Four days, four weeks, four months? What is an appropriate 'stand-down' period after a new baby arrives? 'Dad matters' columnist Sam Cummins looks at expectations and reality.
There must be a way to talk to about sex that doesn’t make you sound like a truck driver from Murupara or a 63-year-old teaching sex-ed to third formers, but I'm not sure what it is.
Post conception, the whole thing is all over the place. If you're lucky, you might find yourself sleeping next to an insatiable woman with the hormones of a 15-year-old boy for a few months. Or you could just as well find yourself sleeping next to a Carmelite (who hates the way you smell) for nine. It really is a lottery.
Then after nine months, you get to be witness to the amazing thing ever – Life!
But birth is not all Michelangelo’s divine chisel and string quartets. Depending on where you stand and what you see, it's pretty much a Japanese horror movie. All the Ecoya candles and breathing exercises in the world can't separate your retinas from your brain.
You've both probably got a bit of the ol' Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; the guy's is psychological, plus one for mum, and throw in some re-arranged anatomy. It's no surprise the last thing you're thinking about is faire l‘amour.
But as night follows day, and as a testament to testosterone, Mr is going to start getting concupiscent again and be down to get down.
The general consensus seems to be give it four to six weeks to allow a bit of healing, however that seems pretty quick to me. Everyone’s different, and your body is going to be a way better barometer than any blog post. I know some siblings who are barely nine months apart; you can only hope mum and dad shelled out for the private room in Birthcare. Good for them.
Spare a thought for mum though, she’s been split in half, no one’s getting any sleep and the fun bags are now food bags. And then there's the Hormones - that capital H was on purpose. Not the most conducive environment for romance. The last thing that’s going to help is pressure; communication on the other hand is vital to copulation.
I reckon low and slow is the way to go. Adjust your expectations. It might have been a few weeks, but you don't have to start back at it with full-on epic marathon war sex. Things aren't going to be exactly like they were pre-baby, but nothing is.
Get creative, mix it up a bit if you have to. As our near east brethren say, "Same, same but different"
Sam Cummins lives in the Bay of Plenty with his wife and three young sons. In his in-law's garage. Which pretty much sums up everything you need to know about him.
Click on the link to read Sam's 'no holds barred' perspective on people-movers and skateparks.