Well that’s just like meeting Sex Doula, Vera Levitt Casey, a woman on a mission to make us believe that ‘pleasure is our birth right!’ Something we can control and own.
Vera recently hosted ‘Girls Talk’ at Babies in Bloom to get moms talking about sex after babies. She dared to say out loud all the questions and embarrassing thoughts that many moms have locked away in their sleep-deprived minds. This opened the flood gates for some honest, real mom talk about low libido and lack of intimacy after childbirth. Because let’s be honest, a new life to worry about, night feeds and an altered alien body that’s leaking fluids 24/7, can take its toll on a sex life.
There were so many ‘Oh my goodness, YES!’ and ‘You too?’ moments in the talk. It was such a relief for the moms attending to feel heard. Validated. Know that they weren’t alone. And most importantly, that there is always a way back.
Without intimacy, it becomes all too easy to feel broken. Guilty. Distant from your partner. But someone like Vera can help you see that it is possible to re-awaken your senses. It IS possible for pleasure and parenting to co-exist.
While we wish we could share everything that Vera discussed here – from understanding your own ‘desire style,’ to ‘solo sex’ and communicating to your partner exactly what you want (cue a room full of blushes) – there was one part of the talk that really stood out, the part about Mommy Martyrs.
By Mommy Martyr, Vera means a women who puts the needs of all others in her family above her own. The women who makes dentist and doctor appointments for everyone in her family but herself. The woman who fed her kids a wholesome meal but forgot to eat dinner. The woman who hasn’t had her hair cut in over six months and whose chipped pedicure is as old as her youngest child. The woman who has no time for hobbies because her children’s extra-curricular classes, or party schedules, take up all her ‘free’ time.
Always putting others before yourself, for days at a time, weeks, months, even years, can become overwhelming. You can lose a sense of self – and even worse, a sense of worth. This can lead to partner resentment. Why can’t my husband see it’s too much? Why isn’t he helping me more? I’m drowning.
Is it any wonder then you aren’t often in the mood?
The fix for this isn’t anything revolutionary, nor anything we haven’t heard a million times before. It’s ME-TIME. It’s the old ‘fix-your-own-oxygen-mask-before-fixing-your-kids’-on-a-plane’ talk.
So you might have heard it a million times, but did you actually take the advice onboard? Or did you find a million other reasons not to put yourself first again? Thought so.
Why are so many moms programed to feel guilty about taking some me-time? It’s a recharge, not a rejection of our life! It’s remembering who you are as a person. You are not just a mom. It’s still ok to love the things you loved before kids.
Not only will a recharge benefit your own psyche, and hopefully eradicate some built up resentment, it also sets a good example to your little guys. When you take ‘me-time,’ you are teaching them about the importance of taking care of yourself. You are teaching them about the joy of having your own hobbies and dreams – and how to chase them!
So, if you can’t find the time for you, will you at least try having some ‘me-time’ for them?
To help you find a little more motivation and support, Vera has set up a wonderful online community www.MomCampCommunity.com. Here you will find like-minded mamas and regular reminders to look after yourself – simple things like ‘Me-Time Monday’ as well as live chats and problem shares.
This community is also the place where you can find out more information on Mom Camp retreats. Imagine a whole weekend away from home. No cooking. No laundry. No referee-ing siblings. A weekend where you can make friends, share stories and get support. Because when mamas come together, there’s no stopping them! Tribe power!