Sex and the Mommy Brain

The Mommy Brain (see yesterday) changes pretty much everything – inducing sex. Aside from a baby means exhaustion and lack of sleep, there are other factors at work. The Mommy Brain does not go off duty – somewhere inside the mind of a woman with a baby is a part that is always listening for any hint the baby needs something. Additionally, marital cuddling and sex are no longer the primary source of oxytocin – contact with baby is now a greater source of the bonding and the feel good hormone.

The Mommy Brain is not specifically opposed to sex, but sex is not nearly as high a priority for the Mommy Brain as it was prior to baby. If you can be patient and learn how to roll with the Mommy Brain, you will do better, but the bottom line is that sex will never be as it was before. Accept this, and accept it’s not your bride’s fault, and you will both survive better. The good news is her brain is going to change again as she and the children age, and when the kids are all teens she may develop an interest in sex that seems like an attempt to make up for lost time. The man who supports and loves his wife through the “mommy years” is far more likely to be chased by his wife down the road.

A few ideas for sex during the mommy years:

  • The switch from mommy to lover is not easy. She can’t go from doing mommy things to being sexual without some transition time. Reducing her responsibility with the kids in the evening will help a lot. If you become the one who puts them to bed you give her the mental break she needs and she gets to bed less tired.
  • If one of the kids interrupts sex, you can deal with it and go back to feeling sexual – she probably cannot. So be the one to deal with it – but be sure you take the time your bride needs you to take so she feels you have lovingly taken care of her child.  Also, she will need to know what the issue was and how it was resolved before she can get her mind back to sex, so offer information on your return and give her a few moments to process.
  • Sometimes sex with the Mommy Brain is not going to result in her having a climax, which may be fine with her. If she wants it, by all means do whatever it takes to provide it, but don’t push her when she does not want to, or cannot, reach climax. Also, don’t say no to sex because you know or suspect she won’t climax. Unlike men, many women can want sex when they know they will not climax, and can enjoy it without climax. She still benefits physically, mentally, and relationally.
  • Sometimes she needs to be sexual with you, even knowing full well she won’t get there physically. Don’t deny her because of your ego. (Yeah, this is the same as the one above, but it’s important enough to repeat.)
  • She needs to know being a mommy has not made her less desirable to you. She wants you to see her as sexy, and she needs to hear from you she is sexy.
  • She needs nap time for her sanity, and it is unlikely sex will be top of her list when the baby naps. Let her know you are willing if she ever wants to, but you do not expect it and will not ask.
  • If the kids are old enough to be left to entertain themselves, get up on Saturday morning, get them breakfast, put VeggieTales on the TV, and go back to bed.
  • Giving her a mom’s night out, or taking all the kids some place on Saturday (leaving her at home alone) will bless her. This is also likely to result in her being more into sex.

4 Comments on “Sex and the Mommy Brain

  1. Been there, done all that, never did any good anyways.

  2. And here you wrote this all down in a few days and I had to fiqure this all out on my own for the last 20 years! Well, it was fun. And will continue to be fun.

  3. @ eppvolvo – Wish I’d known this stuff when my son was born eighteen years ago. I have no doubt I damaged our relationship in general and our sexual relationship in particular out of ignorance and impatience. I thank God my bride is loving and forgiving!

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