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April 06, 2009

Sexless in The Mommyhood

Mail.google.com I stepped away from Twitter for 2 seconds and somehow missed that Oprah was doing a show focusing on moms, specifically "Mommy Bloggers", entitled "The Truth About Motherhood".  Upon my return, tweeterville was bombarded with tweets about Oprah and the things the featured mommy bloggers and others were saying.  I don't normally watch Oprah, or any "adult" show during the day, but I ran to my T.V. excited to see what other moms "like me" were saying and sharing with the World.

I tuned in just in time to hear the panel discussing the issue of sex. One mommy vlogger, Vicki Glembocki, said how "this area down here is an out door, from which children come from, and these (pointing to her breasts) are to feed said children." The audience burst into laughter.  Other moms shared how they shrugged when they saw "that look" in their husband's eyes, or how they are just too tired. Again, audience laughter and nod in agreement. Panel member Amy Nobile, co-author of several books including "I Was A Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids", replied saying that "we have to make sex a true investment in the marriage.  A good marriage is the backbone of a healthy family."


Ok, that last part is a bit general, a good marriage does definitely help strengthen the family unit, as opposed to a family caught up in a bad marriage, but I wouldn't say it is the backbone of a "healthy family".  There are many healthy families out there that do not involve marriage at all and are pretty happy and strong...but I digress.

There are a few reasons for which I couldn't relate to the discussions that took place in the last few minutes: the wars between working moms and SAHMs, the lack of diversity of the "expert" panel.  But my issue primarily was with Ms. Glembocki's comment on her body's purpose after children and the annoyance with which the other moms talked about sex. The negative comments about sex in their lives were so loud, they made Ms. Nobile's advice seem nothing more than a bleep in the conversation.

So while all the tweets were commenting on the excitement of mommy bloggers on Oprah, I began to comment on my sadness over the general audience's and panel's (and even Oprah's) reaction and laughter about the sexless lives these women were appearing to lead, and how that message was without a doubt validating a female viewer's excuses for refusing or not initiating sex in her relationship, and thus becoming complacent to a sexless marriage.

I have had 3 boys, and have experienced the low libido after birth.  I am also very familiar with the stress and exhaustion of being a single mom, a married mom in a bad relationship, a working mom, a full-time student mom, a mom who has experienced the loss of a loved one and divorce and a stay at home mom with two toddlers under 4.  I also know what it is to slowly lose interest in sex and how easy it is to convince yourself of all the reasons why sex "just isn't possible".  

But it must be.  It must take priority among all those other things which we list as being important for the welfare of our family and the happiness of our souls.  Sometimes sex for me is more about my husband than it is about me, but sometimes it is all about me and my needs.  Sometimes it is quick because the kids are awake and we only have a few minutes before they burst through our bedroom door, and other times it is slow, and loving, and passionate. Sometimes we talk about it and don't follow through, sometimes we don't talk and fall asleep afterwards. Whatever or however it may be, we make it a point to connect in this intimate way and reconnect with each other.

No matter what other mommies say, I believe my body to be a lot more than just a baby popping, baby feeding machine. I am a sexual woman who loves and needs to be touched and desired. I find the flirtatious teasing in my marriage a refreshing break from the daily grind of Mommyhood.  I love looking at my husband not as an annoyingly horny partner, but the hot guy who finds me equally desirable. And "that look" in his eyes reminds me that there was a time, before the babies, before the routines of diapers and groceries, and play dates and potty training, I was just a woman, a beautiful, single woman who with the battering of my eyes, swaying of my hips, flirtatiousness of my smile, jokes and conversation seduced the man who would become the love of my life and father of my children.  "That look" and those few intimate moments together remind me that I still am, in every way, that woman and more.

Why would I ever want to give that up just because I had kids?  I don't think any woman should, and believe that she would be much happier if she embraced that woman in her again and let her come out to play every so often. It may take some practice at first, and effort and dedication most of the time, but your relationship is worth it. You're worth it.

And if you are a mom happily having sex with your partner, sorry to say we weren't spoken for today.

This is an original NYC Moms post.

When not thinking about doing the dirty deed with her husband, Carol is a loving, nurturing mom blogging about her discoveries in the big city with kids in tow at The Adventures of an NYC Mama.

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