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MoxieTopics

  • MoxieTopics
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Comments

Amy

As always, Moxie, your suggestions are right-on. I agree, especially about the bone-tired part, even if you don't think you are; you may not realize how tired you actually are. Are you getting breaks away from the baby, by yourself, and as a couple?

I just also wanted to add that men need to be informed of our desires. They don't just know what you like (yes, even if you have told them in the past and have been with them for fifteen years, you still have to tell them what you like). Ask your husband to please hug you, kiss you, touch you. Without sex being the goal. It will work for both of you! He will know what you want, you will feel loved and desired, and that may turn up the volume on the rest. I know I hate the "expectation" of going to bed = he wants sex. That automatically turns me off. If he sits on the couch and puts his arm around me and kisses me, then I will be ten times more willing by bedtime. I believe women thrive on touch, whereas men thrive on the "get it on!" approach. The point is to compromise, and the best way to do that is communication, before the moment. Good luck, and please talk to your doctor about it as well.

flea

For sippy-cups, I keep a toothbrush with the dish soap, and scrub with that. The tops are still narsty, but I comfort myself with imagining how nasty they'd be without my scrubbing. I wish I had a dishwasher.

For sex, I think there can be a big mental re-adjust after you have a child. If your primary identity becomes The Mommy, it can be hard to remember that you can also still be The Sexy Mama, or maybe work forward some way to be The Sexy Mommy. It takes time; I'm not there yet certainly.

Also, I know that I am by nature a person who needs space, physical as well as mental. Kids don't give you physical space - it is easy for me to be all touched out just taking care of my kids and not want any more touch, even loving cosy partner-touch.

Jane Plane

A balance of estrogen and testosterone aren't the only hormones that can affect sex drive. Thyroid deficiencies (or overefficiencies) can affect drive/climax, and I'm sure a host of other medical issues can also be at stake. I think consulting a doctor is a really good idea.

In terms of unresolved partner issues, not having sex or denying sex won't help, and can hurt. I agree that male partners can be lazy and/or clueless about how to best woo their female partners, but women can also underestimate how powerful it is when they turn their partner down, or never initiate. I really think it's a two way street, and one that takes a lot of talk and also some action to get past.

Meira

Can't speak to most of the post, but I can offer anecdotal evidence of the opposite type: I had very little nipple sensitivity before pregnancy/nursing. As in, the girls were useless as an arousal aid. After my first child was born, the girls were sensitive (in a good way!) and stayed that way permanently. Color me happy.

AmyinMotown

This has been a problem for me too. First, my body's really changed since having the baby. I was never skinny, but pregnancy and nursing did a number on my body. What helps is that my husband compliments me a LOT, tells me that he thinks I am hot and beautiful. I am neither, but it helps me see myself that way and gets me more interested. Maybe ask your husband/partner to offer up sincere compliments when he/she is NOT trying to get laid?

Another thing that helped was the "sex date." We haven't kept up on this as much as we should, but we try to have a "date" every weekend when our daughter goes down for a nap. Sometimes one or the other of us are not "in the mood" but once we get started it's usually at worst a nice bonding experience and at best a very fun way to while away some time!


Also, did you go through infertility to have your child? We did, and that torpedoed our sex life, badly. If sex becomes a "have to" it ruins the "want to" completely. It was so bad, and took so long to recover from even a little, that I am having a hard time wanting to try for another because I just can't go through that again and I don't know if our marriage would survive it. At least for us, sex just plain stopped being fun during those 2 and a half years of forced march pregnancy attempts, and it's taken a lot of effort on our part to get back to "oh, right, we LIKE doing this! It's SUPPOSED to be fun and not especially goal-oriented!" We're still not back to normal (especially since we're tentatively trying again), but it's getting better.

Another thing that helps? if there's anything you enjoy about sex, at all, maybe make it about that and not about the orgasm. That's helped me get back into it, to remove the pressure of it having to be great for both of us and just have it be our time together. Lo and behold I have found my libido getting sparked again because by removing the pressure, I am more willing to have more sex, and then I am enjoying it more. I don't do well with "must do's" and so that helps.

Dani

I had the same experience as Meira wrt the nips.

But anyway, I am here to endorse T-Tapp! Yes, yes, and yes to everything Moxie says about it. My body just feels so much more my own since I started T-Tapp, and that translates into me wanting to use it in all those fun adult ways. I haven't felt this good since I was 25, doing a ton of yoga, and hadn't had any kids yet. I am absolutely shocked at being this, um, interested in that sort of thing when I'm barely 4 months postpartum and nursing. With my first child, I had little interest for well over a year.

hedra

I'd definitely get thyroid hormone tested. That often goes wonky due to pregnancy, and may not re-set normally. I know at least three women who ended up with Graves Disease after pregnancy set it off. Definitely affects drive.

