Mothers of newborns are exhausted. They are sleep deprived, over touched and often feel like they are dripping from every orifice. They don’t feel sexy, and often they can’t imagine ever feeling sexy again.
Parents of toddlers are often exhausted as well. Whether you work outside the home or spend your day with your child, running after a pre-schooler is like running a marathon, except there are too many interruptions to allow for endorphin production. And then there are the evening going to bed rituals, which can involve six hour negotiations, 10 trips back and forth to someone’s bedroom and often one parent falling asleep with their child.
When your kids get older, new challenges arise. Somehow, they now seem more interested in your life and your bedroom. Drawers and closets may be less off-limits than you think and wandering visits at night can become more frequent.
Here is what to do
Find the time
Most busy parents barely find the time to clean their teeth each morning, so finding a little uninterrupted time in your schedule to enjoy something more intimate can seem like Mission Impossible. It is important to reorganise your priorities so you can spend time with your partner - and having kids in the house shouldn't ever be considered an impediment to getting that time together.
While the morning sex you once enjoyed may be out the window while your kids are waking up before the sun, here are some simple ways you can find the time to connect on a regular basis:
Go to bed together at night. If you drag yourself to bed hours before or after your partner, it's likely one of you will be fast asleep when the other is ready for action.
Go to bed early. Kids in tucked up in bed? Turn off the TV and go to bed.
Send the kids away for the night. Friends and family are often happy to do a little babysitting. Take advantage of their generosity and spend some together-time at home. Alone.
Organise afternoon delight. If nighttime really is just for sleeping because you are too weary by then to consider anything friskier, try to schedule some together-time during daylight hours. Harder to do but definitely worth the effort!
When your kids are small, the very idea of privacy seems as elusive as a clean and tidy house. Not only do you want to be available to them at all times but you also want to be able to respond immediately to their needs. For this reason, many parents dispense with adult notions of going to the toilet or showering on their own. All doors in the house are left permanently open - unless bub is sleeping and then their door is most definitely shut!
But how do you instill a sense of privacy in your kids when you've had an open-door policy all their young lives? Once they graduate to a Big Bed, you should begin teaching your kids to respect closed doors. This is the beginning of a big life lesson - respecting others' space - and it will enable you to make the most of your private time with a little more confidence that you won't be unexpectedly interrupted.
Keeping the noise down
Nothing cramps your style more than knowing that you have to be q-u-i-e-t at all times for fear of advertising what you are doing behind closed doors. While we can't judge what you can get away with in your own home, we do have some practical tips:
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Road-test your bed. It's one thing to keep your own noise under control but if your bed is doing the talking for you, you really need to take action. Move your bed if it is hitting a wall, invest in a new mattress if the springs are squeaking, tighten up the screws on your bed frame if they are loose... all small and easy stuff.
Turn on a little music. Music in your bedroom, or your kids' rooms, will go a long way to mask any noise you make.
Watch TV. Some experts suggest grabbing a little together time while the kids are happily involved in a favourite DVD in another room. While we are not sure how many parents are actually comfortable getting naked while their offspring sit alert in another room, TV noise does offer a handy noise filter.