The scene is set, a brunch, four fabulous women, witty banter, peels of laughter, and lets even make it a good hair day for all. The wardrobe, slightly less glam and has a tad more spit up down the front. The dialogue... Potty training, pre-school choices, a lego piece up the nose, and sleep deprivation.
Not a whisper of sex.
Sound familiar? Is your life resembling an episode of “______ in the City?”
Get Checked out
The pre-baby body is not necessarily the same as the post-baby body. It is important that if sexual interest is low or if sex is painful, that you talk to someone about this. Dr. Kim Foster states that painful intercourse can be caused by a variety of medical conditions, such as: scar tissue from a difficult delivery, dryness due to a hormonal deficiency, or vaginal muscle spasm. There are treatment options for all these conditions. Also, low (or absent) sex drive is a very common problem for women, especially post-partum, and although it often improves naturally, a persistently low libido may be caused by an underlying condition like thyroid hormone imbalance.
How many times have you tried to give yourself a few minutes of obstacle, the shut door, a pile of laundry anything you can do to buy you a few extra seconds to cover up the act if invaded. Or all is well, the house is quiet, the mood is finally set, so you inevitably hear.... MOM! I need a drink of water. It's like clockwork. Although a definite mood interrupter, with slightly lowered expectations, one can have a laugh and try try again. Leisurely sex is fun, but perhaps a luxury not afforded to those in the child rearing years. Getting the quantity in can perhaps make up for quality when time is elusive.
Best Laid Plans
Maybe spontaneity was the spark that fuelled the pre-baby years, it doesn't mean that a little planning will take all the fun out of it. Plan and prepare for sex. Remember sex is restorative in a relationship and sometimes needs to be prioritized. When time is an issue, scheduling, although seemingly unromantic might be the only way to make “it” happen. Have fun with the schedule by occasionally making this notation in the diary a package deal of babysitter, restaurant and hotel reservations!
Eyes Wide Open
Intimacy and novelty rarely share a bed. As first time seeing you naked becomes the millionth time, new sources of novelty must be, pardon the pun, uncovered. Role play, taking turns initiating, trying new positions can all add something new to the bedroom routine. And for even more satisfying results one can look at increasing the intimacy rather than chasing the illusory first high. Sex and relationship therapist Dr. David Schnarch, in his book “The Passionate Marriage” suggests techniques for increasing intimacy which include hugging 'til relaxed, eyes open sex, and eyes open orgasm. Schnarch asserts that many people try to tune out their partner to achieve orgasm because they are staving off the discomfort of intimacy. So lock eyes and challenge yourself to stay present and connected.
I'm not a huge fan of talking about myself in my writing, and that's thanks to years of practice at keeping much of myself out of the room during my clients' therapy sessions. So some of my posts won't have any of me in them at all, but some will, and that prospect excites me a little. So to start, a little about me. Like most therapists, I started out with beholding some decent listening ears. This led to years of good talks and friendships and a belief that I could help others. I pursued the helping profession through my education and eventually narrowed in on counselling. I have had some diverse and fabulous jobs and some truly outstanding mentors. In my early years, I enjoyed the idea of being an expert, which I hardly was, but I knew what I was supposed to say and do in the specific roles I had. As I gained more experience, I realized how little I knew and frankly how little of an expert I was. I think this very realization makes me a better therapist today. The process is very collaborative in my sessions, the client has the goals and I respect this and help facilitate these desired changes in their life. My work is very challenging and enjoyable.
I also love writing, so joining the YMC team has been a culmination of a few loves of mine. Through this blog I want to share the tools I have come across in my reading, training, work and personal experiences. I will also quote pop culture and feel that writing has finally found a home for my over-the-top recollections of many trivial pieces from TV and movies. I have yet to find a good home for my old school rap knowledge, but you never know, it might too find a place hidden in an article. Watch for it!
I do come to you as a relationship expert but I will qualify it with this—I have no expertise on YOU. I simply have my own learnings in my own relationships. I have some tips I have learned along the way, some general guidelines that I think can help, and availability to answer your questions. I encourage you to take and share from my articles what works for you. I also have a bevy of fabulous expert friends with whom I like to learn from, consult, and discuss with, and with whom I will at times introduce you to. Please throw questions or topics my way. I love to teach and I love to learn, and hope to make this blog a collaborative space too! Stay tuned for my article about sex after baby—I share some friendly advice and expert knowledge from Yummy Mummy's in-house doctor, Dr. Kim Foster.
Now, in the spirit of relationships, writing and pop culture, name the movie this is from: “She's gone. She gave me a pen. I gave her my heart.”