Parental sex & me

Parental sex is something we just don’t talk about, isn’t it? Or is it just me? To be honest, it’s a wonder I’ve ever even had sex considering how utterly impossible I find it to talk or write about it. I can’t even talk to N about sex. I rationalise this by telling myself “sex is something you do; not something you talk about doing”, but I did once have this boyfriend with whom 75% of our relationship consisted of exchanging filthy text messages. The other 25%, however, was made up of not actually doing the vast majority of the things we had been texting about because, frankly, they involved a lot of effort and there was also a pretty marked height disparity between us, which would have rendered some of them impossible anyway. And I’m blushing furiously now, so I’ll leave that there.

I don’t know about anyone else, but sex isn’t something that happens very often for us these days. I suppose I should have known that this would happen, given that it took me 10 weeks to get back on the horse after O was born. When you’ve spent weeks grimacing every time you sit down, you really don’t want anybody poking around down there once things finally start to feel better. Eventually, I realised I’d just have to woman up and get it over with or risk developing such an aversion that we’d never actually have sex again. Now it’s not fear of discomfort getting in the way. It’s not even lack of libido. It’s the fact that I’m just so fucking TIRED.

The thing is, once we’re in a position where sex might be a possibility i.e. in a quiet house with children either sleeping or not present, I start to think about how late it is or how the kids could wake up any second and wouldn’t it be awful if we were in the middle of something if they did? So I tend to grunt something approaching a negative, N sort of sighs like “ah, this neurotic shit again” and goes to sleep and then I’m lying there in the dark, awake anyway because I’m fed up and frustrated because this just feels a little endless sometimes.

Go figure.

I have this “quality not quantity” approach to sex as a general rule. Like it’s better to have one really mind-blowing encounter every couple of weeks than sex that is just a little bit meh every few days. So I’ll pull this one out for N every now and again and he’ll nod and then say, somewhat sadly (possibly for effect), “That’s true, but I don’t bloody remember anymore because it’s been five fucking weeks.”

Well. At least no one’s counting.

When you’ve been married for a while, people must assume that this kind of thing happens because they’ll start telling you how important it is not to “let that stuff go”. Which actually makes me really uncomfortable, to be honest, as if I must look like a person who hasn’t gotten laid for a while. But, infuriatingly, these over-familiar individuals are not wrong; sex is an important tool for keeping couples close. I’ve noticed that N and I get much more easily aggravated with each other when it’s been a while, and I don’t think it has much to do with anything as basic as “sexual frustration” or whatever; I think it’s because it can feel sometimes like our connection has come loose. Like we are just roommates who happen to have shared custody of small humans. And sometimes it’s been so long that I actually don’t know how to get things started up again, which often strikes me as incredibly weird because… well, because it shouldn’t be that difficult.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I know that when N and I first met, a lot of our interaction was physical. Of course there were times when we would just sit on the sofa together and talk, but we would always be physically connected somehow. My feet in his lap, his hand on my thigh, my head on his shoulder. We made an unconscious effort to be close to each other because it felt natural to us then. But now it’s different. Now there are nights when I will go to bed and realise that we haven’t hugged or kissed all day. Now he sits at one end of the sofa and I sit at the other. We don’t cuddle in bed because ugh! I’ve had kids climbing all over me all day and I just want my personal space back so can you just Go. The fuck. Away. Please.

I don’t say this to him. It’s an internal monologue, but he generally gets the point when I wriggle away and create a duvet buffer in the middle of the bed.

24939_391757426664_3870026_n-3

Before the “duvet buffer” days.

The thing is, it’s not that I don’t want to have sex with him. It’s really not. It’s just that… It’s a lot of effort, isn’t it? Clothing to remove, some kind of prelude, the thing itself and then that godforsaken clean-up operation (speaking of which, if you haven’t read this thread about the “penis beaker”, you really should). Maybe you don’t mind falling asleep in the wet patch, but I absolutely refuse to. Eurgh. NO.

I’ve actually heard about parents who schedule sex one or two nights a week, and I don’t mean to be dismissive because hey! If that works for you then that’s awesome, but doesn’t scheduling nookie kinda take the fun out of it a little bit? I can just imagine how that would go in our house:

N: “It’s sex night.”
Me: “I know, but I’m tired and I don’t really feel like it.”
N: “But it’s sex night. It says so ON THE CALENDAR.”
Me: “We need to get a new fucking calendar.”

Nope.

I think that this is just going to be how it is for a while. A relationship counsellor would probably start talking about “making time for each other” and “nurturing your relationship” – GAG -, but we’ve been on the brink of divorce before and I genuinely don’t believe we’d let that happen again. It’s fine to not have sex for a few weeks at a time if we can still remember to appreciate each other. It’s completely unnecessary to get my knickers in a twist over this.

It’s just.

My knickers haven’t seen a whole lot of action other than twisting lately.

