Okay, there it is: The truth all parents know. We are no longer just the person we used to be. We are so much more. And as nice as it is, as complicated and exhausting it can be.
The meaning of love got to a completely different level the moment our first baby was born. What we previously thought was a strong feeling surprised us with an entirely different depth the moment we held our baby. But that’s not all that changes.
Over are the times when I was only S. When all I had to care about was really only me. The only person I had to look after was me. Of course there are your friends, your parents, siblings, pets and maybe a boyfriend. But in the end it’s about you and there is nothing like your kids.
Over are the times when I could go out all night and fall into my bed with my clothes on, where I could enjoy a shower, even go to the bathroom without anybody following me or suddenly showing up… The times you can actually feel bad after a long night out and recover on a lazy Sunday.
Life changes the moment you become a mom. From that moment onwards you are no longer a individual. You are a mom and that means, there is always someone attached to you.
Your role in this world changes drastically. First you are just a provider. A provider for food, clean diapers and of course for love. And as challenging this role is as fulfilling it is. No wonder really that there is no job description for being a mom. It would go on for ever. You’re a provider, a friend, a woman, a wife, a partner, a teacher, a consultant, a cleaner, a stylist, a designer, a entertainer, a chef, a guide, a coach, a shoulder to cry on. You are everything for your babies.
But what about your husband? What about your partner? Where is his place after the two of you became three, four or more? What happens to your private life, what happens to what happened under the shower, after the lights went out (or stayed on)? What happens to those passionate moments? Where does the steam go?
Do our kids gobble up our romantic side?
Do you remember when you were able to come home, kissing passionately and then find your way to wherever you wanted to go and just be in the moment? Love each other, totally in the moment without any distraction? Do you remember when you didn’t have to close the door behind you and you didn’t listen to little feet suddenly tip-taping towards your bedroom?
I remember being tired when I was younger. Tired from whatever was going on all day, work, sports or going out. It was a different kind of tired. No matter how tired you were, there was passion, there was steam, there was energy. Somehow you could find it without digging deep. I think I’m tired all the time now. Physically and mentally. For sure it has a lot to do with being older but I guess the fact that I’m a mom plays also a role.
I’ve read this great post on Scary Mommy. I could have written it. I guess many of us could have written this. I realize more and more that I’m not the only one that tends exhausted. Too exhausted for some quality time with the love of my life, with my husband. Something has got to give in our life and it’s usually not the kids. You can just not do everything. You can’t be everything and it seems that for some reason being a lover disappears from the list of roles we play on a daily base.
Before one of my friends moved back to the USA we had one of those really nice evenings of drinking too much wine over a good meal. Somehow we ended up talking about our sex lives. Just only briefly as it’s not really what we do normally. That moment will forever be in my head and in my heart. It felt so good to hear that it wasn’t just me that struggled to find back to the vivid snuggle ups with my husband.
I doubted myself. I never doubted my husband, never doubted my feelings. Never doubted the quality. But I doubted my body. I doubted my hormones, I doubted my head. I doubted the quantity! Where did the steam go? Where did the passion go? Can I really be too tired for sex? And I got scared. Scared that something is wrong with me. Scared of losing him! After this chat with my friend I realized that I was not the only one. There were others out there. Women who felt the same way. Apparently it’s just the way it is, at least for some of us (most of us?). As busy as we might have been prior to having children, there was always some free time. There was partner time. There was crazy hot sex time.
As a mother you are basically a 24/7 shop. You are constantly alert, you are constantly there for someone. Your door is always open, you hear the slightest noise from the kids bedrooms in the middle of the night, always ready to be there for them if they need you. Is it just me or is sleep after giving birth never as deep anymore as it used to be, no matter how old the kids are?
You are constantly giving on an emotional level.
Yes, you still love, you still hug, you still kiss all day long but now it’s your children that get all the love. For your day as a mom and a housewife all you want to wear are comfortable clothes, including undies and bras. And why would you squeeze yourself into sexy lingerie, tight clothes, short skirts and high heels? It’s one thing if you head out for work but if you are at home, that really doesn’t make sense. Just try to imagine yourself cleaning, washing, running after the kids, playing with them, changing diapers and cooking in a hot, sexy outfit. I don’t know about you, but I sure prefer comfy…
Kudos to our husbands for coming home, seeing the mess we are and still wanting us. Us! Our baby bodies, the messy hair, no makeup on and depending on the age of the kids maybe with some kind of stains all over our sluggish outfit.
And still they see us as the most attractive, sexiest woman in this world. There is no bigger compliment than that. No wonder we feel bad when all we have in return is a quick hug and a kiss and then basically collapse into bed with the “don’t dare touching me” attitude. Yet, inside, deep inside we wish we would have the energy. We wish to be close to him to be free of the exhaustion the constant state of alertness. We wish we could give him the attention he deserves, the passion he deserves. And there are moments when we can, when we get that little free space either in our head or in our day/evening/night, when we find back to the passionate lover we once were.
It’s moments like this, when I think that everyone, who tells you that sex on a regular base is one of the most important things in a relationship is wrong. I agree that it has to be good and I agree that it belongs to a relationship (of course it does), but the importance is overrated. There are other factors that are much more important. A relationship can’t survive on regular sex only, even if it’s great sex. There needs to be more. If there is more, than the sex drought in the post baby phase (for as long as it might take) can be handled. There needs to be a deeper connection. A connection that is not only physical. If you have this connection with your partner you will be able to find a compromise or a way for both to be happy.
I used to feel pressured. Because I put pressure on me. And that messes with you too. It’s like a mudslide. The pressure, the responsibility, your roles as a mom, as a wife, it all starts adding up and before you know you find yourself stuck. How would you be able to be passionate if you feel like drowning? Now all you need is someone who is lending a helping hand. Nothing better if that person is your partner who is there for you. Who, maybe does not fully understand where it’s coming from, but accepts the fact that you are where you are.
I’ve written before about how I think relationships change over time and this is another good example for it. The circumstances changed and we changed too. If the basis of the relationship is strong, you find a way through it, you build up again and you make things work and happen again.
I’m sure glad I have my husband on my side. A man who listens, understands me and if he doesn’t understand me than at least accepts my side. A man who admires me, who adores me, who longs for me and who’s attracted to me. A man I can make happy and who makes me happy… in every little corner of our relationship, even if it might be a tiny little bit dusty…