8 Ways To Revitalize Your Sex Life Donít let your busy lifestyle take away from your time in the bedroom. BY MELISSA STANTON
Don't stay up unsatisfied, follow the following steps to improve your sex life.
When I was 23 years old and working at a popular womenís magazine, I was given an article to factcheck called, "Too Tired for Sex." At the time I scoffed at the storyís title and its premise. Two decades later, as a married mother of three I can relate to that article more than I can to my former 23-year-old self.
Itís not uncommon for a woman who has children to collapse in bed at night feeling as emotionally and physically drained as a vampire victim. When a stay-at-home mother spends her day being clung to and crawled upon by children, by the time her husband arrives home the only thing she wants to do is escape, and not be touched. Employed moms can feel the same way after juggling work and family, and frequently managing both upon returning home in the evening: make dinner, prepare tomorrowís lunches, log back into the office after the kids go to bed, etc. With so many people in a motherís life taking from her in order to satisfy their own needs, thereís often nothing left to give.
Itís not that women with children donít want to have sex. Intimacy and affection is very important, particularly for oneís self-esteem. The hitch is that time and place and context now matter. Aside from often not having the physical and emotional energy for even the simplest bedroom gymnastics, it can be hard for a woman to intellectually switch gears from mommy to vixen.
So assuming that He is often as eager as She is exhausted, how can a couple childproof their love life?
1. Communicate: This means talkingóincluding about feelings. One frequently recommended title for how partners can better understand one other is Finding the Love You Want, by Hendrick Harlan.
2. Be appreciative: Instead of becoming overwhelmed by parenthood, both partners can be thankful for all they have together. "We donít take our intimacy for granted anymore," a 33-year-old mother of three told me.
3. Share the domestic duties: Itís not fair for one partner to be racing around before bed to finish household chores while the other sits on the couch and channel surfs. (Note: Men doing housework is sexy!)
4. Date nights: Since itís harder now to be spontaneous, make plans to spend time together, somewhere, somehow. It can be an enormous mood lifter to know that the two of you are going out together (soon) or will be spending a few hours alone (i.e. without kids).
5. Go away: Sometimes parents develop separate social lives because someone needs to stay home and care for the children. While outings with friends are importantóas are family vacationsóitís important for parents to get away together (even if itís only for an overnight stay) without the kids in tow.
6. Try it, youíll like it: In other words, have sex, even if itís just quickie sex.
7. Take the long view: The clichťs are true. Children are only small once. And this too shall pass. Although by the time it does, youíll have to sneak around a bit so your older, savvy children wonít know whatís going on behind Mom and Dadís closed door.
8. A Special Message to the Husbands of Stay-at-Home Moms: Woo the mother of your child(ren) the same way you did before she was the mother of your children. Instead of pouncing on her when she collapses exhausted into bed, take her on a real date. You likely get to leave the house on a regular basis, and you likely do this unencumbered by offspring; your wife often doesnít. (Imagine if you lived and worked at your office and never left. Imagine if, during the only time you did leave the building, your boss, staff and colleagues came with you. Horrifying, isnít it?) Women who spend their days caring for children need time to reenergize the part of themselves that enabled them to become moms in the first place (i.e. their sex appeal and sex drive). To really get in the mood they often need new scenery and a chance to dress-up. They need to be complimented and, most of all, listened to. Remember: This is a person who currently spends her days with children who donít listen, and with whom she surely canít have an adult conversation. Take her out, talk and listen and youíre in!
Melissa Stanton is the author of "The Stay-at-Home Survival Guide: Field-tested strategies for staying smart, sane, and connected while caring for your kids," published by Seal Press/Perseus Books (www.stayathomesurvivalguide.com ). A former editor at LIFE and People magazines, her articles have appeared in "The New York Times," "Glamour," "Parenting" and "Brain Child," among other publications and websites. Many of Stantonís parenting-related articles are available at "Real Life Support for Moms" (www.lifesupportformoms.com). She lives near Washington D.C. with her husband and three children.