If it truly is enjoyable for you once you get started, would you consider pushing yourself past the initial "hump" to get to that place of enjoyment? In other words, say yes to sex even if you're not initially in the mood?
Firstly, I want to tell you that losing or having a decline in your sex life during the pregnancy and baby-phase does not mean there is anything wrong with you. A lot of hormonal changes are going on in your body still and if you are breastfeeding, that adds to it. Your partner must understand that while it's frustrating, it is part of becoming parents for many families. Usually your sex drive will return to normal when your baby hits one year old, depending if there are any underlying issues (relationship, stress).
That being said - knowing this does not make the problem go away. You want to want to have sex. Things you ought to consider, which may affect your sex drive currently is:
- lack of sleep- lack of vaginal lubrication- your current birth control (if it's hormonal)- a single-minded focus on the well-being of your children
The lack of sleep can be eased by making sure your partner is supporting you and doing his share, so you get at least 2-3 nights of good sleep a week (5 hours + uninterrupted).
Natural vaginal lubrication can be lacking at the moment, especially if you're breastfeeding. Using a personal lubricant during foreplay can help your arousal-levels.
If you are on hormonal birth control this can affect your sex drive negatively, even if it hasn't done previous to your last pregnancy. Our bodies change over time and may sometimes react differently after pregnancy and birth. This is something you should discuss with your doctor if you think it may be relevant.
Now, for the more complicated potential cause. Many mothers go through a period of time (it can last 20 + years for some ;) ) where their children get all their energy, thoughts and time. This means they put themselves and their grown-up relationship on hold. While I by now means would ever suggest neglecting your children, my therapist once told me something which has helped me tremendously: "Children need A LOT of attention, but they do not need as much as they ask for."
The best kind of parent has a balanced life and a balanced focus. They don't neglect their own or their partner's needs over time. Maybe it can be as simple as having your husband put the children to bed, while you take time out shaving your legs, having a bath, rubbing yourself with body lotion and just remembering what it is like to be YOU and not a mum. Maybe you should hire a baby sitter who can watch the children one evening every other week while you and your partner go out to just be a couple.
Since you say you enjoy sex once you get started, your husband and your routines can help you overcome the bump. If you frequently take time out (after the children's bedtime) to just lay together, cuddling and touching with no pressure, you can let your arousal develop naturally. Being stroked, massaged and kissed in a calm and low-stress setting can do wonders for an over-worked mum's libido, in my personal experience :)
Well, this is "normal", yet at the same time - as has been suggested - can go on a long time!
I've given this advice before: you are just going to have to get comfortable with the idea of having sex even if you are not in the mood. Ideally, you will get into it once it starts. But, if not, you can learn to enjoy it if only because it pleases your partner and helps your marriage. That in itself is a very good reason to have sex. You don't need to have sex just because you're horny! There are many, many reasons to have sex.
Hopefully your libido will return in time. Work with your partner to help you get in the mood.
>>Quite a few have said the same thing in these boards. Perhaps it is in part attitudinal or reaction to a cultural conditionate?<<
Or perhaps she's just EXHAUSTED. Sexual energy is excess energy. A woman with two little ones underfoot may not have much excess energy to spare. This is part of my problem, I'm pretty much exhausted all the time. I work 6 days a week at a demanding job, do all the cooking, cleaning, laundry and most of the shopping for our household. In addition I help DH with other odd jobs, like last weekend we put Pergo in our laundry room. Now don't get me wrong, I am very happy to have Pergo in my laundry room, but I don't get why it had to happen on one of the only days I have off. I get 4 days off a month, and we spent one of them putting in flooring!?!? And he says he wants more sex?!?!!? He's home pretty much all the time, (he doesn't work outside the home, and only works very part-time at his photo business.) Could he not have asked one of his son's (we have two, one in college, one who is waiting to get into the airforce and not working at all) to help him with this during the week? Then on Saturday, maybe we could have lingered in bed, or took a 'nap' midday, or whatever...
Ooops, sorry bout that, didn't mean to go on a 'rant' My point is that maybe she's too tired to feel sexual. Or maybe she's spending so much time in 'mommy mode' that she cannot make the shift to 'sexy mode'
I hate to see this all laid at her feet "you have to put your husband first, blah blah blah" Who is putting HER first? Just sayin...
Thank you for saying that, as i was reading the last couple of messagaes they were not the most helpful ones and i really appritiat you standing up for me.
Well, I know there is a delicate balance between taking care of yourself, and being over-indulgent, but I don't believe that most mothers of that age children are erring on the side of indulgences. I am not saying it's not important to have sex, to make time for your relationship, but I am saying that you have to balance things out just right.
I think the first thing you should do is talk to your husband and let him know that you are aware of the situation, and that you are trying to come up with solutions. Seek his assistance, be a team. If you think that having more time away from the kids will help you feel sexy, come up with ways for that to happen. If you think that you are sleep deprived, say so, get his input on it. Ask him if there is something you could do for him, even if you don't want sex, to appease him and hold him over till next time. Some DH's are over the moon to get a quickie, or a hj or bj, others don't want that, find out where he is at on the situation. You might find you are being harder on yourself than he is.
Look, I'm a low-libido woman. Sex is not important to me personally. I and others were asking you to consider having "not in the mood" sex for the sake of your marriage. I thought this strategy might work for you because you stated that you enjoy sex when you get started. Have you considered this suggestion? If it doesn't work for you, can you explain why?