Lately, my fiance and I have been discussing starting a family and while we’re excited about it, I’d be lying if I said that I don’t have one serious reservation. Mainly, what if he doesn’t want me anymore after I become a mom?
Just because he’s a father doesn’t mean he won’t be interested in other women. I’ve had so many dads flirt and show interest in me over the years. Was it fun? Sure, but deep down, I knew they had wives they were committed to (or at least should’ve been). These women were bearing and raising their children. And while I know these men probably still loved their wives, that didn’t stop them from hitting on me. I’m not saying this is right or wrong or acceptable, I’m saying it happens. Why would my guy be any different?
A lot of guys can’t handle how women change in motherhood. Pregnancy is an exciting time, full of cute photos, nursery shopping, and baby showers. But once that baby’s born, reality hits hard. I know I’m going to be tired. I know I’m going to have baby fat. I know I’m going to have to wear “mom clothes” for a while. No offense, but I’m not even attracted to that future version of myself. I have a hard time imaging that he will be.
My body won’t be the same. Sure, my boobs are going to get bigger, but I won’t be a Playboy cover girl. Those boobs are going to be engorged, cracked, and leaking with milk and I’m probably going to end up with tiger stripe stretch marks. How sexy. I know I can lose the baby fat and get back into shape, but that doesn’t mean all the pretty, baby-less girls are going to magically disappear until I’m back to my former self. They’re still going to be around and he’s going to notice them. Can I compete with them?
It’s totally possible that my libido will disappear, at least for awhile. It’s only natural for your libido to go on hiatus after you give birth. It’s nature’s way of making sure your baby can survive. It’s also nature’s way of screwing with your sex life. I know there may be a month or two (or more) where sex is the last thing I’ll want. That doesn’t mean he’ll stop wanting it, though, and that scares me. How can I be sure he won’t look for it elsewhere?
My vagina might not feel the same. I like my body, and I finally feel like I’ve embraced and accepted what I’ve got down there. Once that baby pops out, though, it’s all going to change. I feel like I’m already grieving about it. I don’t want to be stretched out, even temporarily. I don’t want to lose sexual pleasure and I don’t want him to lose that either. I know that women still have great sex after they have babies, and lots of it too, but I’m still worried that my vagina will never be the same and neither will the sex I have with him. I know that probably sounds dumb but it’s a legitimate fear.
Will he care more about our daughter than me? If we have a girl and she becomes a daddy’s girl, I’m worried that my guy might favor that relationship over ours. I know this happens a lot and the envy and rejection moms feel turns them into passive aggressive and bitchy housewives. What makes me think I’m above these feelings if it happened to me?
Will my role as a mother replace my role as a lover? Having a child is a huge responsibility and I’m up totally for that. I want to be an attentive and present parent. Plus, your kids need you a lot, so you kind of have to be there 24/7. But I’m afraid I’m going to go from one extreme to another, that I’ll be a 100% mom and 0% lover. I’m not sure if I can balance both, and that means my husband will get the short end of the stick.
I worry that my guy won’t embrace parenting in the same way I do and it’ll put distance between us. Let’s face it, we still live in a sexist world and my boyfriend comes from a culture where women are the primary homemakers. He’s great with kids and he wants them too, but I know he’s still influenced by his upbringing, where his mom and dad played very different roles. I want him to be an emotionally present parent and not just an authority figure. He never saw this modeled and while he’s not opposed to it, I know old habits die hard.
Affairs happen. Men don’t necessarily cheat because they don’t love you anymore or because they’re inherently bad. Sometimes they cheat because they had an opportunity and they took it. For them, it might not mean all that much. When my post-pregnancy body hits the scene, cheating is a possibility and I may never find out about it. I’m not sure if that’s a pessimistic view so much as it is a realistic attitude. Either way, I don’t like it.
He might not like the mother I become. Everyone says you’re never really ready to become a parent and that we all learn as we go. But sometimes doing your best isn’t good enough. I know I’m pretty chill and fun now, but will my children change me for the better or (oh God!) for the worse? Will I become someone I don’t recognize or someone who’s ashamed of herself? I’ve seen it happen and I don’t think I’m immune to this risk.
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