being a mom
I Kept a Sex Diary Because Nothing Is the Same After Kids
They say married people don’t have sex and then they say people with kids don’t have sex. I know things have definitely slowed down for this married mother of one in the sex department but they haven’t completely stopped. I set out to keep track of my sex life (ha!) a little more closely over the course of one week and here are the results of my married, mother of one sex diary.
Day 1, 6 AM:
“A” had to wake early today to be on a photo set and he’s like a bull in a China shop’s worth of quiet, so me and baby were up early too, though our general wake up time of 7 am wasn’t far off. We chatted briefly while he got ready for work. He looked so good! Sharply dressed and donning a spritz of his expensive man cologne he loves because it makes him feel fancy and I think smells incredible any time after noon, but in the morning, it hits my nose like a karate chop of pork and windex. Sex: Nope
Day 1, 7 PM:
“A” semi-quietly slips into the apartment after work as I’ve been training him to do, just as “W” is beginning to gently snore. I still feed baby to sleep most nights and then join “A” for dinner together and a couple hours of mommy and daddy alone time. “A” has a bottle of wine in hand and looks as good as he did in the am, if slightly more disheveled after a long day. Cool, we match disheveled levels. I join him minutes later and we hug. He feels warm and smells like minty gum and my handsome husband. We chat about the day and begin to loosen up around each other, joking and we even hold hands for a minute. “A” leans in and gives me a juicy smooch as the “no siblings, please” alarm goes off–my crying baby son. I wait a few minutes to see if he’ll calm down, but nope. “W” gets my boobs instead of daddy for now. Sex: Haha
Day 2: 5:45 AM:
“A” is up early with another long day in the cards. I’ll be lucky if I see him before I go to bed much less get to take him to bed tonight. He’s not so much a sex in the morning person, either, not to mention I’m simply never my sexiest at 5:45 am. I wake up most mornings at the crack of spawn, er, dawn now, a new ah, let’s say, perk of becoming a mother, but even if I wanted to bang, which I don’t right now, he has a tight 45 mins to get out the door, which he does, looking as hot as a fireman. I wonder if our sex life will ever return to any level of normal? It’s been 5 days, 7 hours and 16 minutes since our last hurrah, not that I’m keeping track.
Day 2, 10:30 AM:
“A” checks in to see how we are doing. All is well. He requests photos through out the afternoon to remind him what he’s busting his ass working for and to keep him motivated on these long work days. Baby seems to have caught a cold, probably from the story class we attend, and is blowing green snot bubbles. I have all the physical charm of a pair of old shoes on this tired-faced day and our photos are not pretty.
Day 2, 3 PM:
Dada sends some funny updates on the state lunch has left his bowels in and a link about baby’s developing brain. Not exactly a sext. Yet he still makes my heart skip a beat, and I still jump when he messages me, 8 years into our marriage.
Day 2, 9 PM:
True to his word, he’s in late. I’m up when he gets home, but barely. He comes presenting gifts–an assortment of Trader Joe treats. Chocolate covered almonds, good coffee beans, seltzer water. I greet him warmly with a kiss and a hug as I always try to be sure to do. We talk a little from behind our computers. This is a special time of night for both of us. Baby usually goes to bed around 7 but takes awhile to settle. So from 8-11 or however long I can keep my eyes open is my “free time” window. I can write, read, play guitar, have sex, hell, crochet a bike seat cover, though some how, none of those things usually happen.
Tonight, however, I’m in creative-ish writer mode and as glad as I am to see A, and as sweet as he is to roll in bearing gifts, my laptop’s got all my attention. Shortly after he gets home, our wheels start slowing down and bed calls, nay, screams to us both. Sex: Not tonight.
Day 3, 4 AM:
I wake up to pee. It occurs to me that wiping is the closest to action my nether regions get to regularly see. Our cat sits on the bathmat. I scratch her head. I wonder when the last time I did that was? She seems glad to be touched. We are all attention deprived and in survival mode still; hunt and gather, eat and sleep.
Day 3, 7 AM:
This is a rough week for intimacy what with all the long work days for A and the sick baby. I Nose Frida our child as my husband tries not to gag. Sex: Out of the question.
Day 3, 10 AM:
A’s work in the photo industry requires him to spend long days around gorgeous people. I’m pretty secure so it doesn’t bother me, although I know that on his work days I’m the least decorated woman he sees and that makes me feel a little sad. “Not today”, I say, and put in the extra effort to fancy myself up a bit. I make time to shower though the baby protests. Showering while the baby cries is the norm and that’s the opposite of fun so I put it off a little longer than I’d like to sometimes, but I’m embarrassed to admit I think it’s been at least a couple days at this point. But showering while holding a baby results in neither of us getting very clean, plus it’s like holding an armload of wet noodles. In today’s short, baby-less shower, I actually find myself fantasizing–but it’s about a water-proof sling I can wear to carry the baby into the bath in so I can wash myself hands and tears free. It’s official. I’m in the mom zone hard.
Day 3, 3 PM:
Before baby came, my husband and I used to have a pretty healthy sex life. A couple times a week was the norm. Even during pregnancy we got busy plenty, up til quite late into the show. After delivery, we waited the advised 6 weeks and it was hard for both of us, though I was not at all prepared for how painful and traumatizing post baby sex would be. Is there nothing good about having a baby besides the actual having of a baby afterwards? It was like I was using someone else’s broken old vagina to have sex with. I totally forgot how to operate the thing, and my body seemed determined to make it not fun for me. Lubrication production had all but ceased, or in fact actually ceased, and I was unable to be in the moment, worrying about if the baby was OK. I hoped that this was not the new norm.
