A survey out this week by Netmums found that more than three in four women have less sex after they have children and 43% of those surveyed feel that after giving birth, their other half doesn't see them in a romantic light anymore. Half accused their husbands of 'forgetting' who they were since becoming a mother.
Is there any wonder? I'm surprised the figures are so low, frankly. Most women feel like service stations for the entire family after they have a baby. And after an exciting career life in the fast lane, it's no mystery that many women feel they got a raw deal.
Then again, surely the problem starts in the delivery room.
Maybe there's something to be said for the days when a woman and her doc were left to their own devices while a man paced outside eagerly awaiting his beautifully presented babe. It's hard to imagine how he could think of his lover the same way again after witnessing a labour, even if a woman does demand he stay toward the top end of the bed.
Sure, modern men should be congratulated for rolling up their sleeves and venturing into the rather messy business of childbirth, but it must be a shocking departure in the way a man sees his girl.
Feminists, go ahead and rant that this shouldn't be the case, but the figures don't lie.
In fact, the reality crystallises once a couple arrives home with the new baby. The woman is usually up all night, spends weeks on end shattered, often forgeting to wash her face, let alone pick out a hot little skirt to put on in time for when Mr. Wonderful gets home from work. Please.
She's lucky if she even gets her cardigan on right side out, let alone find 'me time' to look glam.
By the end of the day when daddy arrives, she's positively ready to flee screaming, that is, if she's not covered in carrot puree while he sits alone at the table eating pizza because she's working on the next day's batch of homemade organic baby chicken casserole with sweet potato and apple.
Surely it's progress that men are more involved in every element of childcare these days, especially when most women are also juggling careers. Nonetheless, it's unclear why women in this study seem to think that men are to blame for not finding their wives 'sensual' and 'feminine', and most blame their beaus for having 'baby blinkers'.
Many women themselves don't feel particularly attractive after childbirth, as the study points out, and have also forgotten who they were before they had children. Why are the guys to blame?
If anything, it seems mothers are the ones that experience 'baby blinkers'. It's natural. A new baby takes centre stage on arrival and there's little time or energy to worry about hubster when there merest short breath or whimper resonates like an alarm in the mind of a new mum.
What's to be done? I don't think blaming dads is the answer.
We live in a mobile society where many women don't have the type of support in the first year after childbirth that they might have had in yesteryear. That must put strains on the romantic side of a relationship. And no matter how much we expect to be equal to men, there is no denying that our biological inheritance means we are different. For most women, becoming a mother is a final confirmation of womanhood. In the 21st century, it doesn't come without its costs.
Perhaps smart girls minimise the messiness and chaos for their men in the first few months of having a new baby. Maybe there's an argument for scaling back their role from birth to six months, and taking full responsibility for all the baby's needs, including feeding and routine sleep schedules. The maternity leave in the UK is generous enough to allow this type of division of labour.
At the very least that leaves time for supper with Romeo. Even if you have baby sick on one shoulder, it's less noticeable by candlelight.
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