The Stages of Sex: The Exhausted Years with Kids & Jobs

by | Oct 9, 2019 | Libido, Uncategorized | 36 comments

How to Keep Your Sex Life Alive Once Kids Come: sex during the busy years stage of marriage
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What happens to sex when little kids come along? When you find yourselves busy and run off your feet?

Every Wednesday in October we’re looking at the stages of sex in marriage. Last week we looked at the “figuring things out” stage, when sex is relatively new (and I talked about it on my podcast as well!). Today I want to turn to the next stage: when kids start arriving and you find yourself exhausted.

Now, for some people this stage comes along much earlier in marriage than others, and some start marriage with kids, so they jump right in here. But let’s look at what sex is like during this stage, and what we can do to make it better!

What Can Be Great About Sex During the Busy Years

When you are run off your feet, when other people are always needing you, sex can actually be a welcome distraction–a time when it’s all about what you experience, and not what you have to do. For women in this season of sex especially, everything I said in my post on theology of the clitoris is even more important. You need to learn how to be served, how to be the centre of attention, how to be present in the moment, and not worried about all the multitude of responsibilities you have.

Sex can be the gift of being in the moment that you so desperately need right now!

How Sex Can Go Wrong in the Busy Years Stage of Sex

While that’s the potential for sex in these years, that’s often not what happens.

Especially for couples who never really figured out how to make sex great for her during the “figuring things out” stage, things can go steadily downhill. If sex doesn’t feel that great for her, she may still be willing to have sex quite frequently in the figuring things out stage, because she wants to be a good wife, she wants to be loving, and she knows she should. But once she’s absolutely exhausted, and she feels as if she never gets any time for herself, that’s likely to fall off quickly by the wayside if there really is very little in it for her. “Obligation sex” becomes very onerous when she feels as if she isn’t being cared for, at the same time as she’s caring so much for so many.

And if you combine these years with toxic messages around sex, like how men will watch porn if wives don’t have sex, or will be tempted to have affairs, she may abandon sex altogether out of resentment (seriously, pastors, we have to get a better way of talking about sex, because saying stuff like that is the absolute biggest libido killer in the world for women).

Even if sex DID feel good for her beforehand, hormonal changes and body changes after childbirth can kill her libido, and she may not be that interested in trying to rediscover it because the children demand so much attention. As she becomes preoccupied with the kids, he may also withdraw out of rejection, and then sex goes on a downward spiral. Any underlying issues that were not dealt with earlier, like porn use, or a negative view of sex, or past trauma, will often resurface now and become even bigger problems.

It’s not just bad relationship patterns that can start during these years, though. It’s also bad physical habits.  Bad eating habits and exercise habits can take hold, setting you up for decades of problems later on, which will also affect your sex life. When we’re so busy, it’s all too easy to let the important stuff fall by the wayside.

When you're Too Tired for Sex

How to Make Sex Great in These Busy Years

Because most of the problems with sex during these years relates less to sex and more to the pressures of life, I’m going to focus first on those pressures:

Get real about the pressures of life and make a plan to reduce them

It’s not just babies that cause stress during this stage of life; it’s also often jobs that are untenable in the long run; schooling or training that shoves great demands on you or your spouse; intense financial pressure as you try to buy a house, buy cars, or simply get established. All of this stress combines to kill everyone’s libido, but especially hers. My philosophy with life has two quite simple rules that act in conjunction with one another:

  • If something can’t go on like this forever, then it’s better to put an end to it sooner rather than later;
  • You can put up with just about anything as long as there’s a firm end date in sight

In other words, if you’re at a job that is killing you, make a plan now for how to get out of that job and transition to something else that can support the family, so that you have an end date in sight. If your current financial situation is completely untenable, and will leave you drowning in debt soon, make a radical budget plan with target dates, so that you can know that life will be better one day. Don’t delay; do it now. If you have a plan, even if your daily life doesn’t change, your stress level does.

Give her some downtime during the day

If she’s going to feel frisky at night she needs some downtime to herself–some time to work on hobbies, to have a bath by herself, to feel productive. When my kids were young, I took the time during naps to start writing. I didn’t need to relax as much as I needed to use my brain. Whatever it is she needs to feel rejuvenated, make sure she has time for that.

(He needs it as well, of course, but the 24 hour demands of childcare more commonly fall on the woman, so I’m directing this one at her. If, in your case, he’s the primary caregiver, then give him some downtime!)

Cook real stuff

Seriously, just cook.

