Sex After Kids
By Janel Breitenstein
I once read a statistic in Parents magazine that 78% of new moms, choosing between sex and sleep, selected sleep.
At the time, I had four kids welded to my knees. I was like, duh. I can hardly strap on someone’s diaper from my need of a REM cycle. I shouldn’t even be driving this pretzel-carpeted minivan.
How can I get my hands on that whatever that other 22% have?!
I even started to see my husband as someone else who wanted something from me. And this can happen to any gender in any season: when we’re overcommitted, overcome by grief or anxiety, or need to heal physically.
Yet our married relationships truly—deeply—need sex. We need that continued restatement of “naked and unashamed.” We need to revisit and cultivate the private garden Song of Solomon describes, and reiterate our oneness all over again. It’s scientific.
In Pure Pleasure, author Gary Thomas notes,
A man’s levels of oxytocin—the brain chemical that leads to bonding and feelings of closeness—are highest immediately following a sexual encounter. In fact, this is the only time that a male’s oxytocin levels approach those of his wife.
Trust me. Your mate may want your energy here even more than folded laundry or a Christmas bonus.
Practical tips for those who are too worn out to remember what libido feels like:
- Think sex. Your largest sex organ is your brain. Engage it throughout the day toward your spouse.
- Go for something other than nighttime. Exhaustion equals a flatlining libido. Put a DVD on for the kids. Or set your alarm a few minutes early. Or hop in the shower together.
- Prioritize exercise. There’s a direct tie to libido from cardio. You also love your mate by taking care of your body. Bonus: More confidence keeping the lights on.
- Pencil in date night. When we’re holistically connecting, sex follows more naturally and willingly.
- Say “no” so you can say “yes.” Volunteer for one less activity and replace it with time for you to replenish, so your spouse doesn’t always get the dregs of your energy and enthusiasm.
The good stuff: Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine … He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love. (Song of Solomon 1:2, 2:4)
Action points: Pick one thing you can do to actively prioritize sex in your marriage.
Visit the FamilyLife® Website