I don’t, which then means we don’t have sex because we aren’t getting on.
I didn’t realise that sex was such a large part of our relationship prior to having Little R, until we had her. I’m not even sure that we have anything else in common so it is slightly problematic now we aren’t doing it. We have even become divided on the way that we look at sex. He believes that it is something that should happen, regardless, but I feel that we need to be in a good place before I want to sleep with him.
Whilst being exhausted is the main reason our sex life has dwindled, I have also lost all of my confidence since having Little R. Two years ago, before I fell pregnant, I lost two stone and I was the happiest I had ever been. I now weigh three stone more than I did, I am fat, and I am unhappy. I used to sleep in only my underwear but now I wear my pyjamas even when it is sweltering and I can’t sleep because of the heat. I often joke about how I trip over my breasts but actually, they are disgusting since breastfeeding Little R, they do sag and they are repulsive (think two dog ears with nipples drawn on). I am covered in stretch marks which are vile – I even have them under my arms?!
The longer we are together, the more we seem to take it each other for granted. Husband no longer tells me that he finds me attractive, he never compliments me when I make the effort and put on make up, and he doesn’t notice if I have done my hair. Now, I understand that he is male but he used to be sickeningly nice to me, and he would always tell me I was beautiful. He no longer kisses me when he gets in from work as he used to, and we don’t hold hands in public. I’m sure I also take him for granted but it has definitely impacted on how often we are intimate. Why would I want to sleep with someone who doesn’t even want to kiss me normally?
Until you have a baby, I don’t think you can ever prepare yourself for it, and even the strongest relationships must struggle at the beginning. I am sure that it must get easier but we have always had a dynamic relationship and I think it makes it harder. I do hope that as we both grow – in age and maturity – things will become easier, but I do understand it is not always the case. Time can only tell, I suppose
Has becoming a parent affected your sex life?