Last week, as Rebecca was getting ready to deliver, I made a big meal plan and shopping list for freezer slow cooker meals. Katie and I bought the food, and the three of us together put all the slow cooker freezer meals together for them to use after we’re gone and Connor and Becca are alone with the baby. That way they can still have healthy food! We ended up making about 70 meals (Katie and I are taking some home, too), which necessitated cutting up about 30 onions, as you can see here:

Making Freezer Meals to Help Get Through the Busy Stage of Life

But we ended up with 6 of 12 different meals!

Making Freezer Meals to Prepare for Baby

 

Whatever it takes for you to eat well, try it. If you use as few cans as possible so that you avoid preservatives and additives, stick to real food (the outer aisles of the grocery store), and don’t order out too much, you’ll put yourself on the road to good health. And then use my son-in-law’s rule of thumb: Don’t drink your calories. Stick to water or unsweetened iced tea, and you’ll save a ton of calories a day.

Make sleep a priority

Few things will have as positive a benefit on your sex life–and the rest of your life–as actually getting enough sleep. When the baby is old enough to sleep through the night (say by 6 months), help that baby learn to sleep. You need to reclaim your nights if you want to feel human again! If you’re not sure how, ask some parents at your church for advice. It may even be worth hiring a sleep consultant. Even if it costs several hundred dollars, if it saves you two or three years of not sleeping, I can’t put a price tag on that! Especially if you have toddlers who don’t sleep, consider hiring an expert that can coach you. It can be done! Ask for it as a Christmas present from your parents if money is tight. It’s important. (I understand that parents with special needs have special challenges in this area; but even here, sleep coaches can often help).

When Children Won't Sleep: How Exhaustion Affects Your marriage

Here in Ottawa, The Happy Sleep Company offers consultations to help parents of infants and toddlers finally get some sleep. They have consultations for those with newborns; for those with babies who are ready to sleep through the night; for toddlers who won’t sleep; even for multiples! The consultations can be done in person, but can also be done via Skype for those of you who don’t live near Ottawa. They take all your information, learn what you’ve been doing, and then personalize recommendations and coach you through it. If you’re just beside yourself with exhaustion and frustration, and you want to get your nights back, or get your kids out of your bed, it really is worth the investment if you can find it in your budget.

They also offer a 20-minute free consultation, so I’d suggest checking them out!

Spend time as a couple outside the bedroom–even if it’s with the kids, too

I’m not going to tell you that you have to have a date night every week, or that you have to leave the kids with Grandma one a month so that you get a night to yourselves. Those things are nice, sure, but I don’t think they’re absolutely necessary.

What is necessary is that you have time to connect and talk everyday. We used to take the kids on walks in the stroller so that we could talk. We took them with us to restaurants, armed with colouring books and toys. We did activities together so the kids were happy and we’d have time to debrief. I don’t mind if you don’t have time, just the two of you, as long as you have time that you feel as if you’re really talking.

Make sex a priority

Okay, let’s switch to the sex elements now! Put simply, you have to make sex a priority. It isn’t going to happen unless you do. And waiting to feel “in the mood” could mean you’re waiting for a long time.


(If you’re a wife with the higher drive, these posts may also be useful for you:


Many women don’t understand how our libidos work, and so we essentially put ourselves into hibernation. When we do that, we miss out on the passion that God intended us for, and the deep intimacy we’re supposed to have in marriage. I know these years are very difficult and very busy. But passion and intimacy can be the fuel that help you handle these years so much better! They help you still feel like a woman, and not just a mom. They help you feel confident, and like you can take on the world. If you feel as if your libido has gone into hibernation, please check out my Boost Your Libido course. It has lots for women at exactly this stage of marriage–and stage of sex!

Are you TIRED of always being too tired for sex?

Do you yearn to actually WANT to make love–and figure out what all the fuss is about?

There is a way! And in this 10-module course I take you through what libido is (it may surprise you!), what affects libido, and how we can reclaim the excitement that God made us for.

Make her pleasure a priority

Finally, it’s not just about “having intercourse”. If you want that passion, that intimacy, that confidence, she also needs to feel pleasure. Not necessarily each and every time you connect sexually, of course. Sometimes, despite our best intentions, we’re just too preoccupied to get there. But in general, she needs to be experiencing real pleasure during these days as well. If she’s never experienced orgasm, read my post from yesterday! But if things just need to feel special, and not just so routine, day-in-day-out kind of thing, my sexy dares can help. They’re only $6.99, and they’ll provide you with a year’s worth of fun! There are 8 dares that he does, 8 dares that she does, and 8 that you do together (plus one bonus dare!). And for her dares, too, she can be thinking about it ahead of time, and that can help bring her out of that rut as well.

