I am eternally grateful for my mommy friends. They helped me navigate a period in my life that felt especially confusing and lonely. With all of the hurdles we face, Black mothers definitely need each other, and while I have known this to be true since very early into my motherhood journey, this past weekend reminded me why.
Sunday, I had the privilege of attending Momference, an annual conference for Black millennial mothers hosted by District Motherhued. One session in particular that stood out to me during this year’s digital event was Mommy Between The Sheets. Moderated by Nikki Osei-Barrett and featuring the women of the Babies x Bellinis podcast, Mommy Between The Sheets candidly addressed longterm intimacy issues moms face following the birth of their children and how to push through the postpartum sex struggle. Here are four tips I picked up from the chat.
Talk to your girls
“Sex is revered as such a taboo topic and sex is not taboo. I see your child. You have a baby in a stroller,” said Babies x Bellini’s Ericka. “In the same way that we now talk about postpartum and all of the things that you go through with the emotions and the tears and the crying and not feeling connected with your baby, the same way that we talk about those things now, are the same ways that we should talk about sex. We should embrace sex. The next woman may be having the same issue like, ‘I just don’t feel like having sex with my husband.’ But everybody wants to be so tight-lipped. Not everything that happens behind closed doors needs to stay behind closed doors. You, sis, can help the next sis.”
Babies x Bellini’s Kay Alex added, “The transparency is important. There’s a lot of different changes that come from motherhood. “The last thing you think is, ‘I’m not going to have the same sex drive. I’m not going to feel good about myself in bed. I’m not going to confidently be able to get on top of my man. Those are the little things you don’t hear.’ It makes you feel isolated. You already feel isolated in motherhood and then you’re like, ‘Wow, this too?'”
Consider what changes you want to make for yourself
“There was a time when he told me, ‘You kind of let yourself go. You’ve kind of gained some weight. I come home and you don’t even boil water.” It was just like pow pow pow,’ said Babies x Bellini’s Casey. “I’m like, you don’t see these humans walking around. Kay Alex and Ericka were really there for me. I had to make a decision like, ‘Okay, am I going to lose the weight because I want to or because of him?’ Once I decided that this was what I want to do, I was able to pick up the pieces. If you don’t want to do things for yourself, you can just forget about that sh-t. Period.”
Take me time
Additionally, Kay Alex prescribed alone time for busy moms — even if it means waking up early to get it.
“I’ve learned to wake up before the boys at this point because then I’ll have my moment to myself,” she said. “Because I had the morning, I can have my night.”
Sexting, toys, plus the “stop and drop”
In addition to connecting with girlfriends and practicing self-care, the panel had some other helpful suggestions for infusing excitement into your sex life, which include sexting and introducing toys such as vibrators. Lastly, it was recommended to approach sex with the stop and drop approach. Essentially, this means dropping everything when the mood hits and doing the deed. You can hear more about that on Season 1: Episode 30 of Babies X Bellinis here.