I’m just going to start with the elephant in the room here. Almost no one goes home from the hospital in pre-pregnancy jeans. Heck, most moms I know don’t get into pre-pregnancy jeans until closer to 6 months, or in some cases until breastfeeding is over. Your body just took nine months to grow a watermelon-sized package, it’s going to take 9 months to get back down to size.
And spoiler alert: even when you get back to pre-pregnancy weight, your body won’t be the same shape. Even Heidi Klum and Beyonce and Angelina Jolie have different bodies. Your ribs and hips literally change position. Your resources are re-distributed. And every mom has stretch marks. Consider them your badge of awesomeness.
Anyone who utters the words “your baby can/should sleep through the night at X months/years” is–pardon my French– full of shit. Babies and children are biologically wired to be close to you and wake frequently. In fact, researchers have recently discovered that frequent night wakings are actually a sign of a healthier baby; a waking baby has a lower risk of SIDS.
There is a whole industry out there that wants to sell you books and special swaddles and sound machines and tools to get your baby to sleep. A few babies do respond to these methods. Many don’t. The best thing to do is to get rest when you can, stock up on coffee, and understand that in 10 years you will STILL be losing sleep–for totally different reasons.
That’s right; I went there. Sex after baby is different for many reasons:
- Your doctor will tell you no sex for at least six weeks so your cervix can close and heal
- You may be touched out from all the nursing and snuggling
- You may experience vaginal dryness thanks to breastfeeding hormones
- You may experience a drop in libido, again thanks to breastfeeding hormones
- You may be too tired (see above) to even think about sex
- Your bed may be invaded by a tiny human being
Since your partnership is important here’s some help:
- Follow your doctor’s orders
- Ask your partner to take some burps, diaper changes, and snuggles with the baby
- Use lubricant
- Communicate your needs to your partner
- Drink coffee
- Consider finding a new place to DTD or even a different time of day
What you do to show love to your partner, and what you appreciate in return, may change once you have a baby. That’s because things like personal space and chores just don’t happen when you have a human being to raise. Be prepared to adapt and change in your relationship and communicate with each other about your needs regularly. None of us are mind readers, especially when the game changes.
Yeah, I know you are thinking that your baby will just adapt to your schedule and you’ll just strap him or her in the carrier and be on your way. To some extent, this does work until baby is on the move, but you can’t account for things that make baby sensitive to outings. Teething, illness, changes in routine, and even good old separation anxiety will rear their ugly heads at some time or another (or, pretty much constantly in the first 18 months), and trust me, everyone will be happier when you are flexible.
That, and you will find a 4:30 mealtime at restaurants is the dream, and a 9:30 bedtime is not early enough! Just own it.
What kinds of changes have YOU noticed in your life since having children?