After a 10 year dry spell Mum of Three Claire Smith is having sex again and *drum roll* Enjoying it!
Okay I have an announcement to make – after almost ten years of parenting I have started to have SEX. This might come as a surprise to all of you even though I’ve obviously had sex three times since I have three children but now I’m having a sex life. I am AT IT. And I’m actually wanting to do it and enjoying it.
Let me rewind a little. When my husband and I met, things were pretty sparky in the bedroom department, but after our first child was born (by C-section) and he spent six months hanging off my nipples, I wasn’t exactly feeling in the mood for special love anymore. My body was a disaster. Of course we still had sex occasionally (hence the other two children) but we weren’t exactly swinging from the light fittings as we used to. Anything other than missionary was strictly reserved for birthdays and anniversaries. I sort of resigned myself to the fact that I have needs (frocks, shoes, TV, steak) and my husband has needs (sex) and part of our marriage involved feeding each other’s needs. It just didn’t feel great but we plodded on.
But something has changed. My mojo is a go-go. It started with me storming off to the shops following an argument, armed with my husband’s credit card and the realisation that I’d been wearing the same bra for four years. I went and bought new underwear. Yes - actual proper lingerie that matched. Plus, being told that my cup size had increased was a great boost (pun intended). Suddenly, things didn’t look so bad in the mirror, so long as the bra stayed on.
Of course, the situation south of the border had also become subject to neglect; so following a particularly intimate girl’s night, involving talk of waxing, I got the jolt I needed to treat (or torture depending how you view it) myself to a Brazilian. The only thing Brazilian I’d had going on till now was a rain forest.
It goes without saying that now the kids are a bit older I’m not as tired anymore and even though there’s still an issue with me getting personal space, especially when I get dressed/undressed or have a wee, I’m feeling a bit more lively in the evenings. Plus TV is a bit rubbish at the moment.
I have also been partaking in some innocent flirting - which is great if the person flirts back. Note, your male friends probably will, but your father-in-law probably won’t. If you find the right person, then flirting can be a mega ego-boost and you can enjoy the attention which will make you feel more attractive – and heck, your other half will reap the benefits.
In addition, it’s been a change of mind set. You can have decent sex after children but it requires focus, intentionality and planning. There are 347 things that can impact a mother being in the mood and lack of spontaneity is number 56 – but this of course can always be solved by a healthy dose of alcohol.
Writers say that they need to write in order to write. It’s like once you break the barrier of actually going to the gym, you can’t get enough of going to the gym. Sex is exactly the same. It’s true to say that the more you have it, the more you want it – it’s just getting started in the first place. If you get over the fact that you’ve got to use some energy, miss a TV show, be seen naked, and have to wear a decent bra, then you’re half way there. If you start to believe that you can have sex, you will be able to have sex, even though it’s often a case of “At nine o’clock when they’re all asleep, we will get jiggy.”
If I can do it, you can too because I was the Queen Of Avoiding Bedtime. I was an expert at making too much noise on the way to the bedroom, thus waking a small child. I was amazing at simply having to stay up Googling the effects of a splinter. I would even go so far as to fake a cold sore by pinching my lip.
But let’s face it – sometimes us mothers don’t feel like it. The kids have been hyper, the kids have been clingy, the kids in general … can often stop sexual desire dead in its tracks. Men do not see it this way. If you are a) AWAKE and b) ALIVE then they don’t see a reason not to do it. They’ll even think that when you’re loading the dishwasher it’s an invitation for sexy time. It can be, errrrrrr, hard. Most of my friends are not really having sex but occasionally I’ll talk to that one mum who has five children and is having sex four times a week. She’s no different to us; she’s just determined to keep things alive in the bedroom with the man she loves.
So, yes, I’m having sex. So, yes, I’m boasting about it. Because it’s taken ten years and three children and I’m really proud of myself. I’ve had sex in the living room, I’ve had sex on the bedroom floor, and (shock horror) I’ve even been to an adult store with a girlfriend. We are having a lot of laughs because navigating a newly ignited sex life around family life can get quite hairy at times; especially when a kid wakes up and asks “Mummy, what’s all that huffing and puffing?”
And our marriage is going great. I get away with doing less and less housework and my husband goes to work with a smile on his face, and sometimes he goes in late. There are none of those ‘awkward’ conversations or time spent making up crappy excuses. Plus, I get to buy the occasional new frock.
To be honest, the purpose of this post is to show you that there can be sex after children. That after childbirth, the ‘in’ door that became an ‘out’ door can once again be an ‘in’ door. You can retrieve that bootylicious you left pre-visit to the maternity ward and you might just find that you enjoy it again (even if you have to think very hard about George Clooney).
Follow Claire's blog at Ministry of Mum