My husband had my six-week postnatal appointment marked on his calendar. For new mums, this milestone marks the date when her doctor checks her out and makes sure she’s recovering well from giving birth. For new dads, it marks the day the doctor confirms his lady’s lady parts are open for business. My husband awaited this appointment as if he were a child waiting for Santa. The pressure of his anticipation made me dread my doctor's OK — and the sex.
New dads, if you're really hoping to get lucky sooner rather than later post-baby, here are six things that will increase your odds:
Ditch your sympathy bump. It sucks to hear it, but you’ve let yourself go. When you’re eating chips off your chest hair and wearing a pair of boxer shorts you just picked up off the floor, your wife is watching…and she’s totally grossed out. And while she may have a tiny belly because a human baby used to live inside, you have a giant belly because you’ve been mainlining pizza since the little one came along (and that doesn't even count all the pregnancy cravings you gave in to). You want to get some? Hit the treadmill.
Help out around the house. Remember getting hot and heavy on the couch before you went in for the big move? Well, that’s not the kind of foreplay I’m talking about. I’m talking about married lady/mom foreplay, which consists of you washing the dishes or taking the trash out. Mums always have a pileup of to-do lists and laundry. So if you’d help more with the lists and the laundry, she won’t think you were such a jerk for wanting to have sex when the clothes are begging to be folded.
Time it right. It's hard for her to get in the groove — even if it's a quickie — if the baby is fussing in another room. Best time for you to get lucky? Right after the baby goes to bed or before your baby wake up (if you don’t have an early riser).
Set the mood. You got a babysitter and made a great dinner reservation, fully expecting that steak for two and Pinot would lead to a nice sex romp back at home. Wrong. Here’s a tip: Ladies don’t like to feel fat when they’re naked. That amazing dinner is going to make her feel like a linebacker for the Jets. So either eat lighter or have the sitter come early and entertain the kids while you and she quietly do your thing before that fancy dinner. Trust me, she’ll be far more into it.
Make her feel pretty. Women need to feel gorgeous to have sex. A day in a mum’s life makes her feel anything but. So help her out! Do bath time with the baby so she has a few minutes to herself. Treat her to a postnatal massage. And don’t scrutinise the Visa bill and grill her about the $200 she spent on her sexy new haircut. The prettier she feels, the more she’ll want to be with you.
Let her decompress. The baby needs her all day long. When you walk in the door begging for sex, you look to her like one more person who needs something from her. So without asking, tell her you’ve got the baby and the clean up; that will give her time to go to yoga, watch The Real Housewives, or catch up on her book. Everybody needs to decompress. Men decompress by having sex. Mums decompress by being left alone. So give her some quiet time. It’ll be worth it.
Don't pile on the pressure. New mums feel pressure every day, all day long. Sex should be fun, not one more thing she wants to mark off her to-do list. So avoid saying things like, "Let's have the best sex ever tonight." And try not to remind her how many days it's been since you two last had sex. If getting intimate with you becomes another responsibility, she won't want to do it.