It’s no secret that relationships sometimes take a backseat once you have children. Having kids takes up a lot of time and energy, and figuring out how to have sex after having a baby takes up time and energy as well. For those who start their parenting journey via pregnancy, the entire 10-month process can take a huge toll on your body and mind. Some folks end up being placed on bed rest, while others are given a strict prescription for “pelvic rest” (yes, it's a thing, and yes, it happened to me, and no, it is not fun at all). Add to that potential birth injuries, birth traumas, and slow-to-heal c-section scars and your relationship will really get lost in the shuffle. And then once your children are in your arms, the demands are even greater. Midnight sex gets replaced by midnight feedings. Morning snuggles are trumped by mornings with toddler feet in your faces. Date nights become huge ordeals. It’s a wonder we ever so much as look at our significant others, let alone actually get to be naked with them in a sexy way.
But although some couples may long for the days of child-free romance, others actually find that having children has brought them closer together. There are many moms who even claim to be more attracted to their significant others once kids were thrown into the mix. I must admit that there really is something special about seeing my husband with our son. Watching them play or read or nap together makes my heart skip a beat more than usual, and it’s at these moments that I find my attraction to him multiply.
I asked some other moms to chime in and let me know if, why, and how they found their partners more attractive post-offspring. Here's what they had to say:
I dig when my partner looks like he just woke up (bedhead and stubble are my favorites), which is pretty much what he looked like the entire first year [of parenting], since with an infant, you pretty much always just woke up. This, combined with how he was exhibiting all these appealing dad qualities like patience and creativity and lifting our son above his head all the time had me swooning on a regular basis. He wore our son pretty regularly when he was younger, too, which also made me melt.
I love him way more now than I did before. Seeing him being an involved father and truly caring for our daughter made me fall in love with him on a completely different level.
Kelly's partner has been the primary caretaker for their two-year-old daughter since birth:
I’m so proud that he’s my partner, especially when I see other dads who aren’t doing 50 percent of the work and assuming their partners will pick up the slack. I don’t know how many times my partner has gone to the park with our daughter and been asked by another dad, ‘You’re babysitting, too?’ He just gives them a long stare. I’m pregnant with our second baby now and he has taken over 98 percent of the cooking and cleaning and gets up with our daughter 6 out of 7 mornings so I can sleep more...We get to have sex a lot less often now, but I’m more attracted to him than ever.
I feel more in love than ever. I love seeing the interactions between my husband and daughter. It’s a whole new side of him I had never seen before and it melts my heart.
My husband and I had been friends for 10 years and a couple for six years by the time we had our first child in 2009. I was worried, frankly, about potentially feeling jealous of our child — how would I share my husband with her? But when she was born, all of that worry evaporated and I totally fell in love with him in a new way. I saw him as a father and it just took us to this whole new level in our relationship with each other that was all the more moving and marvelous because I didn’t expect it.
We have been married 22 years, 17 as parents, and watching him with our children and seeing the type of father he is has made me love him so much more. And yes, he is sexier, too. I most like that our friendship has gotten deeper since having the kids.
There are those moments, like when he is trying to teach our daughter harmonica, and my heart has that momentary burst of love for him. But then he leaves a mess in the kitchen...and it’s back to normal (I love our normal, though).
Seeing your partner nurture and love your child is like seeing them in a new light. Like this morning, my husband made star- and heart-shaped pancakes for the boys because, why not? Overall, though, seeing him teach our sons how to be good people is just beautiful and I love him more for it.
Keema is still pregnant (9 months, to be exact), but she can already feel more attracted to her husband:
I see him blossoming into a man capable of more empathy and thoughtfulness than I’ve experienced from him before. From our many trials through this pregnancy (including a scary stretch in the middle with a frightening diagnosis), to his desire to prepare our home for this new person, it hits me on all levels.”
Having grown up without a father, Keema also says,
When I think of my daughter growing up with a real father, a man who will be there for her even if he fails in some ways, I feel so much gratitude for [my husband].
Seeing my husband as a dad is amazing and sometimes makes me want to jump him. When I was pregnant, he was always so worried about if I was crowing the baby, but I loved him in a completely different way when I saw him as a poppa bear.
I believe attraction increases because we see them differently, appreciate and respect their roles as a new dad. Their attraction decreases when they lay around on the couch though, haha.
[My partner] has always been a hard worker and has never done anything halfway. This carried over to parenting. It doesn’t matter if he just worked 14 hours on his feet. When he gets home, he’s ready to do bathtime and bedtime (if it’s his night) and does it happily. Watching him put together [our son’s] massive swing set by himself was pretty sexy, too.
Right after our first child was born, mere hours after the kid was out, my husband and I were both absurdly horny. If it weren't for the fact that I was literally stapled together after a c-section, we would have been doing it in the hospital bed. This lasted for days. Not even the sleeplessness, pain, or new baby stress could dull it. I don't know if it was excitement, hormones, the idea of being parents, or a combination of the three, but we found one another irresistible.
All of which proves that, while having a baby is often all-consuming, desire doesn't always or even usually drain once your offspring is on the scene. Sometimes it actually increases it.
Images: Priscilla Blossom; Giphy (5)