Does your marriage need some spicing up–and some fun?

Try these 24 dares–plus one bonus–to take your marriage to the next level!

​These years matter. You’re raising your kids. You’ve got a ton of responsibilities. The habits that you form in these years will set  you on a good trajectory for the rest of your life. Don’t ignore  your marriage or your sex life when kids arrive. What kids really need is for you to have an awesome marriage. So make sex great. Take care of yourself. And don’t give in to the idea that these have to be years when you lose yourself. They don’t. It’s a choice. And it’s okay to choose to still feel like a couple!

What do you think? Do you have any great tips for couples in this stage of marriage and stage of sex? Let’s talk in the comments!

Posts in the “Stages of Sex” Series:

What do you think? Any tips for how to keep your marriage and your sex life strong when kids come (or when life gets busy)? Let’s talk in the comments!

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Author at Bare Marriage

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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36 Comments

  1. Joanna Sawatsky

    I absolutely love this! We’re in the middle of the crazy years and it has been nutty!

    I just switched from coffee creamer to whole milk in my coffee. I don’t miss it and it’s healthier – win win!

    Reply
  2. Bethany

    I think we are doing pretty well with this. My husband is in grad school, we have 3 kids 5 & under, two of whom are home all the time, and I’m working part time. I feel kind of constantly spread thin and so honestly it’s just kind of nice to hear that “this time is hard and really tiring.”

    We have been working really hard to get to bed at a consistent time (and get up consistently, even on the weekends, thank you for that advice – it seems to be helping), and spend some time together every evening after bedtime, which is very good. And we’ve been doing yoga videos, which is fun!

    Honestly the relational stuff is all good, I think I find my big struggle in having a hard time being mentally present with my kids during the day – it’s hard to find time to really be alone and do something focused with my brain during the day while still spending the precious couple of post bedtime hours with my husband. (Only one child still naps.)

    I’m sorry to have used this comment section as a bit of a brain dump, but thank you for all you do! 🙂

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Brain dump away! No problem, Bethany. And I’m glad that sleep tip helped. It really helped us, too.

      Reply
  3. Chris

    Was the baby born?! Did i miss an announcement?

    Our sex life was never that good/frequent and having kids just put the nails in it.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Not yet! Talking on the phone with her right now. She’s hoping!

      Reply
      • Chris

        All the readers expect updates!

        Reply
        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          Got it. 🙂 I’ll likely announce on Instagram or Facebook first! So find me there. And we’ll have pictures in the emails that go out likely before they’re up on the blog, so make sure you’re signed up there. 🙂

          Reply
          • Chris

            I am not on any social media. Never have been. Maybe i will sign up for the emails.

  4. Flo

    Even without children (my daughter from previous marriage is grown up and has her life), life can get really crazy and busy. Our careers, keeping the house and the garden in good state, various administrative tasks, taking care of broken pipes or cables or whatever, helping relatives and friends in need, doing what it takes to maintain good health, AND spending enough bonding time together, AND all of that when one has the flu and is the other is trying to avoid catching it… There is no shame in being busy and tired, even without small children / teenagers in the house: life is challenging and taxing.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      It really can be! So that’s why we have to keep first things first. I think many of us (myself included) think: “as soon as X happens, then I’ll be able to calm down and spend more time with Keith.” But then there’s always another X!

      Reply
      • Flo

        Yes, so important to learn to leave things for the next day / week…

        Reply
  5. Tireddad

    Sex has gotten better for us the last months but it’s still a little up and down. My wife has gotten more interested in sex but it really depends on week to week. Some weeks we can have sex up to 4 times and she is super flirty and seductive: I love those weeks. But after that week there can be 2 weeks with nothing. I suspect that it’s her hormones. It’s usually one week before her period and then off course we don’t have sex during her period(altough we have done it once when she has been in the mood). I’m not good at initiating so I show or hint my interest and then wait for her to want sex. I know she is tired because of the kids altough we have a nanny which is helpful. When the nanny leaves I don’t know how it will affect our sex kids.

    One thing I do miss (altough we only were married 4 month before she got pregnant) is the chances to try new things. When sex usually become quickies it’s difficult to try new things. Specially when the kids come in.

