I wish this post was about how fake pouting to get your way in a relationship is just not cool. Or sexy. Or whatever. Instead, it is about toddler tantrums and the way that they suck every bit of energy out of you until all you want to do when you are relieved from your parenting duties is rock gently back and forth. Very gently.
Since the birth of our son, I’ve gone through a sexuality roller coaster that I am fairly certain most biological mothers can relate to. First, there was the relief that I wasn’t allowed to have sex for six weeks after birth, because, let’s be honest, that experience is traumatic and I don’t want to have anyone touching me, let alone inserting things in me, let alone inserting things that can potentially cause that to happen again.
At least not for six weeks.
Except, somewhere around five weeks, I start to get competitive. I want to be that super-sexy wife that is READY for sex before I am supposed to be. It is so taboo. Oh, let’s try?
Yeah, and then there is the month or two when I realize that trying was a bad idea and six weeks is actually way too short.
Then, for about six or seven months, there was a weird dysmorphia during which I felt disconnected from my body. While I could occasionally (you know, when I was not exhausted from breast feeding and changing diapers) get emotionally aroused and even engage in consensual sex, I wasn’t my enthusiastic pre-pregnancy self.
Then there was guilt and resentment with small glimpses of physical desire.
Around a year, I started to feel like myself again. Flirtatious. Fun. Maybe even… sexy.
Yes! Great! I’ve been waiting for this.
Except, by the time I have processed the trauma of pregnancy and childbirth and come to terms with my new shape, energy level, and self, my cute little baby has become a walking, talking, tantrum throwing toddler.
I thought babies sucked the energy out of you! Try a toddler. He gets it in his head that he wants to see daddy. No, he NEEDS to see daddy. Right now. Or he is going to DIE. Or at least sound like it. He screams. Blood curdling, something is wrong with him screaming for over three hours.
During that time, I think that I am a bad mother. I am jealous of my husband and the magical sway he has over our son. I wonder if I am doing something wrong. I go through all the variations of sympathy and frustration there are. (Did I even know there were variations on frustration before becoming a mother?) He keeps screaming. I come to terms with it. I know my neighbors haven’t. He keeps screaming.
Then, my husband comes home and he wants to comfort me. To cuddle me and give me hugs and kisses?
Hugs and kisses? Are you kidding me? SPACE. My very own space. Preferably quiet space. Without little hands clawing at me and little teeth biting at me and a little mouth screaming in a very large voice. Preferably.
There is something about the lack of control I feel when my son is having a tantrum- the fact that I can do absolutely nothing for him- that makes me feel the complete opposite of sexy.
So, nails are done, high heels are bought, but I wonder, when after having a baby are you REALLY ready for sex?