As mothers and mothers-to-be, we constantly care for other people. Our spouses, our children, and our jobs almost always come before anything we want or need. It's easy to put our own desires on the back burner—especially when it comes to love and affection.
Lorilee Craker, the author of We Should Do This More Often: A Parent's Guide to Romance, Passion, and Other Prechild Activities You Vaguely Recall, says that women often bury their sexual desires under their duties of caring for others. And while it's not always easy to transition from Mommy Mode to Hot Mama, it's important for you—and your spouse—to try.
"Studies show that couples with healthy sex lives get along better," says Craker. "There is less tension and irritation in the relationship when couples are connecting in that way." A woman's hormone levels also drop when she goes without sex for extended time periods. So, the less you do it, the less you'll want to do it.
Identifying Libido Busters
There are always reasons to avoid being intimate: You have too much to do, you're feeling espeically pregnant, you're too tired. You're never in the mood. Craker cautions against waiting for the perfect mood to strike. "With kids, and a job, and a house to clean, the ideal time may never come. Just wait for the semi-ideal time," she says.
In Craker's book, she describes "libido busters," or things that make it more difficult for moms to feel sexy. The number one libido buster for most couples? You guessed it—the kids. It's hard to feel romantic if you are worried that your children may walk in on you and your spouse at any moment. For this, Craker suggests setting some boundaries. "Kids are total narcissists. They think that they should be at the center of our world at all times. But we need to underscore that selfish attitude if we are ever to have time alone." Tell your children that it's time for you to be alone with Daddy for a little while. Even if your kids don't like it—and they won't—it's still important to take time away to be a couple.
A common libido buster is a woman's own body image. It's difficult to feel sexy if we are comparing our bodies to the ridiculous standards of Hollywood. "The more we're self-conscious about our bodies, the less we can let loose and enjoy the moment," says Craker. What if you're concerned that your husband may be the one doing the comparisons? Craker says not to worry about that either. "If you have a passionate sex life, your husband won't care what size you are," she says.
Another concern is miscommunication between the spouses. If your husband asks for sex and you say no, he may take the rejection personally. He may hesitate to ask again on another night. "We can't assume that our husbands understand our moods," says Craker. "It is important to talk with him about when good times for intimacy are." No matter how often you are intimate, you need to tell your mate regularly that you still love him and find him attractive.