    Reply
    • Meghan

      I wouldn’t be surprised if hormones play a big role. I had a higher sex drive than my husband before I gave birth to our daughter, but now he’s the one with the higher drive! I read that breastfeeding can impact libido and that’s definitely been our experience.

      I can’t speak to your circumstance, but I know I felt like a beached whale and then a milk cow for a long time after having our daughter. It’s possible your wife doesn’t feel desirable right now. I encourage you to make more of an effort to be direct with initiating.

      Reply
  6. Sarah O

    This is all really great advice. We are definitely in the thick of it with three toddlers. One part I would emphasize is about the non-sex couple time. Because alone time together without the kids is such a premium, I think it’s very easy for all couple time to get ear-marked for sex – and when that’s all you do as a couple, it can cause all kinds of relationship trouble which will lead to – you guessed it – less sex. You had a male guest writer on here some time ago that said something to the effect of “she wonders whether you love her or sex most”. Very true!

    One thing I would add is this: maybe allow these years to be a little lower on quantity while you focus on quality. As a wife, you really don’t know how your body/libido is going to react to motherhood and postpartum, other than that it WILL react. Also, while you can and should use good stewardship of time and resources, with little kids in the house there’s a lot of intensity and unpredictability – and there’s really no cure for it. There’s a fine line between making sex a priority and making it a pressure point. Please use this time to exercise some grace here – especially if you feel that your wife is making a good faith effort on the sex front. Don’t enforce a sex quota. The kids do not stay super little for long in the grand scheme of a marriage. Allow a little temporary slack here.

    Reply
    • Petra

      Sarah thank you for this! You’ve captured my struggle precisely and each point you made resonated with me so much! It truly does need to be about quality over quantity and true connection as opposed to reaching a quota. I was only able to make peace with this season of life once I realized that.

      Reply
  7. EM

    Love this. We have been in the little kids/career building stage for 12 years now, and our marriage has never been better. There were rocky times for sure – when the first two were little I was feeling neglected, because my husband wasn’t being as affectionate or emotionally available as he was before. Looking back now I can see he was overwhelmed, and my disappointment only made him withdraw. But we did finally find our groove. We go on dates when we can (maybe once a month?) but mostly we have made routines to connect. He has a long drive from work so we talk on the phone and share about our days before he gets home. I try not to do too much housework at night so we can unwind together after the kids go to bed.

    I hear so many women talking about not wanting sex because they are “touched out” from the kids, but I’ve never really understood that. I always look forward to our time together because he takes the time to make me feel good, and I feel so loved and relaxed. I think a couple’s mindset is so vital here – if the wife feels like sex is just something her husband is wanting from her, it will definitely sound unappealing.

    All that to say that putting your marriage first is like putting gas in the engine! Even though life is full and crazy and we are often exhausted, it feels sustainable because of the support we give each other. Baby #5 is coming soon and we can hardly wait!!

    Reply
  8. Natalie

    ”When you are run off your feet, when other people are always needing you, sex can actually be a welcome distraction–a time when it’s all about what you experience, and not what you have to do. For women in this season of sex especially, everything I said in my post on theology of the clitoris is even more important. You need to learn how to be served, how to be the centre of attention, how to be present in the moment, and not worried about all the multitude of responsibilities you have.”
    This is where I’m at! Until my first was 4-5 months or so, I just felt touched out all the time. But then something in me switched (that’s also around the time I found your blog, so I’m sure that played a part too) and now sexytime is like a spa day for me: I can just relax and focus on myself and my husband (well, when we do actually have sex).

    My husband went to the urologist this morning and his diagnosis was what we thought it’d be. That means he needs to rest up more and let it heal and not engage in sex. However, the dr said it’s okay if he gets hard (something he’d been trying to avoid for the past month just in case). My husband actually told me “well, maybe this is a blessing is disguise. Just cuz I can’t have sex doesn’t mean you can’t. We can focus on you. I know we’ve had plenty of years focusing solely on me and I’m sorry for that. It’s time for me to focus on you and learn how to please you. And this medical issue just forces me to do that since I haven’t been motivated enough to do it on my own and I’m sorry about that.”

