Hi Is This Normal,
My baby is 10 months old (I also have a 3 year old). I have no interest in anything sexual with my husband and literally cringe sometimes at the thought of kissing him or him touching me. I hate this feeling and want to be attracted to him again. I know it’s me, nothing he is doing wrong. How can I get “that feeling” back? – No Sex Drive
We’ve received several forms of this question – here’s the Is This Normal take.
Oh No Sex Drive,
Where oh where does our mojo go?! I’m pretty convinced that it’s relaxing in the same place with all the lost socks and tupperware lids. Probably lounging around in a hammock, having a cocktail, just enjoying this season of life. It’s Mojoville, and all of our libidos are having themselves a little vacay. Everyone needs some time off, I suppose. It’d sure be nice if they came back, though, right?
Postpartum dry spells are totally, 100% normal. A lot of women experience a dip in their sex drive after having a baby, and it’s not uncommon to need some time to get back in the saddle. The whys? So many. Postpartum recovery, hormonal fluctuations, breastfeeding, sleep deprivation and exhaustion, stress, and oftentimes a general shift in your immediate priorities. You may have been cleared for sex in the physical sense, but that doesn’t mean that you’re emotionally or mentally ready to dive back in. And that’s OK! That’s more than OK, and so, so normal. Sex is supposed to be great. Reallllly great. If it’s not going to be close to that, it has to stay on ice.
My biggest piece of advice for you is to be patient. Give yourself the time. Don’t let guilt push you into something you’re not ready for, OK? Be open with your husband, and communicate how you’re feeling. We all know he’s probably internalizing this as a reflection on him, so let him know what’s happening to alleviate him of that complex. As your partner he can help support you through this spell. Intimacy comes from more than just sex, and being open and honest with your husband about how you’re feeling can make you feel closer and help you work together to get you back in the game.
As far as getting “that feeling” back, start small. That feeling is about more than the physical act of sex. It’s about connection and intimacy and desire. Make an effort to spend time away from the kids, just the two of you. A quiet dinner here, a date night there. We get so bogged down with the day-to-day grind of parenthood that it’s easy to lose track of other, equally important relationships in our lives. Put the kids to bed, turn the lights down, and snuggle on the couch for a movie. No funny business, just closeness. Hold hands, lean into each other, and relax. Don’t talk about the kids or work or daycare. Check out of being mom and dad, and check in with each other as partners. It’s easy (wish it wasn’t), especially with a new baby, to lose touch with the parts of ourselves and each other that made us fall in love in the first place.
Make sure you’re giving yourself the time and attention YOU need, too. We can be such givers in this life stage – worrying about the needs of our children, our partners, our jobs, our households. Hello, mama! You’re the one holding it all together and you can’t expect to meet everyone’s needs at all times while neglecting your own! Whatever that “me” time looks like, prioritize it. Even for just 30 minutes, an hour. Find little ways back to yourself and your body.
Take heart, mama. This is normal, and it’s not going to be forever. Give your body and mind time to get back on track, and in the meantime, cut yourself some slack! When your libido finally gets back from its extended vacation, you’ll be glad you did.
A Mama Who Got Her Groove Back,
Is This Normal