We are introducing a new segment here at One Moms World! From time to time, I am going to invite different mothers who I really look up to, to provide a guest post. Each of these moms will share a wealth of knowledge with us and the best part is that we all share the same parenting views. Enjoy!
Today's guest post is a from a good friend I met online a couple years ago. She is a fun, loving and an extremely cool mom. Just who am I talking about? Well of course the wonderful Carrie Lauth. Carrie has served in her community as a volunteer breastfeeding counselor and educator, leading classes that teach how childbirth choices impact breastfeeding outcomes, how Moms can improve their family's eating habits, and helping Moms one on one overcome breastfeeding challenges and have positive experiences. Carrie loves to discuss all aspects of pregnancy, natural birth and alternative birthing options, breastfeeding, alternative health, home schooling, nutrition and natural parenting topics. Make sure you go and listen to her weekly radio show at Natural Moms Talk Radio. As most know co-sleeping has a strong place in my heart and I get the question all the time of how my hubbs and I can be intimate with each other, so I asked my good friend Carrie Lauth to come be a guest poster today to talk about this very topic? Enjoy the great read!
Many people who are opposed to the idea of the family bed will contend that cosleeping interferes with marital intimacy. Those who embrace it think that these people lack imagination! What's the truth? Does the family bed wreck your marriage and prevent intimacy? Most parents will probably agree that the many changes that occur when you go from "couple" to "family" bring challenges to a marriage. At the same time, having children together can deepen and add meaning to a marriage. Additionally, it's not having a baby in the bed that makes intimacy difficult – it's having a baby, period, that makes couple time challenging. For Mom, breastfeeding and attachment parenting mean that you're having a physically intimate relationship with another human being. The physical and emotional contact Mom has with the new baby makes it challenging to transition back to "wife" at the end of the day. Interestingly, some women find that birth and breastfeeding make them feel beautiful and powerful, and that feeling follows into the bedroom. At the same time, other women feel all "touched all" at the end of the day and because of hormonal changes and fatigue, intimacy is more challenging. Husbands need to be understanding of that. Communication is key here. Make sure he understands that your interest level is not a rejection of him but that it's about your current feelings, which will change as you adjust to life with baby (and if you don't believe this, say it anyway!). Let him know that you need a little more time and help feeling like a wife again. Talk about how the changes that are going on with your body (including your appearance) affect your interest level. The wife isn't the only one who is affected by the new baby. Many times, especially if Mom is staying home, Dad is facing an increased financial burden, longer work hours, maybe even more responsibility around the house with chores and caring for other children. He may be tired and overwhelmed by his new family responsibilities, which, if he's a good guy, he will feel quite deeply. At the end of a long day in the "big bad world", he wants to have the comfort of home. Both Mom and Dad would do well to avoid the "who had the worst day" contest. Noone wins. That doesn't mean you shouldn't rely on each other for emotional support, because you should. However, put on your best face for the first few moments as you reconnect as a family. Mom may need to let Dad have some "cave time" to decompress at the end of the day. This might mean giving him time to shower, putz around in the garage for awhile, or eat dinner before he's expected to be emotionally and physically available. At the same time, Dad can learn to adjust to Mom's changing experience. A little imagination and flexibility goes a long way. If both parents are convinced of the benefits of cosleeping, they will work out any challenges. As an example, a guest bed, sofa, even the floor can be utilized for couple time once baby is asleep. With both parties working towards good communication and understanding, things will work out nicely… at least until baby wakes up!