Also, don't discount low-grade (subclinical) PPD. With my first, I had it, and it took a good while to get back in the swing, and only with a lot of dedication and creativity, and a deep willingness on my part to get back to there (no resentments, etc.). With my second, I decided to make sure I ate at least 2-3 servings of salmon per week, and MAN what a difference! After the twins, Omega-3 in fish oil form, and again, major help, despite the expected exhaustion. That plus a little patience and an understanding of what it means to be exhausted, and we were headed back to being on track, even if it was slow progress.

It only takes a little low-grade depression to sink my drive. (I also find that B6 helps kick-start my hormone balance, but you may want to talk to your doc about how much - it took super-high doses to do that for me.)

Another thing that isn't often discussed is how the systems retain tensions after childbirth, and how that changes when you mess with the muscles. What 'worked' before just didn't work the same anymore. There were some things that were serious 'um, NO' ideas before (uncomfortable, etc.) that started working after childbirth, and other things that used to be instant-hep-up generators that just didn't start me up at all. Perineal stretching in particular, plus some very slight nerve damage with even the 'skid marks' I got, plus just being older and a bit less lubricated as a result... Birth just dumped all the reactivity of parts of my sexual system, made others too sensitive, and made everything else feel 'off'... add it up, and it was 'um, huh, nope, that's not working!'

Think in terms of 'new body, let's explore!' Each childbirth has done the same thing to me - remade my body. What was 'perfect' before now changed, and new things became interesting. Fortunately, my DH is creative, and tolerant. Not that it hurts to spend some date-night time shopping blowfish, either!

Speaking of date night, do you have date nights? That's a big deal for me, and was very important early on. I was, as I said, new. New in many ways. Without the opportunity to discuss who I was, what mattered to me all of a sudden, and why... well, there's nothing like feeling alone to make you want to spend the evening alone. Understanding that my DH was as new as I was, that he was as tangled up, as confused, as overwhelmed, that was essential to getting us to work as a team. And that's with someone who communicates pretty well in the first place.

I'd explore the issue further. There's something not going right in there somewhere - the drive does come back, normally. So if it isn't, that's not normal. Figure out whether it is relationship, hormones, PPD, other physical illness issues, or physical changes, and then see what happens.

Good luck!

laura

Sippy Cup Valve Tactics:

1. I use good old pipe cleaner to get the gunk out. Works MUCH better than anything else, just be careful not to poke a hole. And, I throw them out after use because I don't think you can really sterilize them. I use the "real thing"-- plain white pipe cleaners intended for cleaning pipes not colorful craft ones.

2. Try one of these soaks: white vingar and hot hot hot water or club soda. Back in the day when I was a bartender I used one or both of these solutions to degunk the plastic heads on the soda dispensers. Always worked. Usually an overnight soak in club soda will work wonders.

3. Persistent funky milk-cheese smell? Put them inside a larger plastis sealable container with a tsp or so of vanilla in the bottom. Seal it up. Leave it a few days.

4. Do your valves get icky because they hang out in the dishwasher a couple days waiting to run a cycle (hey-- with just one kid and everyone out of the house at work/daycare we run ours twice a week TOPS) then try dusting them with some baking soda when you put them in the little plastic basket.

When I discover a "surprise" sippy cup requiring rejuvenation, I:
1) rinse with hot hot hot water
2) soak a few minutes with dish soap, then clean as usual
3) put the valve inside the cup and put the lid in a bowl, then fill cup and bowl with either vinegar or soda, let sit awhile (overnight maybe)
4) Clean with dish soap and pipe cleaner if needed.
5) Still stinky? The vanilla overnight cure.

This has redeemed every cup I was willing to open and try to redeem. Living in the south, I have to admit that there are cups that I refuse to attempt to clean! (anything that has been under the carseat for over a week in August, for instance.)


RE: the sex: Have you lost your baby weight? Or, did you lose it only to gain some "toddler weight"? I did not get my drive back, really, until I lost the baby and "toddler" weight. If you are significantly heavier than you have ever been before it can be a real impediment to enjoying your body, even if your spouse doesn't mind.

If weight is not an issue... try a getaway! Even just one night in a nice hotel room (not necessarily luxury, just nice) can be very relaxing.

Susanne

Again I haven't had the time to read all the comments before me, but I have to say that only about 2 1/2 years after stopping breastfeeding the milk stopped completely. So I'd say, there definitely can still be hormones around. The official reading for this is that it can take "up to a year". Yeah.

Reconnecting with your husband will definitely be a good thing. I also recommend scheduling what we call "cuddle time". We'll definitely cuddle, everything else is optional.

Sex started being great again when my son was about a year old. And after we started scheduling it on a regular basis. We re-learned it in a way.

