Lily and her husband had a baby six months ago
Welcome to How I Do It, the series in which we give you a seven-day sneak peek into the sex life of a stranger.
This week, we hear from Lily*, who uses she/they pronouns and is 38. She identifies as bisexual and is married to a man. They recently had a child, and she also has an older son from a previous relationship.
Lily describes their relationship with sex as ‘good, now’ but says it’s taken them a long time and lots of therapy to work through the shame and guilt leftover from abuse they went through as a teenager.
Now, while they wouldn’t mind it if their husband was ‘a bit more kinky’, they feel ‘totally comfortable’ with him.
‘He’s a hot nerd (who doesn’t quite realise how hot he is)’ she adds, ‘and he loves me completely as I am.
‘Since having my six-month-old, I’ve put on some weight and, though I’ve been trying desperately (ish) to lose it, he still looks at me like I’m the sexiest woman in the world.’
Lily, a mum-of-two, describes their family as ‘blended and blessed’. She and her husband co-parent her five-year-old with her ex and his wife.
Without any further ado, here’s how they got on this week…
Warning: The following is, as you might imagine, not safe for work.
Today has been FULL ON. I’m re-establishing my freelance business after a couple of years in a full-time role, and the market is seriously tough. I had to call in some Granny childcare this morning to watch the baby while I had a job interview, then tidied the house and fed bubba before heading out to a meeting.
I meet some potential new contacts, before driving over to pick up my five-year-old son from school. We grab a quick dinner before the joys of parents’ evening.
I barely remember seeing my husband this morning but he’s punctual and present at the meeting with my eldest son’s teacher. We co-parent with my son’s dad and step-mum, but neither of them turns up. I worry about the effect these disappointments will have on my son in later life, but he doesn’t seem to register their absence (or, at least, doesn’t mention it). Still, my husband and I have an irate debrief afterwards.
I love that I ended up with a good man who shows up for my son, even though he’s not his biological father. But just as I start to swoon, my husband is called back into work to deal with a crisis.
I come home and Granny helps me put the kids to bed. I text my husband to tell him how much I appreciate him always showing up for my son, and I’m asleep by the time he gets home.
I have a bit of work on today (hooray) so my husband and I divide and conquer, him taking my son to school and me taking the baby to nursery.
I plough through my to-do list before dashing out to a dentist’s appointment and circling back to pick up the baby. It feels like I’m constantly chasing my tail at the moment, but everyone keeps telling me how quickly these childhood years go and how I should be grateful, so I’m trying not to complain. My eldest is with his dad this weekend, so we are going to see my husband’s family. I haven’t managed to pack yet, but that can wait until tomorrow.
My husband gets home from work at about 6pm and, by some miracle, the baby is in bed by 7.30pm. We finish the final season of Sex Education and head to bed. After putting our phones away and chatting through a successful day under the covers, my husband gives me the eyebrow, which I can never resist.
And because I’m in such a good mood, I even go on top. I don’t think I’ve done that since before I was pregnant, so a good sixteen months. No orgasm for me, but I’m feeling so content about how well the day has gone that I really don’t care. I do, of course, tell my husband that he owes me one – and this elephant never forgets.
We pack up and drive to the Cotswolds to visit my husband’s family. Gathering up all the gubbins you need for a baby means that packing for myself is always an afterthought.
Tonight, I’m going to the theatre with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law, along with my husband’s aunt and cousin. I have very few things I can fit into these days and I worry about pulling together an outfit that actually makes me look and feel good. Luckily, I have a ruffled skirt with a delightfully elasticated waist that still fits.
My husband is on baby duty this evening, so after our long drive, we hang out with my in-laws and feed the baby before setting off.
The show is great and I have a couple of gins after dinner with the girls, but it’s a long drive home and my boobs are like rocks when we get back. My husband is already asleep, so I give the baby a dream feed and snuggle in next to him.
I’m a bit paranoid about whether my husband’s family actually likes me. It comes out at weird times, like when I’ve not slept well or I’m feeling hormonal. It plays on my mind a lot and – they’ve seen some arguments between me and my husband when we were going through a bad patch and I wonder if they secretly regret the day he met me.
I talk through my worries with my husband when we wake up and he is calm and empathetic, which I’m grateful for. There have been times when he gets upset, which I totally get. I love his family, I just feel guilty for the times when things haven’t been perfect between us.
The drive back is a bit fraught. The baby and I are going on to my mum’s so my husband can do two late shifts at work without interrupted sleep.
I kiss my husband goodbye and tell him we will see him on Wednesday after these shifts are over.
I feel really pumped and positive today. I have a lovely brunch with old friends and their new babies, but as the day goes on I receive a rejection for one role and radio silence about the job I interviewed for last week.
When I get back to my mum’s, she helps with the baby and we order Five Guys while I distract myself by finishing off the few small bits of work I have on my plate. Once they’re done, there’s a big fat lot of nothing on the horizon and it terrifies me. My savings are slowly running out and with Christmas around the corner, it’s the worst time of year to be struggling for cash.
Tomorrow is a new day, though. Or so I keep telling myself…
My husband and I have barely spoken today, other than a few texts here and there. When he’s on late shifts he’s busy, so I mostly give him space. Going to bed after a prosecco with my mum will have to do for tonight.
Today, I spent the morning flitting between spending time with my mum and the baby, and firing out job applications and pitches on email. It feels like for every 30 jobs I apply for, I maybe hear back about one.
It’s hard to keep picking yourself up as a working mum. We literally can’t pay our bills unless I work and I’m currently taking handouts from my folks to cover nursery fees (another thing I feel guilty about). I am so grateful to Pregnant Then Screwed for the work they do campaigning for mums like me to get more childcare support.
This afternoon, my mum helps out with childcare so I can go visit my best friend’s new baby in London and then go for my first night out with friends since my youngest was born. Two very talented women in my circle have written a book and I’m lucky enough to be invited to the star-studded launch party. I have barely had time to eat though, so the champagne goes straight to my head.
Though I don’t remember this until I’m reminded the next day, I call my husband on the way home and tell him how sexy I think he is, how I want him to put it in me and – for some unknown reason – compare my neglected and overgrown bush to a jumper my puss is wearing for winter.
Yikes. If I ever have sex again, it’ll be a miracle.
I wake up feeling totally rough. The baby was up every two hours and my head is pounding. I drink all the water and pop some paracetamol as I die slowly.
My husband drives over to pick me and the baby up and immediately sends me to bed for a nap. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.
I feel so much better after a sleep and we drive to pick up my son from school (via KFC) and take him to his swimming lesson. When we get home, I chuck in a batch of Costco bake-at-home cookies and we snuggle on the sofa to watch yesterday’s Bake Off.
After the boys are in bed, I remind my husband of his IOU, but as I’m having afreshen-up downstairs, I notice a sore, red patch of skin near my vulva. Cue me lying on the hallway floor getting hubby to check it’s nothing more than my usual chub rub/eczema – talk about terrible foreplay. Still, once we are convinced my labia are not about to fall off, it’s into bed for a tickle of my pickle.
I wish someone had told me when I was young that this was what sex was like when you were married – ridiculous, somewhat sporadic but full of fun, safety, and comfort. With kids, work, and family commitments, sex is often the last thing on our minds but when it does happen, it makes me feel like the pieces of our puzzle just click.
I love my husband so much and though I don’t look and feel my best, I’m glad I can still raise more than a smile when I get my kit off. Find yourself a person who adores you at any size – and who you can laugh about the messiness of the human body with.
*Names have been changed.
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‘When sex does happen, it makes me feel like the pieces of our puzzle just click.’ or perhaps we’re just horny.