Do you remember what it was like having sex before kids? The freedom of being able to do it when and where you want is not lost on parents. In fact, it's something we either dream of or wax nostalgic about. I mean, those were truly magical times. Back then, you probably weren’t preoccupied with thoughts of kids walking in or the many other thoughts moms have before having sex with their partner. Hell, you could spend a whole day, or two (or more), simply not getting out of bed. Alright, before I get too nostalgic, I don’t want folks to think that having kids means the end of sex as you know it. You can still have sex after kids, but the way you go about it changes. Like, a lot. Arguably one of the most massive changes? How you think about sex.
Once upon a time, your thoughts before having sex probably included things like “Man, she’s hot,” or, “I’m so glad I remembered to buy condoms.” Or maybe your mind was simply blank, giving way to all your lustful desires with a reckless abandon that, well, I now covet. Can you parents even remember what it was like not to constantly be thinking about your kids or the piles of laundry that still need to be washed, transferred, folded, and subsequently put away? Perhaps you thought about what music to play in the background or whether to keep the lights on or off (you know, back when you could actually turn a light on in the hall and close the door (a little) without having a toddler running over to see what’s going on). I can think back on those moments and remember what it was like to experience them with my partner, but they seem so distant. Like, maybe it was a dream? Maybe it didn't happen? Wait, how was my child conceived again?
I might not think about the lingerie or background music or whether or not I have a sufficient amount of condoms (thank you, birth control), but the things I do think about before sex, as a mother, are, at the very least, freakin' hilarious. Either way, I'm entertained, and sometimes a laugh + some sexy time = all the self-care a mother needs.
"Woohoo! I’m Getting Laid!"
Finally having sex again, especially after giving birth, comes loaded with emotions. You might be excited but you might be scared but you might feel semi-uncomfortable but you might be looking forward to being intimate with your partner (or partners) again. However, once you’ve jumped that hurdle, you really do begin to get excited about when you’ll get to have sex. I’d say at least 75% of the time, you’ll be internally cheering and the other 25% you’ll be too tired.
"Wait, When Was The Last Time I Had Sex, Anyway?"
According to a recent survey, 45% of parents report they have sex once or twice a week, 30% say it happens once or twice a month, 10% do it less than once a month, and 15% pretty much just LOL’d at the thought of having sex. Unless you’re part of that lucky 45% (and I’m assuming those are parents of older children and not newborns or needy toddlers), you'll probably ask yourself when, exactly, the last time you had sex was. I mean, your mind is already filled with a million other things, so don't be too hard on yourself if you can't pinpoint the exact moment you've had your latest orgasm.
"Wait, When Was The Last Time We Washed These Sheets?"
If you happen to be doing it in bed (which, chances are as a relatively new parent, you are), you might wonder when the last time you changed your bedsheets was. Having kids means battling your (and their) laundry for basically the rest of your lives, so it could’ve been quite a long time since you've stripped your bed and washed your linens. It's not especially nice to think about the many moons that have passed since you washed your sheets, especially since babies and young children often spill milk and food or pee in their parents’ bed. By the way, experts recommend washing your sheets at least once a week, but these experts are probably not new moms.
"Did I Shower Today? I Really Need To Shower."
I will be the first to admit that as a work-from-home mom, I sometimes forget to shower. It happens to us all, especially when our kids are still tiny and demand our constant attention and spending even a few moments away from them (even if "away" means they're in the next room) is anxiety-inducing. Since sex means being fairly intimate with your most intimate parts, you’ll (maybe) end up doing a quick sniff test to see if you’re at least at an acceptable level of clean. Honestly, many partners won’t really care how clean you are because OMG WE’RE HAVING SEX.
"I Really Don’t Feel Sexy"
Getting in the right head space for sex can be a challenge for many of us. Some women struggle with their postpartum bodies, while others simply haven’t had time to do whatever it is they normally do to “feel” sexy (which can mean anything from eating healthy or shaving to putting on makeup to working out). Even when our partners are doting on us and calling us sexy prior to sex, it can be difficult to, you know, agree with them.
"We Need To Remember To Stay Quiet"
Unless you’ve left the kids at their grandparents for the night, or day, you’re probably going to have to do your best Marcel Marceau during sex. Having quiet sex can be dull or a nuisance to some. To others, trying to not wake the baby makes sex even hotter. It’s all about perspective.
"There Better Not Be Any Noisy Toys Around"
Noisy toys are the worst and nothing will kill the mood faster than stepping on a damn Elmo doll asking you to tickle its belly. No, Elmo, GTFO now please. If you can think of it, you’ll want to quickly scan the area and make sure toys are out of the way and/or turned off.
"Is That The Baby I Hear?"
Phantom cries are enough to drive any mom bonkers, especially in those first few sleep-deprived months. I swear, you’ll hear them pretty much any time you’re not with your baby. So, when you start thinking about having some sexy time, and when you start kissing, and when you’re halfway undressed, you’ll more than likely think you heard the baby.
"The Baby Better Not Wake Up!"
Babies and young ones tend to have the worst timing for everything, ever. In fact, some folks are convinced that babies wake when you’re having sex to prevent siblings. Regardless of what you believe, you’ll probably be hoping that your adorable bundle of joy doesn’t ruin this perfectly rare opportunity.
"I Hope The Baby Wakes Up"
On the flip side, if you’re not really feeling up to having lengthy sex, you might actually hope that your kid wakes up after a while. Some moms complain that their significant other takes too long to climax, making it less than enjoyable, especially after a while.
"I’m So Tired…"
It’s tough having sex after kids, especially in those first few months, or even years. The will is there, but the body just wants to get a few uninterrupted hours of glorious rest. Sometimes you end up having to throw the towel in early, other times you surprise yourself and actually get into it more than you originally expected.
"Please Let My Birth Control Method Work"
Unless you’re totally cool with adding another member to your family, you’ll probably have a few thoughts about birth control prior to sex (provided your partner is a fertile male). Though we’re still impatiently waiting on a male birth control option that isn’t condoms, there are tons of other options out there to choose from. Since you’re probably excited to finally do something “normal” again (like have sex with your partner), all you’re thinking is, “Man, I better not get pregnant tonight.”
"I Hope I Climax"
Anorgasmia (inability to climax) only affects 10% of women, so chances are, the other 90% of you are probably (really) hoping to reach orgasm now that you’re finally getting some. Between intrusive thoughts of babies waking up or getting knocked up, being exhausted and not feeling sexy, it can sometimes be hard to "finish." If you have an impatient or uh, less than skilled and/or considerate partner, it may take longer or not happen. Fortunately, tips on how to orgasm are out there in spades, so read up (or send the links to your partner) and enjoy!