If you're a mom or mom-to-be, you've got a lot on your mind (and plate!). Drastic changes in your body and self-image, coupled with a lack of time, energy and privacy, can wreak havoc on your sex life.
And don't even get us started on society's expectations of the mom as the selfless nurturer with zero sexual desire. Why is it ok for celebrity moms to be sexy, but not for the rest of us?
Look. The truth is, no matter how much weight you gained post-baby, how wildly your hormones fluctuate or how little time you have for self-care, you are powerful enough to bring another human into this world. And THAT is sexy.
The only question is, are you ready to own it? Here's how to reclaim your sexuality and enjoy sex at every stage of motherhood.
Why does your sex drive change so much throughout motherhood?
Every mom we know has gone through cycles of feast and famine in her sex life.
Exponential demands on your mental and physical health, plus a rollercoaster of hormone levels can all have a major impact on your desire (or lack thereof) for sex.
The problem is that when your partner's desire for sex is high and yours is low, this can create a massive rift in your relationship and make it even harder to revive your sex life. But never fear. Whether you're pregnant, breastfeeding, or fatigued from kiddie-chauffeur duty, there are some practical ways to start having great sex again.
What does being a 'sexy mom' mean to you?
In order to have great sex, it's important to feel sexy. Sounds obvious, right?
But the words 'sexy' and 'mom' can trigger different images and emotions in each one of us. And they're not always positive.
Maybe you were raised in a household where it definitely was NOT ok for moms to be sexy. Or maybe, you feel like a 'sexy mom' has to be highly sexualized like Kim K. But limiting your view to either end of the sexy spectrum means limiting how much sex you can enjoy.
Despite our social conditioning, it IS ok to be a mom who enjoys sex. And a sexy mom does NOT have to look or act a certain way. What if all it took to be sexy was a flat-out refusal to be "frumpy" in the way you think and talk about yourself? What if "sexy" just meant you were willing to own your role as a mom and speak up for your needs?
At the end of the day, sexy is a choice that only you can make. A mom can be unshowered and covered in baby food and STILL be sexy, if that's what she chooses.
Give your body some credit
While weight gain and stretch marks can feel like the end of the world, they pale in comparison to the awesomeness of motherhood. So instead of comparing your body to that of airbrushed celebrity moms and models, challenge yourself to see your incredible body through new eyes.
What if sex were a celebration of all the amazing things your body has done (and continues to do) for you? Having babies, taking you wherever you want to go, keeping you alive—these are no small things.
If you can make peace with even the least favorite parts of your body, you'll be surprised how much easier it is to relax and start enjoying sex again.
State your needs
Just as your child's needs change at each stage of development, your needs as a mother change too. Sexual positions that once felt awesome may become awkward or even painful as you, your hormones and your body change.
But confidence is always sexy. And nothing's more of a turn on than a mom who's willing to stand up and state her needs. If there's something you want your partner to do (or not to do), speak up and let them know. Communication is key to intimacy. And with great intimacy comes great sex.
Don’t be afraid to open up to your doctor, either. A weakened pelvic floor and urinary incontinence are some of the most common physical changes that may result from pregnancy and childbirth — and they may be playing an important role in your sexual health. These issues are totally normal, but that doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to “just living with them.” Talk to your doctor about your symptoms and discuss available treatment options to help you reclaim your sexual health.