So there it is. I am a mother. And I’m single. (Well, actually I’m currently in the on section of an on/ off relationship but that is a whole other post).
Anyway, I was single from about three months into my pregnancy (also a story for another post), and once I’d got that baby out and got a semblance of something that might be called a life back (and gotten over my deep seated hatred of men) I decided it was time to have sex again. With a man. And not the contents, extensive and exotic as they might be, of my bottom drawer. This was when the trouble started.
How the bloody hell was I supposed to actually a) go out and find a man b) find somewhere for us to do the dirty and c) remove these damn stubborn stretch marks across my stomach/boobs/thighs - i.e. all the good bits?
Well, the internet solved the first dilemma. Sure I can sit at home tapping away to some handsome chap promising him goodies galore when we eventually meet in 2016 when my son graduates school or university - or maybe he'll never leave home because we're stuck in a recession, and I will NEVER HAVE SEX AGAIN. David Cameron, you'd better hope to hell that doesn’t happen [2016? Isn't he about five? More like 2025. Sorry, that's not really helping is it? ].
But b? How do I fix problem b? I can’t take him back to my place. Men aren’t so keen on having their finest moves interrupted by a toddler walking in slamming his beaker down and shouting ‘keep the noise down’.
Okay, that didn’t happen but my two year old woke once a night, every night for, er, well, he’s still doing it actually. And I don’t think he needs to see mummy and Man A practising the Rising Bough sex position at two in the morning. Well, I’m not paying for therapy. I’m a single mother remember?
So that leaves going to his place and gulp, paying for an overnight babysitter. It’s okay, not eating for the rest of the month will help shift those last few pounds of baby weight (custard creams) anyway. Or, going to a hotel. Which, on the one hand makes you feel like a bit of a prostitute, but on the other you don’t have to tidy up or make the bed, someone else has to do it. Hahhahaha, which I now realise, actually makes me happier than the orgasmic sex. Bad luck men.
And c. Well, c was possibly the easiest. Get yourself some of Mama Mio’s magical Goodbye Stretch Marks cream. It works. My bright red stretch marks disappeared. You’ve got to be persistent though, no slacking on the rubbing it in three times a day. Yes, it sounds like a chore, but no one else is rubbing you up so enjoy it.
But what about the actual sex? Well, the thought of being naked in front of someone new with your new mother’s body is pretty scary. Scary enough for me to do the Davina McCall workouts three times a week for ooh, at least two weeks. But you’re probably not out dating two weeks after giving birth so you have time to get used to your body looking different and eventually be at ease with it. Admittedly, I still struggle with the fact that my stomach is not as flat as it once was and my vagina was sewn up by a woman who sat down between my legs, peered in and sucked her teeth before uttering that she didn’t know if she was qualified for this bad a tear *shudders at the memory*.
If I hadn’t just spent all my energy expelling a child from my loins I would have beaten her with the forceps and forced her to fetch the consultant who was qualified. Instead I’m pretty sure my vagina was sewn up as well as a shoddy Primark hem. Oh well, I don’t have to look at it, I suppose.
But the thing is when you eventually meet someone that makes your stomach flip and turns you on again, you’ll feel desired and will stop worrying about how you’re going to look naked in bed. You might have moments of sucking your tummy in and candles rather than daylight may be your friend for the first few goes but if you’re having sex with a guy who really adores you, that’s how you’ll feel, adored. And sexy. Just make sure you come first, after all, you’re a mother and as such always putting someone else first. In bed, you come first.
Another upside is that you will probably have more sex than your married mum friends because your relationship is new and exciting you put the effort in. You might be tired but you still get dolled up and say yes to sex because it’s still new and exciting, rather than conking out on the sofa together at half eight because you’re both knackered and you know what sex is like because you’ve been doing it for ten years. I feel quite smug about this; I think it’s one of the truly great upsides of single motherhood. Shallow? Not to the woman having lots of lovely sex.
However, after the good bit there’s the bad bit. The guilt. For me, I already felt like I failed because I was a single mother. Even if I wasn’t the one who left me pregnant and fucked off around the world for two years having a jolly old time with supermodels in Canada while I struggled to bring up baby. Ahem.
Like I was saying, despite it not being my fault being a good mother means everything feels like your fault. You feel bad that you’re going out and leaving your babe with a babysitter. You feel bad that even though you’re enjoying your date, one part of you is always going to be thinking about your child so no man will ever get all of you again. And worst of all, you feel bad that your son doesn’t have a dad. And let me tell you, just like those last few pounds, guilt is pretty hard to shift. Much easier to forget about when you’re having great sex though, so don’t punish yourself unnecessarily. Good mothers are still allowed to have fun.