Feeling sexy after baby: getting back to you
Pop quiz: the baby's just gone down for the night, and your husband turns to you and gives you...that look. Do you A) whip out your hottest lingerie, or B) roll your eyes and say, "You have GOT to be kidding?"
If your answer is closer to "B" than "A," don't worry, you're not alone. You may have been noticing that when it comes to being "in the mood," an uninterrupted good night's sleep is at the top of your list. Don't fret. It's pretty normal. At some point after their baby is born, many women find themselves wondering if they're ever going to feel amorous or relaxed or desirable again.
Hey, it's understandable. After nine (million) months of pregnancy and taking care of a demanding newborn day and night, it's hard to feel like a sexual being again! You're tired, busy, and you may not be feeling 100% confident about your body.
While lots of new mamas go through a stage where the last thing on their mind is sex, it's important to reconnect with your husband when you're feeling up for it. And if you're starting to wonder if you're ever going to feel up for it, hang in there — there are some painless, baby-step ways to get your mojo back on track!
How can you feel sexy when you're constantly working, cleaning and taking care of everyone but yourself? Don't fall into the trap of feeling guilty for taking time away from your child in order to give yourself some attention. It's vital that you give yourself permission to relax and sneak in a little "you time." Ultimately, you'll feel recharged and have more energy for your busy life. After all, the laundry isn't going anywhere (unfortunately).
Here's the deal: it is officially okay to take off that SuperMom cape and focus on yourself. Personal time is important, especially when you need a break from all the demands of motherhood.
Give yourself a fun, feel-good treat: Get your hair done, schedule a full-body massage, get a manicure...whatever lifts your spirits and makes you feel special. A little self-indulgence can go a long way towards reconnecting you with YOU.
Focus on health
If you're feeling overwhelmed with exhaustion, you might need to take a break from your All Baby, All the Time schedule to pay attention to your own needs on the healthy-you front. Are you treating yourself with kindness and care, just like you're doing for your baby? Consider these healthful hints for new moms:
Get your beauty rest. This can be hard with a little one in the house, but after those crazy early newborn months you should be settling into a manageable sleep routine. If you're not getting enough sleep (and let's be honest, what mom is?), try cutting back on the caffeine, even though it may seem counter-productive. Avoid sugar right before bed. Enlist some help from others in your household — maybe someone else can take night duty with the baby for a while.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Water truly does a body good. It adds natural moisture to your skin, helps your body flush out waste, and helps rev up your metabolism. If you're not getting enough to drink throughout the day, you're bound to experience some ill effects — dehydration can cause headaches and affect your ability to concentrate. Not only that, but when you're dehydrated, your blood volume is lowered, which makes your heart work harder to supply your body with oxygen. Translation: fatigue.
The "E" word. It may seem like the very last thing you have energy for is exercising, but think of it this way: Getting physical helps you feel more like getting physical (if you know what we mean!). You don't have to launch into a marathon gym routine in order to experience the benefits. You can start by taking your baby out in a stroller a few times a week for a brisk walk. It gets your blood flowing, your heart pumping, and boosts your body image.
Make it a priority
The most important thing you can do in your own personal Bringing Sexy Back campaign is simply to make it a priority. Find a babysitter, and schedule a date night with your husband — no babies allowed! Get dressed up in your favorite wow-'em outfit, even if you'd rather be hanging out in sweatpants. Cut back on overloaded to-do lists if you're feeling like there just isn't time for downtime. Most of all, put your partnership right up there with motherhood. Give it the attention it deserves.
It's not always easy to switch out of Mommy Mode, especially when you might be feeling self-conscious or just plain tired. Remember that keeping your marriage healthy — and feeling good about yourself — is one of the most loving things you can do for your family. Give yourself the gift of reclaiming your inner-babe, because you deserve it!