Today, let’s welcome back, Abra Carnahan of Mere Breath. She’s a sincere and spunky wife and mama of 4. She inspires me because of her committment to her marriage and to the Lord through some tough seasons. Abra set the stage for today’s post last Tuesday with, Motherhood Can Be All Consuming.
Today she shares how to Create the Space, Find the Time and Find the Energy to be spicey with your husband while parenting young children. Time is a precious commodity for mamas of littles. I’m so grateful to Abra for finding the time and energy to write for us today. You ROCK, Abra!
Finding privacy, time and energy for sex seem to be common dilemmas for couples with littles. For us, finding time is particularly challenging. Something my husband and I have learned is that there is no such thing as “finding” time — you must make it. The following are collected ideas for the purpose of aiding prioritization of the marriage bed. It is our prayer that these suggestions will help couples overcome obstacles, so they can strengthen their marriages through toe-curling, mind-blowing, soul fulfilling sex:
Create the Space
1. Be mindful of your sex life as you arrange your home. For example, my husband and I prefer not to allow our children to sleep in our bedroom (whenever possible). It keeps our room a place where we can engage freely without disturbing the kids.
2. Lock the door. Last year we lived in a house that did not have a locking bedroom door. We were quick to install a simple hook and eye lock. I don’t know about you, but I have a difficult time focusing on enjoying my husband if one of my kids could walk in on us at any moment.
3. A friend of mine mentioned that it is difficult to find audio-privacy since their bedroom is located off the main room. Employ box or bathroom fans as white noise. You’ll be able to hear if something is really wrong, but the kids won’t be able to hear you well, which allows freedom to enjoy intimacy verbally. Alternately, you could use a baby monitor, but that might become unnecessarily distracting.
4. Make your bedroom welcoming. Splurge on soft sheets. Decorate with soft lighting. When you buy a bed and frame, make sure the height will compliment your statures. If you are inclined, consider a well made canopy bed since they offer more support beams for a wider variety of positions.
5. Keep water bottles in your bedroom. Not needing to dress in order to rehydrate creates a prolonged opportunity for post-coital cuddling (or extended intermission between rounds).
6. Ditch the granny panties! There are some lovely, flattering underwear now that are also comfortable (Hint: Check out the Invisibles line of seamless panties by Calvin Klein). Buy comfortable, but pretty, night clothes. If you have kids, there is a good chance sleeping in the nude isn’t an option. Look for slips or shorts and camisoles that are visually appealing without being overly sexy.
Make the Time
1. Morning sex can be tricky. The countdown until you have to leave for work, the probability of morning breath and the eventuality of children waking are basic challenges. Take note of when your kids usually wake and set your alarm for an hour earlier. If you still don’t have enough time, shower together slowly for a prequel to an evening seduction. Morning breath can be solved by tooth brushing, but using a mouth wash the night before helps bacteria prevention. You could also keep breath mints or Colgate’s Wisp mini-toothbrushes by your bed, no water or rinsing required. If your kids are old enough, teach them how to prepare their own breakfast.
2. Saturday and Sunday afternoons are ideal for lengthy interludes, and if your husband can come home on his lunch break, a quickie is a sure way to bless him. For young children, establish a nap time routine. Our toddlers play quietly in their rooms for 2 hours every day. It takes some work on the front end to establish the habit, but it is well worth the effort. Alternately, sit the kids in front of the television. When we were first time parents, we’d put our daughter in a pack ‘n play and turn on her favorite show. She was safe and entertained for about 40 minutes. When she was older, we’d give her chocolate, too. The mess was epic, but we didn’t care! If your kids are old enough, tell them that you need time with their dad. Set a timer, tell them you are off limits (unless the house is burning down) until the timer beeps. Alternately, hire a babysitter to watch your children at their house. You don’t need to tell them why. 😉
4. Evening sex seems ideal except that, “Can I have some water?” being hollered from the next room isn’t exactly a sexy soundtrack. Plan ahead and equip your kids with the necessities before closing (and locking) your bedroom door. If all else fails, when you wake up between REM cycles, gently wake your honey for a little midnight nookie.
Finding the Energy
1. If you are too busy to have sex, take a long look at your schedule and trim the extras. Kids need their parents to love each other more then they need swim lessons. You need quality time with your husband more than the bake sale needs you.
2. Ask your husband to let you sleep in or nap a few times a week so you can enjoy sex with him more (I doubt he will complain).
3. Make sure you are eating well and staying hydrated. Your body can’t function optimally unless you have fueled up on essential nutrients.
4. Finally, if you’ve tried all these tips and are still too tired, talk to a doctor about fatigue (it can be a sign of other health problems).
What are some ways you create the space, find the time and find the energy?
Abra and her husband, Ben, live in North Idaho where she stays home with their four young children. She is passionate about pursuing God and her hobbies: reading, archery and eating cheese. You can find her at Mere Breath, on Facebook and Twitter.
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