Birds, bees, bed

Sit down. We’re going to have a little talk. Being we are finally in the season of birds and bees, I honestly don’t think there’s a better time than now. To begin, if there is one thing I hope you take away from our little chat today, it’s that our own standards related to sexuality and intimate expression should not change once we have children. You should absolutely not modify who you are because you have kids. Leave the nipple ring in, wear pajamas only if you have always done so, and for the love of pete, get a lock for your bedroom door.

But here’s something I’d like to address that a lot of women seem to struggle with. There is a time, after a long day mothering, or working and then mothering, or working, mothering, cooking, nursing—whatever the case may be, that a woman reaches a point of saturation where she just needs her body for herself…just for a minute. But unfortunately, those “me times” are fleeting. So you go from this to that to the other thing…and then it’s time for bed and it almost seems like one more task to fulfill…to have sex, too.

I will allow that kind of thinking now and again. It’s legitimate to feel that way, it really is. I hereby validate your need for alone time and wide berth in the “no touch” zone.

Unfortunately, the one with the lower sex drive often controls sexy time, while also expecting monogamy and acceptance of these terms. Often, this becomes a deal breaker.

What to do? First, teach your children a little self-reliance once they get to the stage that they can be self-reliant. You do not need to hover, or fetch, watch Yo Gabba Gabba, or entertain every moment. You do not have to sit and read the same book over and over ad nauseam to little Goliath until your entire evening has devolved in a haze of Goodnight Moon. Let the little one make up his own words after the second read, go pour yourself a half glass of wine (not too much, or drowsiness will overcome), and take a breath.

Understand this, too: as much as time to calm your brain and body is important, there is nothing more powerful than touch. Treasure the person you have chosen to spend your life with and respect them for the remarkable person they are. You could have chosen anyone, but here you are. Because once the kids are gone, your significant other will still be by your side—at least, as long as you both have kept that nest well feathered.