Let me know if this sounds familiar – the end of the day comes and you’re exhausted. You know that sex is important, but really… so is sleep. Right?
I could tell a relatable story here about how sex has changed since my husband and I got married nearly eleven years ago and we had our three kids, but let’s be honest… we don’t know each other that well yet. So let’s just say that I get it.
I get that making time for and being intentional about connecting intimately with our husbands can feel like one more thing on our to-do lists at any point of motherhood. But I think that the early years especially can create significant space between husbands and wives.
Not only are we exhausted, but we often have other people in bed with us – babies who are nursing or littles who are sleeping with us. Even families who enforce strict independent sleep routines might still have a child who has a bad dream and crawls in between mommy and daddy.
In addition to this, many of us have to come to terms with our post baby bodies. And as we wrestle with our own feelings concerning our new bodies, we also have to work through what we think our husbands are thinking of our new bodies. (Even if they say they’re still very much attracted to us). We might not be less confident, but there is often some sort of a shift in how we feel about how we look.
And if we can get past all these challenges, we know what happens on the nights we say yes and go for it. We have to be quiet because the baby is sleeping in the next room or in the bassinet. And we have to be quick in case someone wakes up and needs us (and kills the mood forever). Or we wonder if our older kids are really asleep.
Look, we all know that what happens on the other side of your bedroom door matters in your marriage. We know that sex is important, but we also know that children have a way of remaking the marriage bed.
So what’s the secret to having great sex despite all of those challenges? How is connecting intimately at the “end of the day” even possible if we are exhausted and would rather just watch Netflix and… actually chill?
Lean in close, sister, the answer is simple and yet profound. Are you ready? The key to great sex after your names become mom and dad is this…
Connect during the day.
What do I mean by that? Well, think back to the beginning when you first fell in love. There wasn’t just attraction, there was time spent talking with each other, holding hands, touching before any sort of intimate touching took place. (Is this conversation making anyone else uncomfortable?)
There was romance.
It makes sense, but we often forget that all of the little things that take place before we ever reach our bedroom door make anything on the other side of it feel possible.
The truth is, ladies, romance today might look like paying attention when your husband tells you about his day. It might look like focusing on what he’s saying even if your kids are demanding your attention at the same time. It might look like placing your hand on his back or reaching out for physical connection just because. It might look like being genuinely happy to see him and not just happy to have someone else around to care for the kids.
Husbands, romance might look like helping her with whatever she is capable of doing herself… without her having to ask you to do it. It might mean recognizing her exhaustion and doing something about it (even though you are beyond tired too). It might look like seeing her as your bride and not just the woman who keeps your family going. It might look like telling her that you still see and love her.
The key to great sex now that we are parents is connecting as husband and wife in the middle of everything else… before we are ever alone. And that is something we can do right now in order to prepare for later tonight.
I know that it is possible to rediscover our marriages in the middle of being mom and dad. It takes intentional effort… but, friend, it’s always always worth it.
Who knew the key to great sex was right in front of us?
Portions of the article above have been adapted from my book, Love Unending: Rediscovering Your Marriage in the Midst of Motherhood. You can find your copy at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Target, or any Christian bookstore.