Cat, Galloping

Talk to your doctor!

Amy

Sippy cups.
I have 3 kids and lots of sippy cups of all kinds. I find that Q Tips work really great to get into all kinds of hard to reach places.
I also will soak them in vinegar and hot water from time to time.
At some point though, you just have to retire the cup and replace.
hope that helps...

Danielle

Just wanted to echo what some have said about getting your thyroid checked. Thyroid issues are very common in postpartum women, and can go undetected for long periods of time. Among other things, they can spark depression-like symptoms and lack of sex drive and hormonal imbalances causing infertility.

Tabetha

If you go to the cake decorating section of Wal-Mart (or maybe other stores, but I haven't checked), you will find a tip brush for about $1. It is intended to clean the tips of cake decorating bags. It has something similar to a pipe cleaner on one end and a tiny brush on the other end. It has to be replaced periodically, but it works wonders for sippy cups parts or anything small (like nebulizer parts)!

I agree with Laura on the baby weight. I gained about 25 pounds after having 4 children, and my hubbie gained, too. After both of us losing weight, we experienced a major improvement in our sex life. It is amazing what a little weight does.

Charisse

Hmm...for me, easy birth, quick return of the drive, but the body works differently. Breasts were pretty much dead from a sex perspective until about 6 months post-weaning. They've been coming back lately--woohoo! TIME has been our biggest issue. We were lazy weekend daytime sex people, or failing that, morning. With a kid who gave up at-home naps before 2, well, that don't work no more. For some people, preferred time is a bigger deal than others. There's no way we're dragging ourselves up an hour early for anything...but we're exhausted at night. Compromise is booty before dinner sometimes--put the kid to bed and jump the spouse, worry about the dishes and laundry later.

And how do you feel about your partner right now? Tension and just not seeing their sexy side is very easy with a toddler. (I mean, how is a tweaked back and nagging sexy, really?) How do you feel about your body, your partner's body? Were there clothes or activities that made you feel sexy? You could try those.

Also second the recommendation for massage and yoga. If you do yoga, backbends are great for sexual energy (and energy in general) and practicing mula bandha will help your pelvic floor and your, um, pelvic awareness a lot. Despite my easy birth, it took me more than a year to be able to really actively feel the right side of my kegel muscles again. If you haven't been exploring that, it may surprise you to see what you find.

Good luck!! I think everybody can understand this!

afrindiemum

don't know if it's been mentioned, but i like pipe cleaners - bent in half w/ a drop of soap works best. for the sippy cup valves and spout.

jessica

This is a great post with wonderful suggestions.

One thing I'd like to add is how you think about yourself now that you're a mom. Give yourself space to think about yourself as a woman, too. Do somethng small to feel good about your body, like a pedicure or a new piece of jewelry. It's so easy to focus on beng a mom- which is a huge adjustment- that it changes how we relate to ourselves as women and sexual beings.

I also agreww with the suggestions of massage and talking to your partner.

Shandra

These are all great.

I only have to add that for me dancing often puts me back in touch with my body and youth. I also find that reading a bit of erotica has been helping to rewire my brain from 'mom/milk producer' to 'sexual agent/partner' at times.

Neither of these will cure insensitivity or anything but I find if I can get close to the mood then I'm up to try things. And I have found after both pregnancies that I needed to do that because things did change - some for the better and some for the worse.

caro

I am finding the juxtaposition of topics here hilarious. I keep reading the first dozen words of a sippy cup solution thinking, wait, how would this help sex drive? A vinegar soak, really?

I have no good suggestions for either problem, really. I just put sippy cup valves in the dishwasher in one of those baskets. Is that really not working for y'all, or is my poor eyesight working to the detriment of our family's hygiene once again?

Also, would it be a totally bad idea to start T-Tapp while 3 months pregnant and 9 months sedentary?

Moxie

Caro, I was just thinking the same thing about juxtaposition of topics, especially wrt pipecleaners.

You can do T-Tapp during pregnancy up to the last day in a normal pregnancy. The only modification is that you don't do the "organs in place" move while doing The Box. Go to the http://www.T-Tapp.com website to the forums to the Mommy Fitness section and there are threads of women who do it while pregnant.

joline

Ive gotta second the q-tips. I also de-mold with vinegar and hydrogen peroxide!

charis

See your doctor, but if you run into resistence, or just don't feel like they're taking your seriously (I went through a decrease in libido after starting the pill), go see a naturopath who specializes in womens hormonal health. They can test for your hormon levels, and give you some natural alternatives to get them back in balance.

N.

Sigh.

We stopped having sex right about the the fetus started wriggling around. Hubby was afraid he'd hurt it. And I was preoccupied with preparing for my first solo recital, so I didn't miss it at the time. The last months of my pregnancy he was still uneasy about the whole idea even though my libido was there.

