So what happens to your relationship once you have a baby? Most young parents say the same thing – if before you could spend the entire Sunday in bed indulging in each other’s company, well apparently after the baby everything changes. It’s no longer about you, it’s no longer about sex and it’s no longer about looking good and staying fit. But there has got to be a way to trick this “natural progression”, which may seem inevitable at first.
So I decided to ask around and feature each month a new mom of the month who appears to be ahead of the game and find out how she does it. Introducing this month’s Hot Mama of the Month Lina and her interview below:
Q How long have you been in your current relationship and how old is your baby/kids?
A We’ve been together for 2.5 years and our beautiful son Nikkolas Ocean is 17 months old. In case you’re trying to do the math – yes – we got pregnant after being together for just over 4 months, but no – it wasn’t an accident! J We were just very lucky to realize almost right away that we were meant to be together and decided to let things’ happen’ when they did naturally.
Q What is your profession and do you work?
A I studied Retail Management and then Aesthetics and Spa Therapy and have managed Hair Salons and Spas for a few years before having Nikkolas. I took an extended maternity leave as I couldn’t bear the thought of sending my baby to daycare before his first birthday. As Nikki turned 16 months old, however, I felt that he was ready to get out of the house and meet some people his age J and I was ready to get back to ‘grown-up’ world, so Nikkolas started daycare and I’m currently looking at a few different job options.
Q Are you happy with how you look? Is there before and after baby difference?
A I’m generally quite happy with my looks. There is certainly a difference between my pre and post pregnancy body. At first it was quite an adjustment to realize that none of my favorite jeans fit me anymore, but there is something to be said about the amazing transformation the woman’s body goes through that ultimately allows it to help bring a new life into this world. Embracing the deeper meaning of these changes made me gain a new appreciation for my somewhat curvier and more feminine shape.
Q What makes you feel the sexiest? As in what kind of rituals do you have for looking and feeling good that you absolutely cannot live without?
A Well, for me the biggest sexy-confidence booster is my sweet hubby’s, ahem, appreciation for my body. The way he looks at me and the things he says always make me feel loved, wanted and ultimately sexy as well. But, of course, there are definitely some rituals that also contribute to making me feel attractive and confident. It can be as simple as taking a shower that is longer than the usual 15-minute ones that I’ve mastered after becoming a mom J, and really taking the time to pamper myself with a nice body exfoliating scrub, a hair treatment or even an aromatic bath. It doesn’t happen all too often but when it does it feels as good as a trip to the spa J. Also, getting dressed up, doing my hair and taking a little more time to do my make-up when we go out instantly makes me feel sexier.
Q What is your motivation to make an effort to look good? Some married women/women with kids stop trying.
A Well, for me looking good equals feeling good so that is definitely my biggest motivation! There is just something about taking care of yourself that makes you feel alive and give’s you energy to take on your busy life. Yes, I might not be able to keep up with the same beauty regimen I had before having my son, but I definitely believe that as long as you don’t give up on yourself and keep trying, there are huge benefits to your self esteem and confidence levels that definitely make those efforts worth your while. Of course, looking good for my hubby and knowing he appreciates it is another huge motivator!
Q What is your weekly workout routine?
A Well, to be honest, since having my son there just wasn’t much time in my day to devote to a real, structured exercise regimen, but as many moms may know, running after and constantly lifting and carrying a 17-month-old boy in efforts to prevent his curiosity from getting him in trouble, can certainly feel like an actual workout . However, now, with Nikkolas in daycare and with a bit more free time on my hands I am really looking forward to going back to practicing hot yoga which is my all time favorite way to break a sweat, de-stress and clear my mind at the same time. I also enjoy swimming as it is a whole body workout without any strain on my joints which is very important to me as I have a pretty bad back-pain problem. Of course, I would also love to include some Kama classes in my overall workout routine.
Q Do you find your sexual appetite has changed after giving birth?
A Well, how shall I answer this one… Appetite wise nothing has changed. Always had a pretty good one and still do! Let’s just say that in the first 8 or even 10 weeks after delivering my 4.1kg baby boy, when I was pretty much fantasizing about being able to order a brand new ‘hoo-hoo’ on ebay J as the one I had was NOT in good shape at all, the thought of sex was definitely a bit on the scary side. After waiting for 10 long weeks to heal and being very excited about finally ‘giving it a try’ our first attempt brought to mind Madonna’s classic (you guessed it – ‘Like a Virgin’ J ) and made me wonder if things would ever get back to the way they used to be. But, as time went by and my, ahem, nether regions made a full recovery, our sex life is back to its fabulous self!
Q How do you de-stress and get into the mood?
A Well, getting in the mood has never really been an issue for either of us J. We might not be able to be as spontaneous as we used to be when it was just the two of us, but we’ve definitely been lucky enough to able to keep our passion for one another alive. I think that even though having a baby certainly changes the dynamics of most couples’ sex lives; it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. You can always find a silver lining to just about anything and embracing those changes really puts things into perspective. For example, yes, you might be tired and stressed out after a long day of taking care of your child and/or working, but then when the baby is finally asleep and you have the chance to enjoy each other’s company you learn to truly appreciate those moments and not take them for granted. Also, a really big mood booster for me is creating a very cozy, relaxing atmosphere in the bedroom. Whenever I get the chance I try to have fresh flowers, some lovely aromatic candles and of course a nice bottle of wine to turn our bedroom into a sexy couples’ retreat.
Q What was the most pleasant surprise he ever came home to?
A Although I admittedly haven’t done anything crazy or elaborate to surprise him, I know that he loves coming home to a delicious dinner and some wine, followed by quality one-on-one time with me, so I always try to come up with new ways to spice things up both in the kitchen and in the bedroom J! Also, every once in a while, he’ll come home and I’ll be all dressed up, with hair and make-up done and I’ll notify him that our baby is sleeping, my mom is babysitting and we’re going out on a date. We don’t need a special occasion to do it, in fact I feel that it’s those spontaneous dates that are the most fun and really help keep things exciting and interesting!
Q In your opinion, what are some don’ts in a relationship that kill passion? For example, some believe that each partner must ideally have their own bathroom and what happens in there should always be a mystery.
A I definitely agree with the fact that some things are better left behind closed doors. There is definitely something to be said about feeling comfortable around each other, and it really is very important, however, there is a fine line between comfort and ‘letting it all hang out’! For example, I really don’t think it’s necessary for my hubby to watch me shave my legs or give myself a pedicure. I think it’s a lot more attractive to just present myself to him when I’m all done and looking and feeling fabulous! Another big passion killer in my opinion is when people let stress get to them and ultimately take it out on each other in the form of small bickering and nitpicking. I think it’s a universal thing that most couples experience so being aware of it and making an effort to not let that happen is really important and can make a huge difference in the relationship in general and in the passion department in particular. Not taking each other for granted is also super important! Passion really is like a fire and it’s up to both partners to continuously keep feeding it to keep it strong!