It’s sort of ironic that my husband and I have 4 children, and yet intimacy is something we struggle with. It would probably be more accurate for me to say intimacy is something I am struggling with.
After becoming a mother a lot of things in my life changed. Some I expected and others not so much. I didn’t foresee how having a child would change my relationship with my husband. In so many ways it brought us closer together. But then there were other ways where it pushed us further apart.
It sounds really cliche, but I love my husband more today than I ever have. Watching him as a father made me fall in love with him in a whole new way. Now, 8 years and 4 kids later, those feelings continue to grow. However, with each additional child it seems like the level of intimacy between us has become less and less.
I know my husband wishes this wasn’t the case, and to be honest with you, so do I. I know the problem is with me and not him. And so I’ve decided it’s up to me to fix it. In order for things to change, I had to figure out what the root of the problem was. So I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and this is what I’ve come up with.
5 Reasons Why “IT” Isn’t Happening:
- A shower has become less of an everyday thing and more of a special occasion. As a full-time stay-at-home mom, a shower is not always at the top of my list of priorities. Life with 4 kids is crazy, busy, and messy. Some days I delay the shower because I know the baby is going to be up and screaming before I can actually wash my entire body. Other days there simply just isn’t time. Then there are those days when I know that although I have spit up on my shoulder and food smeared on my pants that a shower would be pointless. Those are the days when it’s only noon and there’s another 8 hours in the day which will undoubtedly involve more spit up and sticky fingers. Needless to say, at the end of those days I’m feeling far from sexy. And being intimate is the last thing on my mind.
- Television lets me escape from my list of to do’s. I know it probably sounds horrible but I’ll admit that I like TV. I also like being able to hear what the people on the TV are saying, which usually isn’t easy with 4 children in the house. So after a long day filled with far too many episodes of Henry Danger, The Thundermans and Liv and Maddie, I get a LOT of pleasure sitting on the couch and watching what I want to watch, uninterrupted. Often times I stay up watching my shows long after my husband has fallen asleep. And as you might imagine this doesn’t exactly help in the intimacy department.
- After being mom all day, the last thing I want is someone else putting their hands on me. Being a mom is a very “hands on” job. All day long the kids are grabbing at me or pulling on me. And if I’m not holding the baby then someone is sitting on my lap. So sometimes I’m less than thrilled when I finally crawl into bed after hours of binge watching my favorite shows and there’s someone else wanting to put their hands on me.
- Sometimes it’s hard to turn off being a mom. It might seem silly but when I am in “mom mode” I don’t really feel sexy. And when you have a baby sleeping in the same room as you grunting and snoring away, and a 3 year old that randomly decides she needs to come into your bed, it’s hard to not be in mom mode.
- It’s not that I don’t want to, I just don’t think about it. Again, I know it sounds awful. But it’s sort of like the whole “out of sight, out of mind” theory. Throughout my pregnancies there were many nights when my husband and I didn’t even sleep in the same bed. Between me needing more space for my growing belly and his ridiculous snoring, there was definitely a lack of intimacy during those months. While I don’t think it was such an issue during pregnancy, the fact that it’s continued postpartum is not ok.
At first thought it seemed like a trivial issue. Is a lack of intimacy in my marriage really the end of the world? Of course the answer is no.
It’s not the end of the world BUT it could be the end of my marriage.
Ultimately without intimacy we’re best friends and co-parents, and that’s not what I want for my marriage, or my family. Now that I know what some of the issues are, I need to figure out how to resolve them.
If you’re a mom who’s struggling or who has struggled with intimacy postpartum I’d love to hear any suggestions you might have.