Once you have kids, your life with your partner completely changes. My husband has literally seen our child’s head crowning in my vagina, my breasts feed a tiny human, and my body gain 50 pounds. I am not the woman my husband married- physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually. Becoming a mom changes you and your relationship. However, watching your partner become a parent also changes your perception of them. My husband has never been sexier in our 10 years of being together than the moment he held our son for the first time and cried.
I have read many generic blog posts on the topic of intimacy after child birth and rarely did those posts give me any advice on becoming a more intimate partner. I believe what was missing was honesty sex talk. So, I thought maybe anonymity would help me talk frankly on the topic. Picture me as your fellow mom at daycare drop off or the mom who posts breastfeeding questions at 2 o’clock in the morning or even the mom across from you on the park bench. Over the course of the next four weeks, my hope is that you will be able to take some of this advice, try it out, and share with your girlfriends the excitement you are now discovering with yourself and your partner.
Let’s be honest, gone are the days of silky-lace nightgowns, Victoria Secret thongs, shaven legs, and sex in every corner of the apartment. Instead, find me a nice Bamboo pajama set, a pair of silky grandma panties, not-so-shaven legs and bi-weekly sex dates. While being intimate with your partner initially came easy before children, my partner and I have discovered if we want to keep any form of intimacy after kids alive, we have to work at it.
Since having kids pretty much changes you mentally, emotionally, and physically, I believe it is important to break intimacy into three categories: intimacy with yourself, emotional intimacy with your partner, and then physical intimacy. This series will be compromised of three posts focusing on the above categories, plus a bonus post for those who are TTC, postpartum, or experiencing infertility. I hope through these posts you are able to find some advice, that can be used to better your relationship with yourself and your partner.
Intimacy After Kids Step One: Intimacy with Yourself
You cannot be intimate with a partner without knowing who you are and what you need. So, if you are needing to find your mojo, let me know what you think of my suggestions below.
- Move your body. Not only does moving your body physically help to clear your busy mind; working out also releases natural endorphins that promote energy. That could mean going for a walk, running on the treadmill in your basement, or completing a yoga session. I would highly recommend building in pure barre classes at least twice a week. Never have I felt sexier working out then when I thrust up my hips, tighten my core through tucks, or hold a two minute plank.
- Shop for clothes that fit you. I find myself feeling sexy when I am wearing an outfit that makes me feel confident. Your body changes after kids, it might take some time to get back into the clothes in your closet. That’s okay! Find a couple pieces that can be mixed and matched- but most importantly, pieces that make you feel good.
- Get yourself one non-cotton bra and one nice pair of panties. If you are local, I would highly suggest, Mrs. Robinson Fine Lingerie in Wayland Square. The owner is the sweetest lady, they have beautiful products, and you can get measured for a nursing bra at the same time! If you are nursing and don’t live in Rhode Island, I would recommend this brand that can be found on Amazon. Their bras are beautiful and sexy while also functional.
- Don’t wear panties to bed! If you are already doing this…props to you, it took me 30 years before I felt confident with not wearing underwear to bed. But once I did, I have never felt sexier! Added bonus, if you talk to any OBGYN, they will tell you going commando allows your lady parts to air out which leads to less foul odor in your nether region!
- Take care of your mental health. After having my son, I was so jealous of my husband going to work every day while I sat on the coach with a baby that wanted to be feed all the time. I would go on walks and listen to two of Rachel Hollis’s books. I needed her “get your ass up” voice to make me rethink my new role as a mom. If you are in need of more than book inspiration, I would highly recommend you seek out professional support by contacting your OBGYN for recommendations.
- Take at least 20 minutes to yourself EVERYDAY! Yes, you read that correctly. You carried your child for nine months, birthed a little human, and managed your influx of emotions…so I am giving you permission to take YOU time! My husband and I use our shared google calendar to schedule haircuts, massages, facials, pedicures, dentist appointments. This allows us to be both respectful of each other’s schedules while also making time for ourselves.
- After having my son, my mind changed. It sounds weird…but it happens. Most people call it mom brain, and initially it sucks! But, there are strategies I would suggest to help clear your mind, so you are ready to engage deeply with your partner. When you are thinking of EVERYTHING you have to do, place a notepad beside your bed. Every night, I will do a brain dump. Everything I am thinking about goes onto that pad- I will deal with it in the morning.
- Take time to reflect. I have enjoyed using Heart Talk, The Journal by Cleo Wade as an opportunity to reflect on a variety of questions centered around self-love, self-care, and self-discovery. This weekly journal reads as if you are talking to a good friend who knows just how to push your thinking. I also love how it is a weekly journal instead of a daily one. For a busy mom and a mom who most of the time has good intentions I can reach for the book when I need to be reflective.
- If you haven’t had the opportunity to explore your sexuality after having kids without your partner, I would suggest you take some time with yourself to explore the needs of your body, because trust me, your needs have CHANGED! How can you tell your partner what you need sexually, without knowing yourself? Now is your time to steal a moment during nap time or when you are taking a nice relaxing bath. Take out your vibrator from it’s secret hiding place, or if you don’t have one, click on the link HERE, you will most definitely need this money well spent tool in the next coming weeks. I love that this tool, who I call my little friend, has many many modes so you can best determine how to satisfy your needs.
- This piece of advice is going to cost you a pretty penny. Get out of your comfort zone and schedule boudoir shots. I have seen many of my close friends participate in boudoir photography sessions prior to their wedding day, when their twenty something bodies were clear of stretch marks. However, a number of them have recently scheduled sessions after having children because they feel more confident with their body than they did pre-baby. In addition to the photo fee, you will also need to purchase the photo book from the photographer as you never know who at Shutterfly is peeking at your butt cheeks! When I am seeking out a photographer, I typically first go to Instagram. If you type in the hashtag #boudoirri a number of suggestions will come up.
Stay tuned for part 2: Building emotional intimacy with your partner. As always, thank you for reading, thank you for sharing, thank you for commenting! Have fun! 😉