    This was my expression…. 😧😧😧😧😧😧😧😧😧😧😧😧😧😧😧😧😧 I could not pick my jaw up off the floor!! I’ve always gotten this body language or subliminal attitude or whatever from him when we have sex that he doesn’t really enjoy taking the time to try to please me (probably because he’s never been successful at bringing me to orgasm in any way and feels like a failure now just for trying). He’s said before that he thinks vaginas taste and smell weird, he’s not a fan of bodily fluids except for his own (getting him to change diapers is a task!!), and he really just prefers to have PIV, which obviously doesn’t make me very confident or able to let go easily when he does go down on me or finger me. But I guess he HAS actually been paying attention to your articles I’ve shared with him cuz something in him seems to have flipped! HALLELUJAH!!!! I hope this is the beginning of a period where we use the kids’ weekend naptimes and before bed any day of the week to put in the time for us to both figure out my orgasms and sexual response.

    Reply
    • EM

      Natalie that is awesome!! God is at work!

      Reply
    • Flo

      Natalie, oral is the only way for me to reach orgasm. I am not happy about that, but it is so much better than not reaching orgasm at all, so I am trying to see it in a positive light. But even that took a lot of learning and effort: from me to learn to relax, from my husband to learn what works. At first it was frustrating for him, because in spite of his efforts I was not able to reach orgasm, so then I made sure to let him know that it was very nice regardless. Starting with massage helps me a lot to relax. I think for him as well body fluids and such were an issue in the beginning, but I think with time he started enjoying it a lot.

      Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Oh, wow, Natalie, that’s amazing! I mean, I’m sorry he’s going through health stuff, but wow! So cool how God can use this!

      Reply
  9. Arwen

    Rebecca looks beautiful pregnant! I can’t wait her son and your grandson to be born! So exciting!

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I know! We’re so impatient over here!

      Reply
  10. Active Mom

    Great post! I love the photos. On another kind of related topic, can you post the slow cooker meals you guys made? I am always on the lookout for tried and true yummy meals. :). Although you guys are more organized that I could ever be. Especially with baby coming at any time!

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Sure I could! I don’t really want to on the blog, though, because that’s not my focus. How about in next week’s weekly email? Just make sure you’re signed up, and I’ll try to include it all, along with a sample spreadsheet we used to organize the shopping!

      Reply
      • Becky

        Ooh, I’m excited for that email! Between the necessary hours of my part time work (music lessons = after school hours are almost always the only option), and now getting into homeschooling with my preschooler, make-ahead meals are LIFE.

        Also, you nailed it about this stage. My husband and I were just talking earlier today about needing to figure out how to balance spending quality time together with the demands of 3 kids under 5 and the more individual activities that both of us introverts need to recharge, once his paternity leave ends next week.

        Reply
    • Eps

      An easy thing I do to get more meals in the freezer is to just double whatever I’m making for dinner that night. It’s not much more effort, and most things freeze well. Less a recipe for you, more an easy way to be organised! I got a whole freezer full of food that way.

      So many things can easily be converted into lasagne to freeze too, leftover Mexican bean mix? Layer between pasta sheets and freeze for Mexican lasagne. Same for lentil stew etc.. not traditional, but easy to prep freeze and cook when needed. And always popular in my family!

      Reply
  11. Stephen

    anything about a sexless marriage? living under the same roof but no touching allowed! No showing of affection in public slowly advancing into the home (or house)! having a heart operation and only getting a peck (if that) on the lips. Leaving for a week and getting a air kiss (the sound was there BUT the kiss wasn’t). And so it goes, she’s the boss and do as I say but not as I do!! Nice huh? Married over 50 years and it was nothing as I thought it would be. NO PASSION!! I WAS going to give her a good night kiss, but received WHO TOLD YOU TO DO THAT? Last time good night ! Felt lonely in bed and wanted to snuggle, what I got was; I KNOW WHAT YOU WANT,SEX,GO SOMEWHERE ELSE FOR THAT.
    All from my sweetie. Honeymoon is definitely over!!It’s been over 38 years with no sex whatsoever.

    Reply
  12. Scott

    Sheila,

    Being deep in this stage (four kids roughly evenly spaced 0-9), I say you totally nailed this one.

    – Porn problems from my past come back after kids? Check, after our first and stayed around until my confession after our fourth.
    – Letting health go by the wayside? Check, it’s been a constant downhill for her since we conceived our second.
    – Sex life disappearing because it wasn’t great for her before? Check, she found sex good, but not great, and it went downhill quite a bit after our second was conceived.
    – Crazy libido and hormonal issues? Check, she used to be incredibly predictable based on her cycle, which I knew even better than she did thanks to NFP. Now, she’s touched out and other factors affect her more than just her cycle.

