In a recent post, I talked about the negative effects that a sexless relationship can have  on a marriage or a long term relationship.‘Sex is, underestimated in relationships. Women get to become familiar and comfortable with their post-marriage life; that of domestic bliss and incredible motherhood, while men become so absorbed with work and responsibilities that sex turns into a distant memory.’

The reasons and causes can be many and there are also ways to break the ice and start talking about sex again with your partner. Besides, the longer a couple goes without sex, and physical intimacy, the more disconnected they feel from one another and the more they shift from lovers to housemates.

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I recently read a couple of articles on how to improve the sex life in your marriage especially when you have children. As a mother of two young girls, I found them to be a far cry from my reality and my daily routine. I thought of the ways I might have failed as a wife,  in an attempt to find an explanation to why those magical ‘steps’ are not applicable to me. Surely, every mother’s life is not alike and every woman’s struggles and hardships are different.

However, one thing is always the same when you are a mother – there is not enough time in the day for everything that you need to do. Time becomes one of the most important requirements and the lack of it can be the reason for a lot of distress and  discomfort. So, how do we keep the sexual passion in our marriage alive and how do we juggle the so many daily tasks while keeping a healthy balance in our roles as mothers, wives and women?

Make time to exercise. I often read about the countless benefits of joining the gym and working out which are all accurate, of course. If you can fit gym time in your busy schedule that would be great. If not, don’t despair. I can really understand women who don’t have the time or money to register with a gym. The good news is that the gym is not the only way to exercise and get your body moving.

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I know of many women who lost weight, felt better, and fought depression and stress through exercise without having spent one day at the gym. One woman, in particular, got active by walking and doing outdoor activities with her children. She changed her whole life around by using the bicycle, walking to the shops, taking her children out on mountain walks, and indulging in many outdoor play days. She committed to running with other women like her, who were determined to make their lives healthier and feel much better with their new selves.

When you feel good about yourself, intimacy comes natural!

You sleep with your children? Not a problem. For many families, a joint sleeping arrangement works out the best. Many people believe that a married couple has no time or space for intimacy when children are in the same bedroom or bed. However, as a parent who supports co-sleeping, I know that this is not entirely true. If you both truly want to stay intimate and spend time together, there are many ways to do so which do not include the bedroom.

Be creative and have fun at the same time; besides, before we had children, the bed was not always the only or the best place to have intercourse in.

The children won’t be in your bed for ever and you can enjoy both worlds without having to get lost in the abyss of information telling you what is right and what is not. At the end of the day, you, the parent, are the only one who knows what is best for your family.

Don’t forget to keep being social. All people need their friends in the lives and women even more so. Surely, having extra responsibilities and a very heavy schedule doesn’t leave us with enough free time for a few cocktail nights with our girlfriends. That said, we should, though, make time for a quick chat or a coffee date. Maybe, for many women, a weekly night out might not be possible. We could and should, however, find ways to spend time with people that matter to us other than our family.

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How will this help us improve our sex life? It won’t directly help with that, but it will enable us to feel better, unload and discuss problems, strengthen our bond with our friends, have some mental time off from our daily routine, laugh and joke. Most of all, though, friends are needed in order for us to have a healthy dynamic and a nourishing thought process.

If you are one of those lucky mums who associate with others with children of similar age to yours, take advantage of this fact and arrange frequent get together for play time and so much needed chatting.

Look after yourself. I recently read that mums should always be dressed in sexy underwear under their mom-clothes. I immediately thought: what? Followed by a ‘wow, if only I could, too’. The truth is, that because we are mothers we should not forget that we are also sexy females. Having said that, we should also remind the good will advisers that wearing sexy underwear all day long, while handling small children is not the most comfortable or wisest choice ever.

Then again, it all depends on what people consider as sexy. Opinions differ and so do circumstances. Wear what feels more comfortable. Besides, we all know when the time is right to bring the ‘for your eyes only’ underwear out of the drawer.

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What we should definitely do, however, is plan some time for us every day or so if possible. A calming salt bath, a facial mask or a homemade peeling and a nice manicure/pedicure are all things that every woman needs and should allow time for.

And in case you didn’t give the line a few paragraphs before enough attention here it is again: When you feel good about yourself, intimacy comes natural.

Arrange some special time together. People always talk about date nights you should have with your other half and that is a great idea which will help you both relax, unwind and have some much needed fun. When that is possible, it can work wonders for you both and potentially help you come closer. However, for many couples this is not a realistic option. Many parents might not have relatives living close by or be able to afford a babysitter. Maybe they both work at inconvenient hours or one of them is on the graveyard shift all week. Or maybe by the time they put the children to bed and get to spend some time together are already too tired to make themselves look pretty and ready for a night out.

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Though getting out of the house once in a while is a must, when two parents want to reconnect they can easily engage in a variety of ‘homemade’ activities. My children sleep between 8-9 o’clock and I hear that many parents put their children to bed even earlier than that during school days. It will take a bit of planning, but what doesn’t when you have kids?

Cook a delicious  gourmet meal for your partner, open a nice bottle of wine, plan a movie night in, light some candles, cuddle together and chat, talk about your day, problems, wants and dislikes, have a quiet time by the garden. There are so many possibilities. If you don’t really want the passion to die and wish to come closer again, having children will not affect that process; will only make it more challenging and adventurous.

 You have a right to a healthier sex life, to feeling that tingle of your partner’s touch, and to fully enjoy your life as a married woman. Those are not things you should feel bad for wanting, they just need a little extra work. If you really can’t motivate yourself, then do it for the children. Happy parents equals happier children.
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Psychologist, world citizen, mother - Effie is one half of the alwaysladies.com founding pair. She can bring to life any party with either a smile, or a strong opinion. If like us you can't get enough of Effie, visit her blog at www.thethinkingmomblog.com

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