Generally speaking, I try to mean what I say. The whole "passive aggressive" or "ulterior motives" thing? Not my style. That said, sometimes being straightforward is difficult, especially when I have to tell my partner something I know will disappoint him. The most difficult, for me, is saying "no" to sex. Admitting that "I don't feel like it" doesn't sound all that hard, but I don't want to hurt his feelings. So, I say I'm tired, which is why I know there are things a mom really means when she says she's "too tired" to have sex.
It's not that I like lying to him, because I really don't. At the same time, though, if a little white lie means I can blame my lack of libido on sleep deprivation, and spare his feelings, I am not at all sorry. Having babies has changed the way I feel about my sexuality in so many ways. For one, giving birth did a number on my self-esteem. I don't look the same, feel the same, and my body doesn't work the way it used to. For the longest time I didn't feel good, let alone sexy, and I was so exhausted. Plus, childbirth made me realize that "sexy" isn't the only thing I bring to the table. I shouldn't be forced to view sex as a chore, and no one should have sex out of a sense of obligation or if they don't really want to.
So yeah, sometimes I might say I am too tired for sex, when I really mean so many other things, including the following:
"I Would Rather Give Birth Again"
During the first few weeks postpartum, even the thought of having sex is literally one of my last choices in a game of "I'd rather." I would have honestly rather have back labor again, eat liver, or get stabbed in the eye than have vaginal sex. It wasn't my partner, it was me. Definitely me, and my poor vagina.
"I Haven't Slept More Than Two Hours At A Time In Years"
Yeah, sleep is always on my mind. Gone, sadly, are the days when I am willing to lose sleep for a night of marathon sex. Don't get me wrong. I love sex, but I'm not sure if I love it more than sleep. That makes me sound so old.
There are times when sex doesn't feel good, so I don't want to have any. But here's the thing: I am embarrassed to talk about the sate of my vagina or hemorrhoids. It's just easier to blame it on the sleep deprivation. Especially because, well, that's true, too.
"The Only Touching I Want Today Is A Foot Massage"
Yeah, there are other ways to be intimate besides having sex. In a way, having a baby with my partner helped me feel closer than ever to him. It was actually the little intimate moments — like watching him feed the baby, snuggling on the couch, or him giving me a massage without expecting it to lead to sex — that helped make that happen.
"Sure, If By Sex You Mean Sleep"
Sleep is life. I seriously would consider giving up sex entirely if it meant I could get some sleep. Well, maybe not forever. Maybe. So, when you ask, "Want to go to bed?" that look on my face was lust — for sleep.
"I'm So Stressed Out"
Being a mom is so stressful. You have to be "on" all of the time. Sometimes, once the kids are in bed and the dishes are done, I just want to be able to relax and not have anyone expect anything from me. I know sex can be a good stress reliever, but so is taking a damn shower, pooping alone, and sleep. Did I mention sleep?
"I'm Not Caught Up On The Show I'm Watching"
So yeah, I love sex, and maybe this is a sign of getting older, but sometimes I would rather watch Netflix without the chill.
"That Sounds Exhausting"
Like, maybe we could have sex, but not move? Do you think that's possible? Want to try? On second thought, how do you feel about sleep? I am just so tired.
"I Want To, But I Am Afraid The Baby Will Wake Up"
I swear our kids have a special ability to sense when we are having sex. It's almost supernatural. We'll reach a point when all of them are sleeping through the night, and think we are in the clear, but no. Honestly, there's nothing worse than the baby waking up, or an older kid walking in, when you are having sex. Ugh.
"Can I Have A Nap First?"
If I can just sneak in a quick power nape I will have way more energy and will probably be way more into the idea of sex. It's not that I love sleep more than sex with my partner, it's just that I would rather have sleep and sex with my partner.
"How About We Just Make Out?
I've found that after having sex with the same person hundreds of times, I don't really need sex or an orgasm to enjoy getting physical with them. Also, by taking the pressure to perform out of the equation, making out can get me in the mood. "I'm too tired" doesn't always mean I won't be too tired later on.
"Do The Dishes And Get Back To Me"
There's nothing sexier than my spouse doing chores, especially without me having to ask. Also, my spouse not helping around the house — especially, not putting dishes in the freaking dishwasher — has the opposite impact on my libido. I should come up with an adult reward chart for him.
"I'm Too Tired To Have Sex"
Sometimes, though, I still mean what I say. Sometimes I am too tired to have sex.
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