    The advice is also spot on–prioritize sleep (at least for her, I honestly need far less), get her some time for herself, spend non-physical time together…all of these are crucial. And what should be pointed out is that many of these things were happening naturally before kids and you just don’t realize it.

    As a man that leads our family, it’s been a tough balance since deciding to step up my game and engage at the required level. I have to balance everything I can to the best of my ability to maximize growth for our family. That sometimes means choosing a shortcut on food for the kids because we adults need a break, skipping my exercise for the day so I can play with our kids, not blessing my wife by doing all the chores so we can instead do them together and bond that way, or choosing to not have sex when my wife comes to bed naked and available so she can get more sleep instead (note that I initiate earlier in the evening and she’ll get in bed naked if she’s responding to my initiation–I will never reject her initiation and have told her that).

    And I’m glad you brought up finances. These are overlooked in many relationships and cause enormous problems. Both spouses need to know their financial situation through and through. If one spouse is bad with money, put the other one in charge…and if you’re both bad, hire a financial consultant or ask a (trusted) family member or friend for help! My wife and I agree that we would have trouble having sex if we didn’t share our finances 100% like we do!

    -Scott

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Excellent, Scott! That’s great that you’re so involved in everything in the family. It sounds like you’re really committed to growth, which is amazing. And it’s always good to hear stories of guys who have defeated porn, too. It really can be defeated!

      And thanks for the encouragement on the post, too.

      Reply
  13. Edith

    Sometimes there are circumstances that can’t be escaped. My husband is in the military in an extremely stressful job that has him gone frequently. That isn’t something we get to just leave. My body has been on a hormone tornado since my last baby was born, to the point that I was diagnosed with pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder. Our older son is extremely challenging. He has lived in 4 different places since he was born, and he’s only 4! We are constantly running on empty, constantly just surviving, constantly just keeping our heads above water. Sheila, I appreciate the work you are doing. I love the voice you are giving to abused wives. But I think sometimes you need to give your readers permission to have a time period in life when sex will be crappy, and that it’s ok. Sometimes just surviving is ok. Sometimes that’s all you can do.

    Reply
    • Agnes

      Edith, that’s a loooooot to manage! My heart goes out to you!

      Reply
  14. Meghan

    My daughter turned 2 in July so we are right there in the trenches. It was rough for the first 6 months or so but things have chilled out somewhat. Things that helped us the most were:

    1) Early bedtime for baby. She goes to bed at 7 so my husband and I have an hour minimum together every night.
    2) Screen free days. On certain nights of the week we just snuggle on the couch or in bed and talk. Sometimes the topics are serious and sometimes they’re silly. The point isn’t to solve world hunger but just to reconnect.
    3) One day a week we leave our daughter in daycare for an extra hour so we can go on a date outside the house. With time constraints we don’t get to plan elaborate affairs, but walks in the park or happy hour appetizer specials can be just as nice as dinner and a movie.

    Reply
  15. Ina

    I do want to offer some hope for this stage- yes, the three pregnancies in three years has been a bit hard on my body. Tight pelvic floor related pain, tiredness, etc… have definitely made sex more difficult BUT having these children and these hiccups with sex has made us super close emotionally. We’re better friends than we ever gave been, no topic is off limits for conversation, and we’ve both had so much selfishness burned away. I’m just holding onto the hope that after this last baby is born/weaned that all of the relationship work having children has forced us to do will really pay off in the physical.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      That’s beautiful, Ina! That’s what Keith and I experienced, too! (And 3 pregnancies in 2 1/2 years really was rough on me!)

      Reply
  16. AMidwestWife

    Yes we hit a pretty rocky patch when our daughter was about 6-12 months (thank you breastfeeding hormones). Pretty rocky as in our marriage was failing miserably. Bad times. She is 18 months now and things have greatly improved and that’s mostly because I’ve learned to chill the heck out. Placing that much constant stress on myself for everything to be perfect is a horrible way to live and a libido killer. Granted we live crazy crazy lives but that’s no excuse. Priorities are priorities.

    Something that bares mentioning is how beneficial it is for husbands to help their wives during this season. I have absolutely ZERO interest physically or mentally in sex when I’m receiving no help. Also give your spouse a break or they will get burnt out.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Absolutely! Both parents need to be involved in baby duty, and that includes all the work that goes into the baby, not just holding the baby.

      I’m glad you learned to chill out! That’s an important lesson. 🙂

      Reply

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