R is for Hoppit
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42 comments

  1. everythingsrosieandgeorge · July 6, 2016

    Oh thank god it’s not just us that basically pass out as soon as we get into bed every night, preluded by a mumbled ‘I really would but I’m just so… *snore*’ I feel like all I need is like a week of solid sleep and then I’d be good to go again but my tiredness levels are just so deeply engrained at ultimate tiredness all the time there’s just no amount of woman-ing up I can do to get over it! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · July 6, 2016

      Definitely not just you. Most nights in literally just like “NOPE” and then move far away! Sometimes it’s been so long that I’ve almost forgotten what I’m supposed to do. How does one initiate sex when one is no longer certain of where everything is supposed go go?! X

      Liked by 1 person

  2. themotherhub · July 6, 2016

    All true. I’m just too tired and, like you said , all touched out by the time the kids are in bed . Am presuming my libido will make a roaring reappearance once the kids are older but who knows ?!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · July 6, 2016

      I live in hope. Although, to be honest, I never had that crazy raging lust thing when I was pregnant either time and I felt like it was just me! I was just tired and sore and fat.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. theverybusymummy · July 6, 2016

    This is like reading my inner monologue! Having children has such an impact on your personal and intimate time with your husband/partner. I’m also hoping I can be more bothered soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · July 6, 2016

      It’s such a relief to know that it’s not just me. I don’t get why this doesn’t happen to men too! No matter how tired he is, he pretty much always seems to be up for it and I’m just like “nah, you’re alright, ta”. Terrible!

      Liked by 1 person

      • theverybusymummy · July 6, 2016

        I think my hubby realises it’s not going to happen when I wear the ‘big knickers’ and the comfy pjs! I can’t remember the last time I wore anything remotely sexy 🙂

        Like

      • Motherhood IRL · July 6, 2016

        I know I didn’t used to sleep in pjs. But then, once you have kids it’s pretty much a guarantee that you’ll have to get up at some point in the night. Either they will need you or your poor, abused bladder will require emptying. So N knows that if I emerge from the bathroom wearing pjs, there ain’t nothin’ happening tonight!

        Liked by 1 person

      • theverybusymummy · July 6, 2016

        Exactly the same in my house!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. 2travellingtots · July 6, 2016

    Yes! Need I say more?! Remind me to tell you about ‘boob cuddles’ sometime…not as remotely sexy as it sounds but it works every time! x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · July 6, 2016

      Would it work for me? ‘Cause we both know I don’t have much (anything) in the way of boobs! This is going to be a great conversation to have at yoga class next week 😂. X

      Liked by 1 person

      • 2travellingtots · July 6, 2016

        You’ve got boobs that’s all you need! x

        Like

  5. Size15Stylist · July 7, 2016

    Haha, I’ve adopted the PJs-don’t-come-near-me-approach.

    I also find I get my sexy back (she’s buried waaaaay deeep) after we’ve driven for a few hours and booked in a hotel! Usually can’t wait to get him onto the bed 😉 But don’t have too much to eat or else there’s no round 2 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · July 7, 2016

      We’re going away for a book signing (rock ‘N’ roll, right?) at the beginning of next month and staying in Manchester for a couple of nights, so maybe there’s some hope of a naked reunion in our future!

      Like

  6. Size15Stylist · July 7, 2016

    Ooh, sod the sex and go shopping 🙂

    I have better sex if I don’t think about it, too….distraction better than anxiety.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · July 7, 2016

      There was a plan for excessive Primark-ing (I live in a place without Primark. It’s like hell)…
      Thinking is probably my downfall. When we do have sex, I’m half thinking about how much sleep I’m going to miss out on as a result!

      Like

      • Size15Stylist · July 7, 2016

        Haha – I could never live in a place without Primarni….or Poundland. But that’s by-the-by.

        If there’s any of your workload that could be shared out/ditched/delegated, that might encourage relaxation. Plus, maybe have an afternoon nap after the shopping endorphins 🙂

        Like

      • Motherhood IRL · July 7, 2016

        OMG! Now I’m excited about the idea of A NAP!

        Like

      • Size15Stylist · July 7, 2016

        If a nap has you giddy, just think about booking yourself into a hotel By Yourself?! I’ve done this a lot. From scabby b&b to posh-topper-bed.

        BLISFECKINFUL

        Liked by 1 person

      • Motherhood IRL · July 7, 2016

        I have actually considered this, and then I’ve felt really bad for just wanting to be on my own. Oh, the never-ending Mama Guilt!

        Like

  7. Nat · July 7, 2016

    I wrote a VERY similar piece at the beginning of the year, only yours is a lot funnier! You are so right, it will get better. Being tired all the time is killer and affects everything.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · July 7, 2016

      I bet it’s not! I’m going to go look for your post. And you’re absolutely right; being tired is fucking awful!

