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how did your relationship with your partner change after having children?

(11 Posts)
cloudhands Sun 07-Oct-12 09:46:50

For me, I have a 13 month old and am feeling sometimes quite distant from my husband. I have found having a baby so all encompassing, that especially in the first 6 months it was hard to physically seperate from my child, for instance to have sex with my husband. (we co-sleep) and I just don't feel like sex anymore.

When I was pregnant, I found that the hormones made me want sex alll the time! Now it's the complete opposite, I don't know if it's because I am still breastfeeding a lot, and that causes low sex drive, but I just don't feel like it. But I also feel desperate to spend one on one time with my husband, just doing anything! It's so hard to find the time and energy, and there's the co-sleeping issue. I'd love to go out with my husband sometime but I'd be worried DD would wake.

How about you? Do things get better as your children get older?

mimicmonster Sun 07-Oct-12 09:52:46

I can sympathise - i think that the period you're in at the moment is tough. It was the same for me; back at work (part-time), tired, wanting me time, not just time with DH and having very little energy.

My only advice is to really try and keep a little bit for you and DH. I think it's important, even if it does feel like work. We went through a crap period of 2-3 months where we were just so remote (not helped that we are both painters and went off into our studios after supper) and when we did plan our first date night, it was a bit of a disaster and made me realise how detached I'd become. We're a solid couple, but it was like we had the flower bed without any flowers. It's frighteninly easy to see how couples can suddenly realise six months have passed without sex or real conversation...

Anyway, roll on a couple more months and it's so much better. Back to normal really. We're much more connected, sex is good, and we realise we have to make time for each other, despite other constraints.

Good luck - and don't worry, totally normal and totally fixable.

cloudhands Sun 07-Oct-12 12:26:31

thank you for your lovely post mimicmonster, it really makes me feel better to know that I am not the only one and that it is normal. Somehow I just feel guilty, and a little uneasy, that I am not really putting anything into our relationship, I know ours is solid, and my DH is very understanding, but still it doesn't seem right anymore to be constantly thinking about the wellbeing of my DD but not thinking about me and DH. I think I've finally realised that we are a unit, and will all be much happier, if I can invest some time with DH.
Thanks again for replying, all around friends/aquaitances are getting pregnant with their second DC and I just wonder how they do it! I have no sex drive at the moment, and am not sure how I can improve on that, maybe just some time connecting would help.

cory Sun 07-Oct-12 12:28:14

Mine are older now, so partly different perspective, otoh SN and MH problems means we are to some extent stuck in the extensive care period. Yes, certainly we have less time and energy for making love and spending time on ourselves/each other. Otoh we have got closer as working partners, sharing care, leaning on each other. I have certainly got a whole new kind of respect for dh seeing how he has coped during some extremely tough times, how I can trust him whatever happens and he trusts me. Whatever happens we are in this together and we appreciate each other more because we have seen what we can do.

So if I could add anything to mimicmonster's excellent advice, it would be to try not to regard yourself as the carer and your dh as someone whose needs you also need to meet, but to try to make sure that he feels is an equal parent, equally important to your dd's needs.

mimicmonster Sun 07-Oct-12 13:07:33

I do think distance adds to lack of sexual desire. I don't know if you've ever been single, but I was for some years, and its amazing how quickly the body shuts down and can go without. You have to force it back to life and then I think it comes naturally. It's really normal to feel unsexy all after a baby - have you had your hormone levels checked? That can also play a part.

As for doing something with DH but worrying your DD will wake - well, maybe she will but that will be ok. If you go out, go out close by for a short time The first time you start to get your own life back, away from DC, feels scary - but that passes. And it's important for everyone that you have adult relationships too.

That's what I think anyway!

Exexe Sun 07-Oct-12 13:18:45

I completely understand what you're going through and its totally normal.
Its only after we had children that I realised what people meant when they said you have to work at a relationship.

I know it sounds really lame but having a 'date night' is a good idea where you can do something together, have a conversation and share some intimacy.
You don't have to go out. You can do something like cook a nice meal together and eat it with candles on and no tv. Or just snuggle up on the sofa together to watch a film. Whatever.

I remember using the line 'foreplay begins in the morning' to dh ie meaning get some chores done, take the baby off me for a while, let me have some time to myself so I don't feel like a wreck just wanting to collapse into bed by the end of the day.

blueshoes Sun 07-Oct-12 14:06:02

Bf-ing can lower your sexual desire. It did for me and also affects lubrication so sex was uncomfortable. I had a cs, so no issues with tearing etc

cloudhands Mon 08-Oct-12 07:02:19

thanks everyone for your lovely understanding comments, yes mimicmonster, I know what you mean, I do feel a bit shut down, and non-sexy, and pretty unnattractive and fat after giving birth actually! all the focus is on the baby and how cute they are! Incidently I read a very interesting article, on a related subject about a mum who didn't want her photo taken after giving birth

Mom stays in the picture

cory your description of how you became closer to your partner is beautiful. And the advice is good for a lot of mums out there, but I am so not the kind of mum that takes care of her husbands needs! I am not very domesticated (my husband is,!) quite disorganised, and he loves taking care of my daughter,

I love that idea exexe foreplay begins in the morning ha ha!! Maybe I do need some relaxing pampering time so I don't feel so tired.

anna26anna Mon 08-Oct-12 09:28:17

Hi cloudhands,
I have three children, and I think I have felt how you describe after each child's birth - like mimicmonster said, it does pass, but there are some things you can do to help it along.

Someone recently recommended maca, a Peruvian plant which pretty much has superfood status - it is known to help energy, stamina - and libido. I took it first because the combination of motherhood and working was making me so exhausted, but the increase in libido was a pleasant side-effect smile. It's totally natural, I bought it online but some health-food stores have it too.

cloudhands Mon 08-Oct-12 13:22:11

thanks anna, i have some maca in my cupboard actually!! How much do you take? I have had it a while, so I hope it's not passed it best before.

oh and mimic monster, can I just go to the doctor and ask to get my hormones checked?

anna26anna Thu 11-Oct-12 07:31:47

Just saw this, sorry for delay. You can take a teaspoon a day, or a capsule, depending on which you have - and I'm pretty sure you can up the dose, but maybe google to check. The people at the site I recommended above told me better to take it morning or during the day, rather than at night. Hope it does some good smile

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