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Are you and your spouse parenting babies and littles? Props to you.
THAT is an exhausting time in the epic parenting saga that became your life when your first little chickadee crashed your party of two.
Maybe more wee ones have joined since then, and you have a whole entourage that never seems to stop wanting food and juice boxes and clean knickers and someone to stop them from sticking forks into outlets.
Selfish little heathens.
Anyway, I’m sure you love them with all your heart, as all good parents do. BUT boy can they sabotage the sexual intimacy, right?! Yikers.
You’re sleep-deprived. You maybe didn’t shower today. Or yesterday. The house looks like the toy section of Target had a collision with a sloppy restaurant kitchen in the seedy party of town. Things are a mess.
“Sex?! Where can we squeeze that in?! Isn’t that what got us into this predicament in the first place?! you lament, all glossy eyed and sporting your best mismatched pajamas.
I get it. I was at one time where you are now. My little heathens are now 15 and 21, so I haven’t had to worry about anyone sticking a fork in a socket for longer than I can remember.
But let me offer up some talk that I managed to walk back in the day when my kids were littles. You can’t put sex on the back burner indefinitely. This whole idea that “we will have time when…” just never pans out like you think it’s going to.
Sure, it’s going to take a little more intention than when you didn’t have kids, but make it your normal to not let intimacy slide and you’ll be grateful. So will your kids.
It’s probably the greatest fallacy of parenting — that the next season will be monumentally easier than the one you are in now. What really happens is your parenting responsibilities and energies just shift; they look different, but are equally consuming.
Babies are demanding and toddlers are dangerous if left on their own, but grade schoolers bring with them a fair amount of Scout meetings, athletic practices and school slips that need to be signed.
Sure, most middle-schoolers can manage their own homework and make their own snacks, but their leash is now longer and their bedtimes later. And those later teen years? Well, by then you’re doing your best to stay on top of their driving, their SAT and ACT scores, their friendships and their extra-curricular activities.
And then they often head to college. Well, that’s no walk in the park either, as you’re stocking dorm rooms, figuring out the FAFSA form (don’t ask. you’ll learn soon enough), and paying ridiculous amounts for textbooks and parking spots on campus.
My point? You will never have “more” time later for sex. And the older you get, you likely won’t have more energy either. It is absolutely vital that you figure out how to nurture and enjoy sex at every parenting stage. Absolutely. Vital.
Sometimes you just have to push the laundry off the bed, leave the dishes till morning, put the kids to bed early and make love. And by “sometimes” I mean as often as possible. If you keep telling yourself you’ll have more time later, later will eventually arrive. But by then you may find the distance between the two of you too big of a gap to bridge. Just keeping it real.
Those little tykes are the product of your love, and they need to know the two of you are indeed in love. No, they aren’t privy to your lovemaking, but they should be privy to seeing appropriate and genuine affection between the two of you. It’s good for them.
One of the great tragedies that happens in too many marriages is that when a baby arrives, a husband and wife lose themselves and their relationship completely into the roles of being a mom and a dad. I’m not downplaying the significance of being a parent.
But there is no more impactful role on your family than who you are as husband and wife. Make that relationship a priority, not to the neglect of your children but for the benefit of them. Your children need a mama and daddy who are lovers.
Sex and orgasmic pleasure are incredible when it comes to relieving stress. Being in the throes of parenting babies and littles isn’t a time to be dismissing stress relief. It’s a time to be pursuing it!
Be intentional about your lovemaking, and I believe you will find you are more patient with each other and have a better sense of individual well being, too.
Sexual release does your body good! Sexual closeness with the person you love does your outlook good! All these incredible things happen in our bodies when we have sex. This is one of the most enjoyable and least expensive forms of stress relief around! All it costs you is a little time, a little foreplay, a little effort.
I’ve often said that a lot of great sex can be had in 20 minutes. And wow what it does to relieve stress!
I couldn’t tell you one detail about how messy or not messy my house was when my children were toddlers. I can’t recall if indeed there was “a place for everything and everything must be in place.” But I doubt it.
Here’s the thing. What needs to get done gets done. Stop saying there isn’t time for sex in your busy, chaotic, jam-packed life. There is. There is time for sex and for all the other stuff that needs to get done.
And the stuff that doesn’t really need to get done? You’ll learn to let it go. Trust me.
I read somewhere that a child under the age of 18 months doesn’t even comprehend that his mother isn’t just an extension of himself. He literally believes she is just part of him, there to meet his every whim and desire.
What happens in too many homes is that children never outgrow this. They have parents who haven’t given them the opportunity to learn that life doesn’t always revolve around them. Your sexual intimacy and your connection as a husband and wife is an aspect of your life that isn’t really about your kids. And it’s more than okay for your kids to learn this lesson.
So stop treating your marital relationship like it is a second class citizen in the hierarchy of priorities. Your marriage and your sexual relationship are of tremendous importance to the health of your family. One of the greatest gifts a married couple can give their children is the not-so-subtle reality that everything in life isn’t about them.
My hope is that you feel empowered and inspired to not let parenting littles derail your sexual intimacy. You two were lovers before you were parents. Don’t lose sight of being lovers. You’ve got this! You can be fabulous parents and intentional passionate lovers!
Oh and I have a 5 video series available on building better sex in your marriage. Great way to invest in your marriage! You can find out all about it at this link: Better Sex in Your Christian Marriage.
Copyright 2020, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.