Thankfully, albeit verrry slowly, it has gotten better, though I’m not exaggerating when I say it took about 6-8 months to even begin to feel like my old self, sexually among other things, yet another little note no one mentions about having a baby. Now, we’ve almost returned to how things were before, we just don’t get to go there as often. As a result, I do find myself craving touch, and massage has helped fill in the holes, pun intended. I’ve managed to sneak away a few times for a good leg, foot or back / butt rub. There’s really nothing sexual about an old Chinese woman pounding away on your flesh, but it feels good to a mother’s weary bones. No happy ending, I swear! I just get the pudding beat out of me for an hour and then pay and say thank you. I don’t get to have massages as often as I like, because it’s expensive and time consuming and also, baby, but on this day I begin mentally mapping out how a massage WITH a baby would look. Can I time it with his nap and put him in the carry sling? Will he doze off in there while I sit and get my feet rubbed? Or do we both get massages? Do they do baby massages? He probably wouldn’t sit still enough to get worked on, plus, no, I don’t want a stranger rubbing him down, or the stuff they use slathered on his fresh little body. Is there a massage place that specializes in trustworthy, safe, organic baby massage? There must be, this is NYC! I mean you can get pot paella and warm cookies delivered to your door, for chrissakes. Or maybe I can call a massage person to come to me and also a babysitter as a special treat. It’ll only cost…$150? Too much.
Instead, we spend the afternoon blowing bubbles and reading, jumping in his jumpy chair, napping, playing, hugging. OK so maybe I don’t get rubbed down, but I’ll take the baby cuddles.
Day 3, 7 PM:
Husband arrives with a cheese plate and bottle of wine. We eat the cheese, drink the wine, go to bed.
Sex: Yes, a threesome sort of, if you consider the love we made to the cheese plate.
Day 4, 9 AM:
Wait, what happened? I never get to “sleep in” any more. Husband’s call time is a luxurious 10:30 am and he was so tired and quiet, we all slept in. As we rustled from our slumber, husband spooned me and I spooned baby. This. Is. Love. We all ate breakfast together. Daddy fed baby and I enjoyed my oatmeal with a scoop of ice cream on it. We had a nice kiss as he left for work. Mornings like this are *almost* as good as sex. Or maybe they are better in some ways. Ok ok, well, they at least suffice. For now.
Day 4, 2:30 PM:
Ok, maybe there is something to this massage with baby thing. I start googling. And can you believe, I find one! Houston Street’s Float Baby offers a spa type service for babies and then a baby massage class. Oh shit wait, it’s in actual Houston. Hewston. Not NYC’s House-ton Street. And I rub the baby? And someone teaches me how to? And I pay $65? Who rubs me? WHO RUBS MEEEE?? This is bullshit. I keep looking and find dozens more baby massage classes. I hope they’re classes that teach my baby how to massage me but no. Back to square 1.
Day 4, 7 PM:
Daddy is home not too terribly late but he’s in a mood. He kerfuffles in and greets us as warmly as he can but I can see he’s not feeling well. He has a storm cloud over his head and that’s fine, it’s time to but baby to bed anyway. He reads 2 books to baby and I put baby down while dada goes to make us dinner. I don’t feel like having sex anyway. I fall asleep next to baby and when I wake up again, it’s 2 am. Sex: Nada
Day 5, 8 AM:
You get the drill.
Day 5, 7:30 PM:
Day 6, 8:30 AM:
A says, “Tonight, let’s try to hang out after the baby goes to bed.” That’s his code for, if he doesn’t get some action, he’s gonna crack. I’m more than happy to cooperate. That day, I make sure the apartment and all my regions are tip top. I even shave. Screw it, he deserves it. I use fancy soap and all. I mop the awful tiled kitchen floor that always looks dirty while the baby chills in his high chair. I take out all the garbage and put away anything that can be put away. The hours go by like days. Finally, finally, the sun begins to set.
Day 6, 7:45 PM:
The baby is asleep by the time Daddy rolls in, visibly tired but well-spirited. Whatever had bitten his ass the night before took it’s chunk out and flew away. We order pizza and a bottle of wine and put on a documentary. We finish everything, doc (for once, sans interruption), pizza and wine. It’s peaceful and quiet, the room temperature is perfect. We are talking and joking, cuddled up together on the couch. He tells me a story about shitting his pants as a child and we are both laughing hysterically. Tears are streaming down my face. I look down to see the front of my shirt is wet. I laughed so hard, breast milk leaked out! Once, during a previous sexcapade, I showered my husband’s chest with breast milk. During a google search later, I read that oxytocin, the same thing that we release when breast feeding baby is released during orgasm. I surmise that my massive laughter attack also released oxytocin. I can truthfully say, it felt almost as good as an orgasm to laugh that hard. I say, “Life is very different now, huh?” He replies, “Yes, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. I don’t even remember what it was like before.” We start to kiss a little bit, but it’s clear that we are both so tired, it’s not going to happen.
We agree to make time to be intimate tomorrow. He uses a code, “NSIB?” which stands for, “Nature shows in bed?” Netflix and YouTube nature shows are our Ambien. Another sexless night, maybe, but it feels like a win.
Sex: Kind of; I laughed so hard I leaked breast milk because my body thought I was having an orgasm.
We shall see…
(Image: istock / boggy22)