Mother’s Day is a great prompt to think about life as a parent and the challenges we face. Balancing parenthood, work life, relationship life, and our sex life, balance what balance……….. I can hear a resounding groan. I understand, believe me I do parenting equals busy, kids can be demanding and energy draining. I get it as a mother, partner and business leader. Given all the demands on us it is common for our sex lives to suffer as a result, the last thing we feel like doing at the end of the day is enjoying sex. Yes even as a sexologist I understand this feeling very well, just like you I want everyone to stop saying Mum or asking for things from me, I don’t’ want to deal with anymore drama let alone be touched – just let me sit on the lounge in peace please.
I talk to women about all of this on a regular basis. There is no one magic solution, sorry I do not have a magic wand that I can wave like a fairy godmother. Here are a couple of things you can try straight away that can make some space for intimacy in your life.
1. Regular bedtime routine for everyone.
Create a regular bedtime routine that has structure and that’s consistent. All the parenting books tell us to do it and it is important not only for your children’s health but also yours. A regular bedtime means that you get time for yourself or couple time every night. As, a couple, this gives you time to be together and connect. If you don’t use the time as a couple, it can give you time to relax and reconnect with yourself.
2. Schedule in time for yourself.
Every single week it’s important that you get time for yourself to pursue your own passions and hobbies. Yes, scheduling time for yourself is a thing and it is important, you are important. As a couple, it is important that you both get regular time out separately and without your children. It could be a yoga class for the yoga lover in your couple and it could be a gym session or art class or football game for the other part of your couple. Time apart doing your own thing is as important spending time together. Often couples end up doing everything together hobbies, to TV shows, and they even share the same friends. They don’t have anything to talk about aside from the kids and work and that can get a little boring. Support each other to have space by yourself without the kids and notice how it creates more Bliss and freedom for you as individuals and help create deeper intimacy and sex with your partner when you spend time together.
If you are solo parenting try a babysitter, or someone who can care for your child regularly (I recommend this one from personal experience, it will save your sanity). If you share custody of your child wait until they are at the other parent’s house, then enjoy activities and time for yourself while your child is away.
3. Schedule couple time with no kids.
This should probably be #1 on the list. I know life gets busy, that you both have stress and long to do lists. I hear from couples that they feel like they do not have time for sex and often do not feel like it. My suggestion to address this is to lock in a regular time every week to have time without the kids. Be creative with how you can spend quality time together as a couple. A weekend away gives you an opportunity to enjoy a hotel room, no housework and time to relax, often sex follows.
4. Set boundaries.
Don’t be afraid to be firm with your children and give them an example of what healthy couples do; healthy couples prioritise quality time together to connect and prioritise time together to enjoy sex. If you want to teach your kids about health sexual relationships, the best way you can do it is to do it yourself and show them how a couple does this.