Baby was born, breastfeeding was going well, and I was exhausted and struggling with how much my life had changed (no time to practice my music, and very little alone time, which I need). We tried to restart our sex life when the baby was about 4 months old, but it was too physically uncomfortable for me. Also I was/am a bit hurt that he seemed to be scared of my wonderful, cool preggo body.

That was a year ago. I have my annual visit with my ob/gyn in a few weeks, and am a bit embarrassed that I'm going to fill in "abstinence" in the blank where the form asks about current birth control methods.

We discussed this with a therapist a while back but didn't make any progress. There are some body image issues for me - due to prior surgery, my abs are separated and I have a hernia where my poor belly button used to be. I'm not ashamed of the stretch marks or scars, but that really bothers me.


:(

Bobbi

If there is tension there between you and your hubby, talk about it. After 3 kids with the 4th due soon, I'm no longer afraid to say outright, "You know, you'd get a lot more if you'd put the damn dishes in the dishwasher instead of in the sink RIGHT NEXT TO THE DISHWASHER...." and other things like that. I found that my resentment over lack of help on the housework/childcare front always spilled over into the bedroom...

The Playtex sippy cups sell replacement valves, when they just get too gross....

Caroline

Post baby, post breastfeeding, I went back on the pill, but on a different brand than I had used pre-pregnancy. No libido. But I didn't put it together. Thought it was the big life changes that caused the big sex changes. Went off the pill when we started thinking about #2, lo and behold, all returned to normal.

Mary

I have found that different versions of the pill killed my libido. And then the first kid and 2.5 years of nursing killed it all over again. But I was never really sure what the cause of my libido death was until I got pregnant a second time and my libido went into hyperdrive during the second trimester. Now I'm convinced that, at least for me, my libido, or lack thereof, is almost entirely hormonal.

I'm nursing a toddler now, so my libido is back down to near zero, and it doesn't help that this one never sleeps. But I am hopeful that it will come back someday. In the meantime, when we find ourselves home and awake at the same time, with both kids asleep, we try to make the most of it. Sadly, this does not happen very often. But next year, the toddler will be able to do overnights at her grandmother's house....

L

I had bad scarring after my first birth and was unable to successfully have intercourse until about 15 months later, after about 5 months of putting wheat germ oil on my perineum every night. Then, the ONCE! Pregnant again. Couldn't believe it. So, yes, our sex life has been on hold for quite a long time.

For me, part of the problem was that my husband was looking forward to the same sex with the same wife, but I felt like being approached completely fresh. It's really true what Hedra says about having a new body.

I also believe hormones can take longer than you think to return to balance. I only breastfed for 3 months, so my periods started again at 4, but for the next year I was getting strange symptoms I hadn't had since I was a young teenager. Almost like the whole system has to restart.

Amy

flea, I can understand what you mean, and I hope I am conveying the thought that touch should be wanted. But there is a distinction from casual, but necessary, touch, and pawing, which would drive me insane as well. Be polite if you don't want to be touched at all, at that time, but don't forget that we thrive on touch as a connection, to convey caring and love. We should try out best to be open to each other, and honest when it is not the right time. I also agree with the comment that depriving a man constantly will drive him insane, which is why communication is key. When a man is turned down, it means more to him than just the sex, it's the way their mind works. Sometimes when you aren't really in the mood, but may be willing to just give it a go for his sake, it turns out to be wonderful for you as well!

liz

I want to say that it definitely could still be breast-milk horomones. I'm 4+ years out from weaning (pumping exclusively) and am still leaking at least a drip or two daily (enough to stain my bras but not show through shirts).

Like Shandra, I've really found that dancing does a lot for making me feel in touch with everything, like all the nerve-endings are working. Also, taking time for yourself to just get pampered (take a dance class, or get a facial/massage/pedicure) Those things get your body moving, and your blood flowing through touch and movement that have nothing to do with sex, and are therefore not fraught with expectations.

swimmermom

Exercise!! It is *amazing* how much more interested in sex I am, and how much better it is, when I work out --even just once or twice a week. It is not a weight issue, at least for me. My weight/size stay about the same whether I am exercising or not, but my body just *feels* totally different and sex is a lot more fun.

Also, for me, breastfeeding (three kids x several years each) has not diminished my libido, so I wouldn't necessarily blame those hormones. If anything my nipples are more sensitive than before. Actually, I think sex is even more enjoyable now than pre-kids. I really truly appreciate & know my body in a way I didn't before. If you are feeling less sensitive in your woman parts and having less satisfying climaxes now then I would guess that something in your system is out of balance. Nutrition? Thyroid?

