I was cooking dinner furiously. Stirring, juggling, multi-tasking…screaming at the girls. Probably just screaming: Girls!! Again and again. I was thinking about how depleted I felt. I was thinking about the nits I had to remove from my little ones hair. I was thinking…very unsexy thoughts.
Then it landed in.
The words were: Don’t confuse unsexy tasks for an unsexy life.
In that moment, a new pearl of mamahood wisdom revealed itself to me. I realised it is so easy to think of all the unsexy things we are doing as proof that we are completely unsexy in our being. Nothing could be further from the truth.
It’s no secret that a big part of my mission is bridging the gap that exists between mamas and their libidos. The gap isn’t real, just perceived. I know it doesn’t help that we have a lack of role models paving the way for being both sexual and mamas so think of this as a call to become that role model.
The advantage of learning about sexuality before having kids meant that I approached motherhood with the mindset: being sexual is a choice. These 5 little words walked with me as I went through all the challenges. Sometimes sex was a possibility, sometimes it wasn’t but I knew that the biggest block that was going to inhibit my sexual expression was my big ticking brain (and that might be the case for you too!).
Here are my 8 top tips to feel your libido as a mama:
#1 Get out of your mama uniform once in a while. Mine was a strapless Kmart dress and a stretched singlet or two. Yours might be tight active wear. Easy and convenient – yes. Sassy, sultry and sexy to me – no.
#2 Mix up your movement. Don’t just do the same workout alllll the time. Mix it up so that you are honouring your changeable nature as a woman – we aren’t all doughy and down for yoga all the time nor are we always pumped for a high impact workout. Mix it up. Being stuck in a routine for the sake of having a routine will not having you feeling juicy.
#3 Learn how to give and receive erotic massage. Kneading, stroking and pitter-patter motions are movements you may have used for massaging your partners shoulders but what if you took those skills and used them in a more erotic way? Bring some coconut oil into the room and touch each other without the expectation of penetration. Any touch you use on the body can be used on the genitals – just we have more nerve endings so be sure to be a little more sensitive!
#4 Lounge room dance. Sometimes we need a simple reminder that we were once sexual and curious. If there was a time in your life that felt turned on, grab some of the music, crank it and belt out a dance. Go back for a little bit to remind yourself that she still lives inside of you.
#5 Make your bedroom a sexy space. If you walked into your bedroom with fresh eyes, would you want to have sex in there? Get rid of the clutter, kid paraphernalia, dust and make sure your doona is one that feels sensual and welcoming to you. Your bedroom needs to be a sanctuary.
#6 Embrace the small moments with your partner. A wink. Lifting up your shorts or skirt in jest. A tickle. Laughing with eye contact. A bear hug with a little hump of your pelvis. ALL of these make up your sex life! Try to move away from thinking that sex is only intercourse. The small things in the rush of life are simple ways of feeding your intimate life.
#7 Know that prolactin released when breastfeeding dampens libido. Lots of women experience this. Prolactin not only suppresses your arousal and interest in sex but also keeps oestrogen levels low. We need oestrogen to help our lubrication and this can be a struggle when we are feeding. If you are interested in sex and it’s a yes for you, try coconut oil (not to be used with condoms) or water based lube. There is no shame in needing a little help.
#8 Check your head. If you experienced post-partum depression or anxiety and feel like you are on the other side but still don’t feel like sex, check in with what your mindset is about sex and sexuality as a woman and mother. Are your thoughts that sex is dirty or shameful? Is sex taboo for you? Do you worry intensely about being heard during sex? If inhibition, anxiety and a mindset that says ‘it’s not right for a mother to be sexual or experience pleasure’ or ‘I’m just not a sexual person’, it’s time to do some tweaks. Is it possible that you could consider that being sexual isn’t bad or wrong but actually enhances your bond with your partner or lover? Sexual intimacy plays a big part in relationship harmony, which makes for a more cohesive family.
So, are you with me? Are you ready to be a role model that leads the way in being both a mama and sexual?
**This article was first featured at 8 ways to feel your libido as a mama in KID magazine**