After a day of running around chasing kids, doing chores, living in workout clothes and having my hair in a perpetual bun, no make up, feeling like a drill sergeant and basically always being hungry, its hard to feel sexy. Add serious insecurities to that list and it’s hard to find time to be intimate. Even if you have the “time”, feeling into it is a whole different story.
I have been in relationships with no kids, one where we had a child together, and now one where we entered the relationship both having kids. It is very clear to me why my past relationships did not work, hind sight is 20/20, right? First of all, my relationships before kids were superficial. I did not have the emotional maturity to have a deep sexual relationship. Although, my platonic friendships have always been something resembling immersion. I think growing up in the “church-cult” (If you missed that blog read “Let’s make parenting less of a dictatorship”) confused me to no end. Growing up my friendships were incredibly close. My friends and I grew up in this fake world where the only things that mattered were church related, we were kinda weird I’m sure, to the rest of the world. But we didn’t know. We were brought up confessing our sins to each other… in groups… it was humiliating. We were rebuked in front of each other. It was nearly impossible to not be “too close” to each other. Maybe you can imagine how odd it was for me to enter the real world and find out that you actually cannot trust people. I could not turn off my way of loving people. Even today I have trouble letting go after someone hurts me. If that is not weird enough, while I am having these insanely deep relationships with my friends, I can’t have any closeness in a relationship. As soon as a friendship crossed that line (and because I was so close to guys and girls, I was constantly stumbling over it.) I would emotionally shut off. This was probably very confusing for my boyfriends and girlfriends. One second we are closer than family, and the next I can’t look them in he eye. Of course because they already had a taste of closeness, they knew it existed somewhere, and would try to force it. That explains why pre baby relationships did not work out.
Now, why didn’t my relationship work out when I had a baby with someone? Obviously the first problem is that at this point I am still incredibly unhealthy and have not figured out how to have a healthy relationship yet; however a baby is coming. (For more info on how all this came about read “Yoga breaths for life…out with the bad…in with the good”) I was really hoping I would grow to be in love for the first time in my life, I was hoping having this baby would change me. Funny story, it did. I changed, I became maternal, responsible, emotional… a parent. I DID fall in love. I fell in love with my baby.
I am hoping for those of you that have had children or are planning a family, that you have already developed a healthy relationship, unlike me. I do know people who were in happy relationships and had children and their relationships fell apart. MY theory on this is that once the baby comes, one of the parents evolves, and the other doesn’t. Maybe they just can’t relate, maybe they can’t connect. Maybe adding a new person to the relationship was just too much. Your life gets flipped upside down. (I wrote a lot about this in “If I knew then what I know now” I keep referencing other blogs I have written because I do not want to go through it all over again, especially for those of you who have been following me, but I do think it would explain a lot about where I come from for those of you who are new.)
So, after failing miserably at relationships, before embarking on a new one I had to soul search. I had to let go, be vulnerable, accept love, be completely overly ridiculously honest and sit with myself naked. I know that sounds weird. It is weird. I have serious body image issues (You bet I have a blog on that, too, “Body Image”) and I could not be naked in front of a mirror, or in front of anyone else. Sex was almost embarrassing for me before. It was painful for me to let someone look at me. To look them in the eyes. True intimacy was nearly impossible. I knew I had grown up a lot since I had my daughter. For the first time in my life I knew what I needed in a man. My ex informed me that no one would ever put up with me, and I expected too much. At the time I figured that maybe that was true, but I was sick of being constantly disappointed.
James and I had been friends for years, and I had always been impressed by how much he loves his kids, he is such a good dad. And to a single mom… or even a mom in a relationship with someone who is not so interested in parenting, it was pretty sexy. I’m not kidding when I say I was completely honest, I laid out exactly what I need in a relationship, I told him things I can’t stand, things that I love, things I wish existed. I already knew he was the one, but I was not taking ANY chances. This relationship would not fail because I am incapable of having a relationship. It was so freeing, and scary to be naked in every way. He knows everything about me. Some things I’m sure he wishes he didn’t. I wanted to come to this completely open. I needed to be able to look him in he eyes and even though I feel naked, and feel loved, and be ok with that.
That all happened long before we moved in together, and added our kids to the mix. It’s tough to maintain an intimate relationship with 3 kids! However, it MUST be done! I need to feel physically close to James for us to work. Being physical and emotionally open with each other goes hand in hand. I can’t have sex when I don’t feel close to him, so it’s important to me to keep open communication and a “regular” sex life. I don’t mean normal, because what is. I mean lots of sex. When I start to feel a little distanced, sex brings me back. It happens, we get too tired too busy, too irritated and too overwhelmed for sex, and I can’t tell you how often I’m in the mood and he is at work and by the time he gets home I’m sweaty from a workout or taking care of the house and kids and I do not feel sexy! Even if I did it would be pointless because between the hours of 3:00p-9:00p are completely crazy! Occasionally we can sneak in the bedroom for a quickie, but it’s usually impossible. Knowing that it is important helps, there are days when it’s not that I don’t want to, I’m just not really feeling like getting all hot and sticky… I do it anyways, because it is always worth it! Besides sex, James and I have a specific bed time for the kids which turns into our time. We get to talk about our day, plan the week, catch up on episodes of whatever we are watching at the time, and just be together. We also go on dates. I usually don’t want to. I am too tired to get dressed up and go out, but it’s good for us to go somewhere! It also gives us a chance to add to the places we’ve done it 😉