Hopefully, you and your healthcare provider can figure things out, and when you do -- try this: plan one night a week to initiate sex with your DH. When I do this, I don't tell my DH, in case it goes awry, but I do my best to have the kids asleep and my evening chores done early enough that we can have some grownup time before I fall asleep. (I feel resentful if we are up too late and he still wants sex. I prioritize sleep over sex!!) By planning ahead, I can put my mind on sexy things and that makes a huge difference in my responsivity later. He really appreciates that I make the effort and that helps him to be more understanding for the times when I am too tired / not in the mood.

samantha

Sex: Oy. Um, I have the same nipple de-sensitivity after a year of pumping, sort of seems to be returning a little but not too much. I just kind of changed the focus to other areas and didn't particularly encourage or discourage attention to them. :)

Overall, though, I totally agree with the idea of taking the pressure off. My *biggest* problem was being overfocused on orgasm. Once I stopped thinking about it, it was easier to enjoy myself. The demands we put on ourselves to ENJOY THIS!! are kind of counterproductive. :)

Also, it sometimes helps to not try and, ah, do everything at once - to be blunt, having sex but then climaxing in an alternate way. :) This way you each have time that's All About You, rather than feeling like you're just being pulled in one more direction by ONE MORE person in your life.

PPD was also a definite factor for me, and lasted well into 2 years (when I was treated). Plus of course the medical things mentioned by previous posters.

Lastly, I want to echo the sentiment of a) resolving any grudges and b) reconnecting. Once we worked out the issues that made me want to smack him :) and we started to make each other laugh again like we used to, it got easier to connect in bed as well. This is really hard. Weekends away (not just one night) have really helped... date nights definitely do too but there's something about being together for two nights, especially somewhere that you can just kind of hang out and eat out and not rush around that lets you suddenly remember this is a person too, not just The One Who Left His Shirt On The Floor And All I Do Is Take Care Of Things Around Here!!

Bobbi

One more thing, a couple people mentioned birth control as a libido killer, and I just remembered that when I went on the shot, it was so bad that I only lasted 2 doses (6 months) before I said enough...it was very strange (and so not like me) to have absolutely no sex drive whatsoever - very foreign to me. Something to think about anyway...

Ami

I used a brush that I bought at a specialty shop for cleaning cake decorating tips. I also got a brush from the medical supply where I worked that was for cleaning ostomy supplies. I know it sounds weird, but it wasn't USED, for goodness sake. Another very handy item from the med place was a wheelchair bag that I got and used as a stroller bag. VERY roomy and waterproof.

I won't venture to comment on the whole sex/nipple desensitivity issue, I really have no idea.

Foster

The nipple brush end of a baby bottle brush will clean valves out nicely. And the regular bottle end will clean out the cup part ^_^ b

isabel

I agree with the commenter above who mentioned mild depression. If you aren't masturbating, then your not having sex with your husband may not be to do with him at all. I recommend seeing a doctor, exercise and taking time to make yourself feel good about you: shopping, getting your hair done, finding some time to yourself and getting together with girlfriends. Also, come clean to your husband and involve him in gettier to a sexier place.

anon

I am so glad someone addressed this- if only to feel like we are not alone. We haven't had sex since our second was concieved- and before that only once and we concieved our first.
I got some very bad advice during my first pregnancy two years ago from one of the ob's in my group- she thought I might have an incompetant cervix because of a dsyplasia surgery in my early twenties, and she advised we hold off. I was very surprised and abashed when I saw a nurse practitioner from the same group months later and she asked about our sex life. I stated that we were abstaining because of Dr.-- 's advice. She said that was "absolutely ridiculous" and that she "had sex with her husband up until the night she delivered" and "my poor husband".
I was so ashamed! And to tell you the truth, I felt very sexy pregnant, but my husband seemed a little uncomfortable with the idea that he was having sex with me while our baby was in there.
After I delivered our first, because we were so out of practice, we waited a few months more until we just finally went for it. Well, I got pregnant that time, too. Lather, rinse, repeat, we didn't have sex again the whole time I was pregnant. I did drop more hints this time, because I just felt sexier and a little bolder, but it just never happened.
Now I have just been given clearance from my doctor at my postpartum checkup. I cannot express how difficult it seems to me to physically and emotionally see myself having intercourse. I am not depressed, I am not overly tired, although the touch comment really makes sense to me because all I want after a long day is space. Conversation is okay, but any hints in the sex direction find me flying to clean up or read. I just can't see a way out of this uncomfortable feeling- it's worse than the first time nervousness because I am almost embarrassed because we know eachother so well and their is no fantasy involved.
I love my husband. He is extremely sexy. And has become very helpful. We argue, about chores, but all in all we are still friends who are attracted to eachother with no idea how to start up our sex life again. I am not overweight, I get excercise. And I dread the idea of a preconcieved date night where all spontinaity?sp is gone and there is an expectation of it ending in sex. I have no idea when the last time we even kissed is, and if he tried to even kiss me I feel like I would just rather not.
What in the world is wrong with me?
I cannot ask my doctor, as you can see from the experience I related I am not confident in their opinion. Also, one time I expressed a lack of desire to one of the ob's- way before I was pregnant, and she said "that's probably just you". So I never mentioned it again, and just feel like maybe I am destined to be an unsexy person. But I am constantly worried about my husband, and think if other people knew how we don't have sex they would be shocked.

