So, let me set the scene.
My eyes are scratchy from about seven hours sleep in the last two days.
My back aches from carrying around the equivalent of a sack of potatoes slung around me all day because my four month old suddenly won’t let me put him down.
I just stubbed my toe on a plastic dinosaur.
My left shoulder smells like stale milk, my hair is matted and a bit sticky at the ends on the same side for the same reason.
I have two boob-fulls of milk that I need to express and I can’t quite remember if I actually brushed my teeth today.
Well, my husband seems to think so.
It’s been almost three weeks since we last had sex and for us this is a long, long time. He’ll probably take me in any state right now. Or perhaps he just loves me enough to find me wildly attractive despite it all?
Did I mention it’s almost midnight?
My lack of sleep actually has less to do with the baby and more to do with all the things I am trying to do when the baby is asleep. I should really be sleeping. And my husband is working an early shift tomorrow so he probably should too.
I’m beyond tired, I feel stretched in six different directions but I also want to feel close to him. I also want to feel like us for even 20 minutes.
I won’t lie and say I am actually horny. Not even in the slightest. I feel like I don’t have space in my body, which has been colonised by small people, for horny. I also know this isn’t always how I feel or will feel. And maybe wanting to want it could be enough, just for now? Maybe desire will arrive if it’s called upon.
So we stop and look into each other’s eyes for the first time in days. He squeezes me close and we kiss, tentatively at first. We leave the unfolded pile of laundry exploding out of its basket for another night. The baby is asleep in his cot in our room and the little boy is in his bed (for now).
So we close the French doors to the lounge—not so much for privacy as for soundproofing (we’re optimistic.) We get ourselves (semi) undressed—socks don’t count, right? Come on, it’s chilly downstairs!
And we make the best of the world’s most uncomfortable couch.
And as I suspected, just stopping to consider the possibility of wanting to have sex does actually relax me enough to start to really want to.
It takes a little warming up to let go of “Mom”—the person I’ve been all day. To forget momentarily about wiping bottoms, kissing “ouchies” and enforcing “thinking time” and remember how to be the woman I am underneath. It’s a slow remembering each time, especially after 5 months of full-on mommy-dom with two (precious) little boys.
When we do have sex, there’s a tenderness to our lovemaking that’s not quite the same as before. It was different after the first and it’s different again after the second. Not bad. Just different.
Well, sometimes bad. Sometimes it just doesn’t work, but then that also happens to everyone, kids or not. Sometimes.
But this time it’s going pretty well. I’m into it and I remember how much I love feeling his warmth and his weight between my legs. And how much I love the way his neck smells. And how when he holds me firmly his hands exert a certain magic over me and I disappear into him.
And then we hear it.
The squeak of the door handle and the sleepy little voice, “Mommy, I want you. I need a wee.”
There are no two people on earth that move faster than parents who have been walked in on by their kid. Usain Bolt has nothing on us. Within seconds we’re fully dressed and I’ve scooped my little boy back up the stairs before he’s even stopped rubbing his eyes.
“Mommy, what are you and Daddy doing?’”
“Just cuddling before we put our pyjamas on baby. Mommy and Daddy are just cuddling.”
“Oh, ok. It’s nice to cuddle. Can I have a cuddle, too?”
Anybody can have sex. But that’s not the point. We want to have good sex, and we need to, especially if we want to be partners and not just parents. The kind of good sex that leaves us with a sense of connection and well-being. The kind of sex that leaves you sweaty but also whole.
It’s not so much the clothes off that counts, it’s the cuddling with clothes optional and sense of humour compulsory.
And making sure the kids are actually asleep.
Author: Khara-Jade Warren
Editor: Alli Sarazen
Image: Flickr/ Bhamati Sivapalan