Finding Time For Romance
Posted By: Jennifer Johnson
I didn't grow up around breastfeeding moms. In fact, I grew up making formula bottles for my little sisters.
I'd be lying if I didn't say breastfeeding affected the romance level in my home. I'm just being honest, ladies. It happens. But I suppose just having a child changes the dynamic of a couple's relationship.
My birthday was Friday and with no family in town to watch out daughter, she was in tow with us to dinner. We spent more time entertaining her than talking to each other, and when we got home we were both so exhausted from the task, and fell right asleep.
People told me to enjoy being alone and intimate before the baby came. What? Do they mean sex? Cause who wants to do that when you're nine months pregnant? (Well, that is until you fly past your due date and get desperate and you hear the trick is sex for natural induction — but that's another story). But really folks, they weren't lying. For me, it was easier then.
After having my daughter I had a baby attached to me what felt like 24/7. It probably was pretty close. She nursed around the clock. When she wasn't connected to my boob I was so happy to be free of another person. I wanted to dance around the house like a free woman. I didn't want my husband to cling on right after. I know, it sounds harsh, but it was so hard for me. And this says a lot coming from a normally touchy-feely person.
I'm curious to know if this is something many breastfeeding mothers experience. I wonder if all new mothers in general feel this way. I question if women who don't breastfeed don't feel this way, or if just holding a baby and feeding them a bottle would still give one this same feeling.
I've had to learned — excuse me — I'm learning to balance my needs as a mother, wife, and woman.
First of all, this may not be romantic but scheduling alone and/or time with my husband is a must. I used to hate this but now it's schedule or it's not happening.
I also have started putting my daughter to bed a couple of hours before we go to bed so we have time to talk and catch up each night. The hard part is making sure we're not on our computers and/or phones and staying awake.
And sometimes I have my husband put our daughter to bed after she'd fed and getting sleepy. She usually will fall asleep faster, versus comfort nursing for a long period of time. It gives me a chance to have a few moments of alone time, and collect myself. Plus, all that cute cuddly dad stuff is a turn-on.
As Lil' J has gotten older, she's more predictable with her nap and bedtimes so that's helped a lot. If there are mothers out there wondering if they'll ever "do it" again, don't worry, I asked myself the same question (ok, sometimes I still do) but I promise, it gets better, and I imagine even better still from here.9:48am on Tuesday February 15
There are definitely days when I don't want anyone touching me, including my needy, pesty cat.
I pump as well as nurse from the tap so my husband can give her a bottle and I can have some time to myself. My husband also does the bedtime routine, which works better than when I do it.
Now the only problem is that my husband has been too tired lately!
oh yes, that definitely happens with my husband and I. After holding, caring, cleaning a baby (and a toddler, and a preschooler) all day long, I don't want to be touched by anybody! I want time to myself, a little space where I don't need to meet anyone's demands.
But yes, it gets better. Baby gets routines, a toddler can entertain herself for longer, a preschooler can go watch cartoons, and there's more time to connect with my partner. There's time for the two, instead of the three of us.
Scheduling really works for us, too. I even put it on the calendar - romantic dinner after bedtime! Also, I try to take the initiative. If there's a play or concert I want us to see, I make sure that we have tickets and a babysitter lined up, instead of being spontaneous, or waiting for my husband to do it