anon

I just read my comment, and it sounded like we didn't have sex before our first was born- we did, and it was great, but became more infrequent the longer we were together-almost ten years now. I have had my hormones checked, because of a prolactinoma-and am on medication to keep my levels regular, so I should be "normal".
We have time to ourselves- a little- and time together- a little. We have a busy, full life, without the physical intimacy we both need. I want to ask if I am some sort of freak, but it sounds so immature that I guess I cannot find the right words to express my feelings.

another anon

Anon, you seriously need another doctor. Now. The nurse practitioner might have given you a clue about the first doctors advice being off the mark, but it sounds like she either wasn't sensitive to the subject OR her personality didn't mesh with yours. Now its time to go back and you don't feel like you can trust them with an important issue. Ask some friends who they use, and if they like their bedside manner, and go else where.

Also, have you talked to your husband? If you're interested, but just emotionally scared, then consider some of the advice to get in contact without sex being the goal. There's nothing like "if we want to have sex this weekend it has to happen during the Saturday nap" to really put a damper on my interest. Counter productive as all hell.

hedra

Anon, just start dating! That's largely what we did for 'date nights'. Going out to a movie and dinner, and not necessarily anything else. No expectations unless we were direct about 'we're going to try to get home early, ;) ;) '

Yeah, it can seem awkward when we start up again after a gap. He doesn't always remember what's working recently, and will try things that haven't worked for the last two post-preg phases. But we communicate, and carry on, and get creative. But some of our best dates have honestly been going for a walk on Main Street, holding hands, talking, laughing, flirting a little, and then picking up the kids and going to sleep.

I'll see if I can get my DH to remind me of the books he found the most useful about reconnecting physically. There was one that was really useful, and I cannot recall the title.

I'd also second the 'get another doctor' idea.

Ash

Oh, the sex thing. I think the guys just have to take what they can get during the post-kid years. My youngest is 4 and I just had a tubal ligation. Apparently our sex life will improve post tubal?

I breastfed my two for a total of almost 6 years, going seamlessly from one to the other. I swear the only time I ever had any libido after my first child was when I was ovulating which is how #2 got conceived on a single try!

I agree 100% that having someone else have demands on your body is just *too* much sometimes. You feel like everyone's pulling in different directions. I still can't stand anyone touching my boobs a year after
stopping b'feeding!

The other thing that can seem really gross about sex is that it can seem really mechanical when you're not trying to get pregnant. We spend all of our teenage years avoiding pregnancy, then we focus on it, then we get pregnant and have the baby and suddenly it's almost a nuisance. It changes all our perceptions about ourselves.

I have trade-offs with my husband. I love having my scalp massaged while I lie on the sofa and watch tv. In return I give 5 minutes of my time to him for oral sex or whatever. Doesn't seem like such a big deal, and eventually the libido will return.

Well, I hope so, anyway!

Julie

Yes! Exercise! Running, walking, whatever you can do to get the blood moving.

I'm also guessing sex isn't the only pre-pregnancy thing that's not completely the same. Are there other things that you enjoyed doing before kids that you are not doing any longer? Make time to see a movie, go to happy hour with your friends, or other activities that remind you of your old self. The more you have of yourself, the more you are able to give.

B

Hmm, I'm struck by several comments, including the last one, that focus on the giving part of sex. As someone with low libido 19 months postpartum, I have to say that the mere idea of having to tend to my partner's physical needs in addition to my baby's is a major turnoff. Adult neediness is SO not what I can handle after spending hours breastfeeding every day. Maybe that makes me an emotional tightwad, but really, the idea that I should tend to my partner's physical needs rather than he to mine, at this stage in the family-building game, strikes me as odd. Yes, I know, it shouldn't be a zero-sum game in the first place, but when one party wants sex and the other party wants No TOUCHING because she's been sucked and tugged on all night, it's hard not to see it as zero-sum.
BTW, on the few occasions I've had the house to myself for a few hours, solo sex has worked wonders. I will look into exercise if and when I have the time. :-)

hedra

I'll agree that when touched-out, sex is... well, not high on my agenda. But the dating sure helps, even then! A walk, talking, nice dinner, and then sleep... helps me get to where I'm *not* touched-out, and that gets me to where I can be much more interested.

