As a working mother of three, come 10pm, I feel I’ve been pulled in so many directions that I just can’t get into my bed fast enough. Unfortunately, I rarely do. There’s always that last load of laundry to finish, or someone panicking about unfinished homework. This year is the worst — three nights a week, I don’t finish shuffling kids home from sports activities until after 8:30pm. When I do hunker down in bed, earplugs in and facemask on (no, this is not sexy, and yes I am a horrible sleeper), I pray that my husband thinks I’m asleep and that the dreaded ‘hand’ does not come inching across the bed.
I know you know what I am talking about! Admit it….you’re too tired for sex!
Don’t get me wrong, sex is an enjoyable and passionate part of our relationship, but my desire is not always aroused at the same time as my husband’s.
Sex is one of those subjects that I discuss endlessly with my university girlfriends, but not so often with my newer Parisian friends. And even then, sex talk becomes taboo after a certain age. So you can just imagine my surprise when one of my girlfriends, Debbie, divulged her feelings during lunch.
“Last night, after juggling a family dinner with sending urgent emails, then putting the kids to bed and cleaning up house, I was finally able to truly relax on the couch with my feet up when I suddenly thought, ‘I hope John doesn’t want sex tonight’!”
I started giggling. How many times have I feigned sleep because I am just too tired to “give” more?
This is when Karen, a full-time mother of four, piped in, “Do you guys have a separate room? If so, you need to sleep there until hubby starts helping out more. I told Eric that he’s so lucky I’m not working or he would never get any. I then told him he should help out with housework or he can just forget it during the week!”
What a brilliant idea! Apparently, it’s quite common, exchanging chores for sex. When I asked another friend, she added, “I have a friend who calls it ‘choreplay’ (like foreplay). When her husband helps around the house, she’s far more likely to stay up and put out if he’s helped out.”
Karen recently had a similar experience. “Last week, Eric came into bed and eagerly began listing the things he had done for the house… and I laughed to myself thinking that he finally understood. Do your part first and maybe you get the reward.”
At what point did sex become a chore?
As mothers, we are in constant demand. “Can you help me with this, can you find that, mom, I need a hug, what’s for dinner?” At the end of the day, we just want to reclaim our bodies for ourselves!
Are you too tired for sex too?
It seems like a lot of us are in the same boat. When I asked around me who was struggling with sex, this is what I heard.
“I’ve found it so much harder to find time for sex now that my son Jonah stays up so late. I used to tell my husband Chris to come upstairs early, 9:30 or so, if he wanted any possibility of sex. But now Jonah is still awake at that time so it’s a problem! “
“It’s definitely more complicated as the kids get older, at least when they were small you could put them to bed at 8pm and get on with it, but mine are now teenagers and don’t go to bed! The afternoon nap time used to be a great compromise.”
“My husband works from home so we often get ‘busy’ during the day now…and by often, I mean maybe once a week! I once asked my gyno about low sex drive and he reassured me all women in their 40’s with young kids have lower libidos. He even said your husband should be happy if he gets it once a week on a Friday night after the kids are asleep!”
Ideas for getting in the mood
Instead of continuing to disappoint your partners (and yourselves for that matter), my wonderful friends came up with some suggestions on how to spice things up. After all, if we make ourselves available on our terms, our partners will be thrilled and we’ll probably experience increased desire ourselves!
- One of Chris’s sisters gave me the paperback, “Porn for Women” for a gift. It’s helpful….and hilarious!!!
- Don’t be shy and try a little erotica. Order online if you’re too embarrassed to go into the sex shops.
- Initiate the process when you’re in flying form – maybe it’s in the morning.
- Suggest he stays at home for a half-day, or reserve a nice dinner and meet him out, nothing like wine and a good meal to ‘chauffer le plat’
- Call him home for lunch and surprise in something sexy (you’ll rack up a lot of points with this one!!)
- Make a date. Send an SMS for a rendez-vous in the evening and then ensure you take a day off yourself in preparation
- Go to bed early. Have a little snooze while he finishes cleaning the house, puts the kids to bed or pay the bills. Have him wake you up when he comes to bed… at least you had a little rest.
Remember, it’s all about feeling sexy on your terms. Anticipate and make the agenda yours; be disruptive – change the rules! Come on girls, admit you’re too tired to have sex and let us know below what you’re doing about it!