Mouths to Feed- Marriage
Real adult answers to real baby questions
It’s funny what a mom will ask me after the doctor leaves the room. She’ll ask about the stuff that’s really, really bugging her. Stuff that may make her “look bad” to other moms or other people. Her scary stuff. After 14 years of being the mommy-daddy-baby nurse, I have decided that the courageous questions deserve courageous answers.
The new mom asking this particular question is routinely characterized by trying too hard. She had glossy mother-infant photos taken immediately after the birth of her baby and pre-addressed her birth announcements. She takes care of her immediate family, extended family, and other people’s families. She is independent, self sufficient, and ahead of the curve on pretty much everything. She is a health care provider’s dream and a husband’s nightmare. She is exhausted. Does she sound familiar?
She exhales and through hands pressed against her face whispers, “Gloria, please explain to me how I’m supposed to be a mother and a lover at the same time? I’m Family Channel all day. I can’t switch to Showtime with the click of a remote.”
I love answering this question. All moms ask it. My theory is that God allowed polygamy among the ancients not only to populate the world, but also to meet the sexual needs of the male without killing the female. Ironically, polygamy died out, but testosterone did not. So, here we are. And Valentine’s Day is over. The women are back in their flannel and the men are wondering what they did wrong. Well, probably nothing. It’s what we all do wrong. We over estimate what our limited bodies can do with the demands of our crowded minds, spending appetites, and aching hearts. Anybody can get psyched about date night on Valentines’ Day. It’s all the other weeks of the year that kick your rear. What can a lover do about it?
Dads first, because it’s your job to steer the ship (focus, boys, you’re gonna want to get this): Sex is spelled T-I-D-E. Put in a load of laundry, dry it, fold it, and put it back. While doing this, tell your wife to go take a quiet, candle-lit bath and you put the baby/kids/pets, etc to bed (bonus points for running the bath and playing a CD to drown out the noise of bedtime). Do the above and wait patiently for your Valentine.
Now moms, it’s your job to keep the crew singing while working on deck: Love is spelled S-E-X. This shouldn’t be news to you, get over it. If your husband executes the above plan, he is “asking” in your language. Sister, you had better deliver. This is not an opportunity to go to bed alone, it’s an invitation to go to bed early together. Trade in the flannel pajamas for an electric blanket and race your Valentine under the covers.
Want to give your children a gift? Stay married. Want to give one to each other? Enjoy it.
Gloria Dudney, RN, IBCLC, RLC is a Board Certified Lactation Consultant and has taught new parent classes for more than 10 years.
Gloria Dudney, RN, IBCLC, RLC