#Sexuality

Sex Life Post Motherhood: Moms Shouldn’t Feel Guilty For Desiring Intimacy

sex life post motherhood, Indian nannies, parenting duties, parenting and work from home
Sex life post motherhood: The song titled WAP from Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion, when first released, figuratively lit the world on fire. The lyrics and the visuals of the music video were explicitly and unapologetically sexual. Then the world seemed to split into two sides – people who liked the song and people who absolutely despised it. When I looked through the comments and critiques expressed by viewers who were against the existence of the music video, I noticed a particular sentiment repeating itself quite a few times. People were appalled that Cardi B, a mother, could create and distribute something so sexually charged.

Funnily enough, this went against the popular MILF trope, which is widely accepted and consumed happily by the male audience. I quickly realised that the problem for most people wasn’t that she was a sexy mom, but they just did not like the fact that she took control of her own sexuality instead of being sexualised by a third party. Ironically, being sexy or having sex goes against the idea of what a mother is, considering that most mothers do have sex to create children. For many people, motherhood equals the end of all other characteristics and aspects of a woman’s identity.

After giving birth, a “good mom” is supposed to dedicate her life entirely to serve her children and husband. It is essentially the end of her as a person. We view mothers as desexualised figures with no desires or sexual appetite. After she has done the duty of a good wife by bearing children, she cannot dare to enjoy sex again. This is rooted in the puritanical mindset of viewing sex as immoral, a necessary evil only to produce offspring and the notion that women are only baby-producing machines.

Yes, after giving birth, the woman’s body needs rest and should not be engaging in sex until the doctor gives the all-clear. It is also true that due to the unrelenting demands of the newborn, new parents are often sleep-deprived and barely have any energy to have sex. But this is just a temporary bump in the road that is to be expected. It is normal, and your lack of intimacy during the first few months or even a year should not cause any worry. But it does become a problem when this bump in the road descends into a rut you cannot get out of.

Parents get used to this lack of intimacy and take it up as the norm. It certainly doesn’t help that many new mothers feel like they should not be having sex anymore since the baby is already here. Even if she does want to take the time to get intimate with her partner, her mom-guilt will be right there with her, whispering that she is a bad mother for seeking pleasure when her baby needs her. Here is a short anecdote from one of my followers about her relationship with sex after motherhood:

“Although our sex life was not great at first, it did get better as the days passed. We both were indeed happy with our sex life. After childbirth, I was in a state that I hardly needed anything but just sleep. I had a delivery that took a lot of time to heal along with severe bleeding. Exclusive breastfeeding for six months wasn’t really an easy deal. Here comes the real thing, I had to take care of my child all alone along with household chores right from her birth. This left me shattered at the end of the day and in no mood to even talk to my husband. The child being extremely light sleeper for almost two years, I have struggled to even get four hours of sleep. I literally had forgotten that my body does need something more than just food and sleep, i.e., Sex.”

Yes, I have deprived my body of sex for almost two years after childbirth.

“Everything has a way out, and everything will fall in place one fine day. Now I am slowly getting back to normal. And again have gained interest in sex which is going fairly good with both of us.”

Thankfully for this couple, things are clearing up, and they are on their way to rekindle their old flames. But this is not the case for many couples. I have had many clients who have completely given up on their sex life post-childbirth. This could be due to mom-guilt, body image issues, postpartum depression, or a variety of other reasons. The woman not having enjoyed sex before with their partner but kept trying for the sake of having the child can also detach themselves from their sexuality after childbirth. It has always affected their relationship with their spouse or partner in a devastating manner. Sex and intimacy might not be the sole goal of a relationship, but they are incredibly important.

Having a child can be challenging. But the birth of your child should not mean the death of your relationship. There is no reason for you to not be a mother, fulfil your sexual desires and be intimate with your partner at the same time. This is not an either-or situation. While it may take some time and a lot of planning to get used to, you can balance parenting and partnership. Move things around, work around your schedules and prioritise your relationship. After your baby is settled in and when things calm down a bit, go on a date night and have some adult fun as a couple. Hiring a babysitter does not make you a bad parent, and they are definitely worth the cost of your relationship not ending.

Pallavi Barnwal is a certified sexuality coach and founder of a sex-positive platform Get Intimacy. She has been featured in HUNDREDS โ€” of magazines, newspapers, and online articles as a sexpert – Huffington Post, India Today, Vogue, The Hindu, Dainik Bhaskar, Indian Express, TimesOfIndia, BBC, Deccan Chronicle, Femina, Mint, and more. Pallavi specialises in helping people address challenges facing their sexuality and intimacy and provides them with skills and tools to experience more pleasure and satisfaction in their intimate lives. Views expressed are the author’s own.


Suggested Reads For You:

Extramarital Affairs: Can Happiness Lie In Escape?

Is BDSM Really “Anti-Feminist”?

Is Casual Sex Wrong Or Are We Doing It Wrong?