This whole discussion reminds me of something that happened recently. All four of the kids decided they wanted to snuggle with mommy ALL NIGHT LONG. A cat joined in, and I was pinned for the night. I'm unfortunately overly-nice when I'm half-asleep, so I didn't toss the cat off the bed or fight for my space. Instead, I slept badly, though warmly.

The next morning, my DH said that for Date Night, he'd sleep waaaaaaay over on his side of the bed... so I could have all the rest of the bed to myself with nobody even nearby. Better than sex, compassion! Which, of course, made me more interested in sex.

A

Goodness, I so agree with B. It was impossible for me to give or even think of sex when I was given-out with two children to care for one of which was nursing. Of course, it didn't help that the younger one was NOT a good sleeper because of one thing or the other...teething, cold...the works. DH, would not wake at night because it was difficult for him to go back to sleep and had to go to work the next day. I am a die-hard runner and ran through my pregnancies and from 6-weeks post-partum and that was the ONLY thing that kept my sanity though I was bone-tired. Due to all that, I just cut back on my work hours and eventually am a work from home mom...thanks to the desire of my in-laws to draw me into their business. Hedra, you are one of the very fortunate ones to have a partner/husband that is so in tune with your needs. That leads me to the question...how does one get that kind of support from your mate? Any guidance folks?

OP

I posted the question about low libido 2 years post baby - I really appreciate all the advice. A couple of responses resonated with me - one was the idea that it's important to start taking care of myself - whether it's exercise, losing the weight gained during pregnancy, massage etc, and the second was that it still might be hormonal and related to nursing. I have not lost my pregnancy weight and as a result am not able to fit in my previous size 4!! clothes and don't want to invest in size 10-12 clothes because I keep wanting to lose weight...and I just can't be bothered getting all dolled up when my 2 year old is just going to vomit all over me or put his gooey hands on my clothes. And although I stopped breastfeeding 10 months ago, I am still producing milk! Even solo sex is not great - I am just not interested. I don't have any sensitivity down there. This is such a big difference from my pre pregnancy days. So I will look into exercise and massage and will be visiting my OB. So far I haven't gone to my doctor because I thought I would just get a message that either it's to be expected because I'm fatigued, or that it's a trivial matter and will eventually go away.

thank you all again.

hedra

A, for how to get that kind of support... a lot of work on the relationship, really. I went into this relationship knowing for certain that we didn't understand each other, and that we'd never even consider making a long-term go of it (Ha ha ha ha ha, 15 years later!). As a result, we paid a lot of attention to establishing clear-cut rules, boundaries, and communication techniques. We still blew it, and blow it, regularly, but we pick up and try again, and try not to carry resentment around, and when we do, handle it fairly. We keep working on being Safe, Respectful, and Kind with each other. We read - I specialize in 'relationships and parenting' and he specializes in 'organization and household function'. We pass on the information to each other. We clarify rules, refresh our memories of our weak areas regarding each other, and practice how to ask for what we need and how to apologize when we've blown it. We refuse to require the other to be everything, and if there's a need they cannot provide for (aside from areas exclusive to the marriage contract!), we find ways to meet those needs elsewhere, with our friends, on our own, or put aside the need for the time-being.

More than 15 years of working on this, that's how I got it, really. Working on it *hard*, much of the time. It is important. My mom married and divorced four times. My dad three times. My step-dad, four times. They're all smart people, good hearted, creative. I got the point pretty early - this marriage thing is HARD, it takes ongoing effort, it can be wonderful, but it is never something that can be left untended (at least without an AGREEMENT that it is going to be untended, which we do have at times!). It is still evolving, and I got very lucky and had a good starting point - Nice Quaker Guy whose mom is one of the first computer programmers ever, period (let alone female), so he left home with a fundamental belief in both gender equality and female intellect... can't buy that, and hard to teach it, I'm afraid!

I wish I could give an easy secret formula... I think the closest is that while we are very egalatarian overall, my DH deeply believes in the concept of HUSBANDING. That is, protecting and preserving resources of the family and home. Caretaking, shepherding, and ensuring that the future potential is preserved. Which includes me. He husbands me.

(too bad 'wife' doesn't have as useful a definition - it just means 'woman'!)

In return, I employ my own resources to his benefit. My brains, my insight, my ability to write, my creativity, etc. I like men, and I aim to allow him to be male, enjoy that, and not limit it (barring our vows, again, which are the Quaker ones: Loving and Faithful. That's all. Similar filter to Safe Respectful Kind... and where I got the idea!). I try to give him freedom to be himself, as a way of being loving. I get that back, too.

Sigh. Wish I could provide a better answer...

Krista

There's one more thing that could cause low libido. Sorry if anyone's mentioned this already, I don't have time to go through all the comments since last I checked them. Many birth control pills will cause a loss of sex drive. Are you on the pill?? Just a possible easy answer to a puzzling problem. If so, talk to your doc about switching brands or types.

