All throughout my pregnancy, I was convinced of one thing: Motherhood would not define me. Once my kid arrived earth-side, I’d continue on as I always had – wearing cute clothes, doing my hair and makeup, reading good books, etc. I’d be that woman who always looked polished, calm and put together. I wouldn’t be one of those moms who wore sweatpants and topknots around the clock. I wouldn’t smell like spit-up, talk about my kid’s poop or wear the same t-shirt three days in a row.
But then, of course, my child was born and everything I had planned for my life as a mom went down the drain. One of the most surprising side effects of my new role as mom – aside from the fact that I wear the same shirt three days in a row? My sex drive has hit an all-time low. Like pre-puberty levels. You can imagine how my husband feels about that one.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I capital-L love my husband. He’s handsome, funny and, as immature as it sounds, my soulmate. Seeing him with our baby makes my heart swell with pride for choosing such an incredible man to build a family with. But right now? I don’t want to have sex with him. Half the time, I don’t even want to cuddle with him. Sometimes, he lays a hand on me and I want to snap it off and toss it to the dog.
Wondering what’s wrong with me? Yeah, me too, but here’s the rub: I’m a new mom. All the usual excuses come into play here. I’m tired, yes. I have a faint memory of what my boy used to look like – and I miss it. Having a natural birth end up in an emergency Caesarean is not anything I wish to repeat. And at the end of the day, I’m sick of being touched. All day long my little one is physically attached to me – sometimes swatting at my face or scratching at my collarbone to boot. When my husband gets home from work, I hardly have the energy to ask him how his day was. By the time our kiddo is fast asleep, I wish I’d already been knocked out for hours too. The thought of having one more person need my attention – the thought of having one more person touch me in any way – is sometimes enough to make me want to scream.
I know what you’re thinking, dear, sweet, wide-eyed reader: You’re never going to be like me. You’re probably sitting there at your computer screen with one hand on your growing belly and a heart full of pity for me. And while I hope with all my might that your relationship soars with a little one in your home, I just have to come clean and say it – I doubt it will. Having a baby is the single most difficult thing my marriage has ever gone through. While I know in my heart that we’ll make it through to the other side, at this very moment, I don’t have the energy to put in the work.
Until I do, I’ll be napping and dreaming sweet dreams of being alone, untouched, for a whole afternoon.