      Like

  8. Size15Stylist · July 7, 2016

    Remember flying? In case of an emergency, fix your own mask before helping others.

    Book a night away to work on *monetising your blog*. AKA sleeping like a sodding knackered starfish.
    #essentialmamasurvival

    Like

    • Motherhood IRL · July 7, 2016

      I love that analogy. That’s the best thing I’ve read all day.
      Also, monetising my blog? *dies laughing*

      Like

      • Size15Stylist · July 7, 2016

        I’m sure I was motivated to write my books just so that I could go away to *work on my book* mwahahah.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Fran @ Whinge Whinge Wine · July 14, 2016

    I loved this and I could have written it myself – well, something probably a bit less well written, but containing the same sentiment.
    (Oh and penis beaker was epic)
    #fridayfrolics

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Katie M Little · July 15, 2016

    I wish more people talked about this, my husband seems to think other couples are shagging every second day! 😂
    #fridayfrolics

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · July 15, 2016

      Well, they might be… But not if the responses I’ve had to this post are anything to go by 😂

      Like

  11. Squirmy Popple · July 15, 2016

    I think it’s totally normal for your sex life to change post baby. To be honest, it was ages before I had any desire to have sex (a combo of post-birth injuries and utter exhaustion) and then it’s not always practical because the baby won’t sleep. Most nights, I’d rather just watch telly, eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and go to bed early. My husband has been very understanding. 🙂 #FridayFrolics

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Life Love and Dirty Dishes · July 15, 2016

    Before becoming a parent it would take me ages to get to sleep so there was plenty of opportunity. Now, I’m asleep as soon as my head touched that pillow. The husband has to intervene quickly! I do think it’s perfectly normal though. You have to find your groove again. Make time for each other. A lot easier said than done though. x Thanks for linking up to #FridayFrolics

    Liked by 1 person

  13. islandliving365 · July 15, 2016

    I am so glad that it’s not just me! It’s so hard when we are exhausted from looking after little ones but like you say not worth getting our knickers in a twist over 🙂 Thanks for joining us at #FridayFrolics

    Liked by 1 person

  14. threedifferentdinners · July 16, 2016

    This is my story. I think you might actually be me. The ‘counting the days/weeks ‘ is so true…I have no clue how long it’s been but he always knows. And yes, sometimes I feel like we’re “roommates who happen to have shared custody of small humans” . I do need to sort it out though…..but I’m too tired 😭

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · July 16, 2016

      I just keep telling myself that it’ll be okay in the end 😂. I think N keeps a tally chart somewhere, to be honest. Because he can’t remember when my birthday is half the time, but he knows exactly how long it’s been in days and weeks – and probably hours and minutes – since we last had sex!

      Liked by 1 person

      • threedifferentdinners · July 16, 2016

        I kid you not, my husband will ask me how old he is when he’s filling in a form, but he could tell me to the second when we last …..well you know 😉

        Like

      • Motherhood IRL · July 16, 2016

        Hahaha! HOW DO THEY KNOW?

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Felicity · July 16, 2016

    I’m not sure I belong here ( you ever get that feeling that you’ve just wandered into the men’s room, or me, an erotica writer, took a wrong turn into Mommy and Me story hour at the library? 🙂 ) But even though I’m not a parent, I am an old married lady and identified with your post on so many levels. And then I clicked the penis beaker link and almost peed myself. I just wanted to drop in and let you know that you’ve made me think and laugh this morning. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · July 16, 2016

      Haha, the penis beaker thread is one of the best things I’ve ever seen on the Internet. I found it through an article in Mother & Baby years ago and how I laughed! Thank you for your kind comment and for stopping by :).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Felicity · July 16, 2016

        Yep, it definitely won the internet for me today! 😀

        Like

  16. Lisa Pomerantz · July 17, 2016

    Oh, how familiar this post feels…thanks for making me smile and laugh! #FridayFrolics

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Silly Mummy · July 19, 2016

    Ah, penis beaker! I love penis beaker! & I’m completely with you on everything in this! The personal space thing is so important for me!

    Thank you so much for linking up with #FridayFrolics. Hope to see you next week.

    Like

  18. absolutely prabulous · July 21, 2016

    Firstly bravo for writing this. Not sure I could do it even though I have no qualms joking and talking about sex with my friends. V interesting point about the mind blowing encounter every few weeks vs regular average sex. I – believe it or not – am like the man in our marriage and need it more than my hubby (!) as in several times a week more ha ha (and no…that doesn’t happen often in reality ) but that is food for thought. And no it’s not weird feeling like you forget how to build up to it etc. These are all phases I think many people experience; I’ve been with hubs 20 years so I get you. Oh and erm…I read a really good article re the scheduling sex topic. I was a bit aghast at first but guess what? It works. Let’s just say I love my Sunday mornings ha ha. #FridayFrolics

    Liked by 1 person

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