A

Thanks for your inputs Hedra...really apprecaite all of it. I think taking a step back in my career even though I am as qualified as my husband (double post grad degrees each) and with a lot more work experience than him but still being in the loop with the work even though not in a corporate setting has somewhat helped get some more cooperation from me in terms of my expectations from my husband. That has made a big difference to our sex life as well. Now I just have to follow your advice and try to get him to read things other than business related literature and check out Moxie's Blog - Moxie's comments are always bang-on. I feel so fortunate to have run into it and check it out every day. The reader base is well informed and it is a pleasure to go through a variety of experiences and thoughts.

Kira

I am pre-partum and the idea of sex has been repulsive for at least 5 out of 6 months of my pregancy so far. Scarry because it was just opposite before. I had a great libido and sex life. I am only 26 years old. My husband still enjoys and wants sex as if nothing has changed but I cnnot accommodate him and feel good about it which adds to my feelings of negativity. Not sure what to do, how to get over this hump. Also, not sure if it is normal, too embarrassed to bring it up during our midwife visits. It is true, you spend so much time and effort avoiding pregnancy because of youth and morality issues. Then, when you do decide to conceive and become pregnant, no one warns you about the negative side to the changes you undergo as a woman. We subscribe to What to Expect When You're Expecting and it seems a lot of her advice is geared towards women who have no problems with libido or sexuality during pregnancy. Will my libido/sex life come back after the baby is born? Or am I doomed to never feel good or excited about sex again??? HELP!

Seeking helpful advise

As I can see from the other desprate mothers begging for advise, I'm not alone in this struggle for arousal (Whew! I was worried to death!). But still, I would love to get some direct advise for my specific problems, so, here goes:

I am a 24 year old mother of three beautiful children. My oldest is 7 years old, my middle is 4 and my newest addition is a wee 6 months old. I work a full-time job, get off work, and begin my 'bus route' picking up my darlings one-by-one, we come home to do homework while also getting baths, cooking supper and trying to clean up the house. I do not even eat supper after I cook because, of corse, I don't have time. I feed the little ones, finish homework and baths, try to spend a little one-on-one time with each child, and before you know it, it's time to brush teeth and hair and get them off to bed as they do have to get a good night's rest to excel in school the next day. This everyday routine doesn't even end my work for the day. I won't get into all that right now. I don't even see my husband until sometimes 8 or 9 o'clock at night. He works very long hours. When he comes in from work, he says he is way too tired to help with the 'home chores'. I completely understand his point of view. With that said, it doesn't stop him from waiting to have sex when we finally do get to lay down at night. This presents a HUGE problem for me (and, I guess, him too). I have absolutely no desire!!! I want that prebaby sexual drive that I use to have back! But as hard as I try to get it, I just can't. I even go as far as to close my eyes and concentrate on nothing but our attraction! And even when I do feel a little something, I lose the feeling quickly! I don't have any desire no matter how hard my husband tries to stimulate me. This is extremely frustrating to him (and he's not the only one). It makes him think that I have no interest in him anymore and that I'm no longer attracted to him. I can't seem to convience him that it's he's not remotly correct where that's concerned. I have to feel attractive myself to be able to have sexual drive, and I don't feel attractive anymore becuase I am still 20 pounds heavier than my prebaby weight. I don't see anyway that he could even be attracted to me anymore. We don't get any alone time with one another, yet we get in bed and it's straight to sex. I just can't seem to jump aboard the bandwagon. I've never had a problem being turned on, and now, I can't even get a tiny bit of a desire to have sex.......What is wrong with me??? PLEASE HELP!

Chanel ipad leather

I agree with how to resolve it, but I don't agree with one point.

It isn't fair to say that in your own house you shouldn't have things out that are nice because someone else's kid might break them. I don't have expensive things out in my house (I have 3 kids 5 and under and other kids here all the time), but the things I have out just because they aren't expensive doesn't mean they can/should be broken by another kid without some repercussion, too.

It isn't about the lamp shade, it's about the fact that the kid broke something, expensive or not.

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  • My expertise is in helping people be who they want to be, with a specialty in how being a parent fits into everything else. I like people. I like parents. I think you're doing a fantastic job. The nitty-gritty of what you do with your kids is up to you, although I'm happy to post questions here to get data points of how you could try approaching different stages, because, let's face it, this shit is hard. As for me, I have two kids who sleep through the night and can tie their own shoes. I've been a married SAHM, a married freelance WAHM, a divorcing WOHM, a divorced WOHM, and now a WAHM again. I'm not buying the Mommy Wars and I'll come sit next to you no matter how you're feeding your kid. When in doubt, follow the money trail. And don't believe the hype.
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