I am sure most Mom’s will agree that the fantasy of having a baby – all the oooh’s and aaah’s, and dreamy Pinterest-worthy visions of domesticity – quickly fade as the new reality of motherhood settles in: a crushed libido, unpredictable lactation, constant exhaustion, and an underlying identity crisis.
But how do you get past all that in order to feel playful and inspired as a woman again, satisfied as a loving mother, and more importantly, to discover a renewed enthusiasm for sex? How do you learn to reconnect with your “new” body? How can you marry your new identity as a mother with the woman, lover, and boss babe you were before?
Thankfully, Dana B. Myers, founder of Booty Parlor, has written an exciting new book meant to help all Mamas dealing with these questions: The Mommy Mojo Makeover: 28 Tools to Reclaim Yourself & Reignite Your Relationship. After encountering this postpartum sexual and identity crisis herself, Dana set out to help Mamas everywhere. Her first recommendation is to take a look at the most common obstacles you’re encountering – the mommy pains that are draining you of desire, lowering your self-esteem, and leaving you wondering if passion will ever return to your partnership. Before you can begin whipping your Mommy Mojo into shape, you must uncover your blocks. If you start by shedding some light on what’s been holding you back from being the alluring and inspired woman, mother and partner you’re meant to be, you’ll be taking the first steps on your path to rediscovering your sexual self!
Here are the eight biggest Mommy Mojo Blocks according to Dana:
1. The Mom Zone
You have a super-busy life balancing the many responsibilities of motherhood. Between schoolwork and activities, cooking dinner and tending to your kids’ every need, the pressure to parent perfectly is burning you out. Whenever you see your friends (probably on a play- date), your conversations revolve around kids and are constantly interrupted by them. Sometimes you feel overwhelmed by the demands of motherhood and that you’re lacking the personal freedom you desire. You might even feel bored to tears with your domestic load, and left wondering where the real you went. Sex has fallen low on your priority list, which is not that surprising considering how much energy you give to your kids. Since you don’t have the energy to nurture the sexy woman within, you feel stuck in the Mom Zone.
2. Low Libido
Since becoming a mother, your desire has been on a slow and steady decline. From hormonal shifts to sleep deprivation, chronic stress, and physical exhaustion, your sexual appetite has waned. It’s also possible that after a long day of the kids hanging from your every limb, you’re “all touched out” and just want to be left alone once they’re asleep! Mother- hood requires being 100 percent “on” all the time, and so you’re always thinking about the safety, well-being, and development of your little creatures. This constant mental multitasking—and likely a lack of self- care—leaves you feeling physically and mentally drained, and sexually uninspired. It’s no wonder you’re too tired to make love after the kids are in bed.
3. Body Confidence
Some moms feel just as amazing as they did pre-baby, regardless of whether their bodies changed, but many more moms view their body in a very different way post-baby. If you’re one of those moms, you may feel depressed about your appearance, or even hate how you look. Your inner vixen doesn’t give you a wink when you look in the mirror anymore. Maybe you’ve started to reject your spouse’s compliments, or you turn o the lights during sex to hide your body. You might find yourself talking trash about your thighs, tush, or tummy. There’s never enough time to exercise the way you like or get your favorite beauty and self-care treatments, all of which leaves you feeling less than thrilled with your post-baby body.
You’re short on it. Short on me-time. Short on kid-free time with your spouse. Short on time to do what you love and to see your girlfriends. You feel like you’re barely getting through your to-do list, let alone finding a moment to decompress and leisurely think about sensual things or get busy in the bedroom. The carefree bonding time you once shared as a couple has winnowed away to nearly nothing. Not only are you desperately short on precious together time, you and your spouse may be prioritizing time in different ways—causing your busy schedules to feel out of sync and driving a wedge between you.
5. Identity Crisis
There is a very real identity crisis that happens when you become a mother—and no one seemed to warn you about it! Perhaps you once a social butter y, with seemingly unlimited time and freedom to explore restaurants, hang out with friends, or take trips. Maybe you were an ultra-productive rock star at work, and then slipped on sexy heels and went salsa dancing at night. You defined yourself by your accomplishments, your passions, your talents. And then you became a mom: “So-and-so’s mom.” Perhaps you chose to take a break from work to raise them. And then you question, Am I just a mom now? And, Am I a good enough mom? And perhaps the biggest one of all, Why aren’t I having more fun with this?! The sudden lack of freedom and the enormous responsibility of caring for a child is a big deal, and it can make you feel like you’ve lost yourself. You might sometimes wonder: Where is the fun, social, sensual woman I used to be?
6. Romantic Disconnect
When you brought your baby home, you immersed yourselves in the blissful experience of becoming parents. You swore that having kids wouldn’t change your relationship, but it did anyway. You became incredible partners in parenting, and maybe even better friends than you thought possible, but the sex went from hot to obligatory—and the desire and erotic tension you once had for each other began to fizzle out. The steadiness and routine that helps family life run so smoothly has zapped all spontaneity, flirtation, and adventure. Your conversations with your partner are now mostly about the kids, and your once-a-week date nights have turned into once-a-month outings where you’re home by nine. Perhaps you’re even feeling a genuine loss of sexual attraction, and worry he feels the same. The loss of romantic connection is one of the most gut-wrenching and pervasive pains of motherhood!
Many moms have shared with me that they resent their spouse because they feel unsupported. Moms tend to take on more of the childcare and domestic responsibilities, and can feel like we’re just not getting enough help, appreciation, or acknowledgment. Working moms, SAHMs, ultramodern progressive moms, hippie moms, it doesn’t matter: moms just take on more. But the resentment creeps in when he rarely-to-never takes charge of the kids’ activities. or when he leaves for the gym, hangs out with friends, or works on a passion project without considering family responsibilities. It seems like you’re always the one who has to secure childcare while you squeeze in your “other” life (work, hobbies, friends, self-care, etc.) between errands and playdates. Maybe he’s the breadwinner and feels entitled to relax after his workday, while yours just keeps going. Nothing kills the desire for intimate, connected sex like simmering resentment; when it goes unchecked, it can lead to intense hurt and anger, which can (surprise!) result in less sex.
8. Unsatisfying Sex
There was probably a time in the not-so-distant past when you couldn’t imagine using “bedroom” and “boring” in the same sentence. In the pre- baby phase of your relationship, your sex life was hot, heavy, passionate . . . and you expected it to be that way forever. But now, your lovemaking has slowed down to a predictable, uninspiring once-a-week a air: you know exactly what’s coming because it’s always the same. Worse, your sex drives often feel way out of sync: maybe he wants more, you want less—and you might even feel pressure from him because of it and struggle to turn o your brain and let go during the act. or maybe you both are stuck in a cycle of sexual fatigue from the relentless emotional and physical stresses of parenting. You’re both spending your energy just getting through another day, and little is left over for feeling turned on together.
If you have nodded in agreement more than once, there is a good chance that you will find a friend in Dana and in The Mommy Mojo Makeover. Books and ebooks are available at all major retailers: Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, Kobo, and many, many more.