Baby-Proof Your Sex Life No more excuses! You spend time protecting the furniture in your home from kid-inflicted damage, why not baby-proof your sex life? BY DR. TRINA READ
You've protected everything else in your life from baby damage, now protect your own sex life.
When planning for your first child (or your tenth child for that matter) have you ever considered baby-proofing your sex life?
I am always in awe of how well parents take care of their kids. Prevention and safety being a number one priority—what with regulation car seats, regulation cribs and baby-proofing houses. I sometimes wonder if parents gave the same amount care and attention to their sexual relationship, where might it be now and in the future.
Instead, there is an unspoken social rule that states: after baby, a couple’s sex life becomes almost non-existent and stays that way until the child is a teenager. I am here to tell you it does not have to be that way.
In the book Partnering: A New Kind of Relationship, psychologists Drs. Hal and Sidra Stone write about bonding patterns people form. Drs. Stone theorize people partner up and form a primary bond. When a child comes along, a lot of times, this primary bond is reestablished with that child. It then becomes increasingly difficult to maintain a vulnerable, open, intimate and sexual relationship with the significant other.
This is not a new idea. Ellen Kreidman author of How Can We Light a Fire When the Kids are Driving us Crazy in 1993 wrote, "What unhappy couples do not understand is that if they make their children their number-one priority, thinking they can work on their marriage later, they’ll probably wind up as one of the one out of every two marriages that end in divorce today… being alone, having quality time with your mate, is much more than sex… it’s imperative to have time alone to give each other that which is so desperately needed in a relationship—your undivided attention."
A simple truth is: The happiest, best-adjusted children come from a home in which the parents love and keep an intimate connection with each other. So why then do so many parents feel it is okay to put their precious reconnecting time last on the list of priorities? Why do these same parents feel guilty if they do eek out a couple hours every week "selfishly" for themselves? It’s mind boggling really.
Parents if you are serious about raising healthy children, you need to establish ground rules of how you will give each other your undivided attention. Because, as many parents can attest to, after baby comes things get a little crazy for a long time. Here are three basics written-in-stone rules:
Make one night a month "date night". No matter how tired, cranky and unromantic you both feel. Make a pact to go out.
At least twice a year, have a weekend away. A weekend getaway is something to plan, to look forward to and to relax with each other.
Once per year, plan a one-week (yes, that would be seven days) vacation. Inevitably the first week away from the kids is heart wrenching for the parents. Feedback from parents who practice going on vacation has been the kids do not seem to mind. In fact as the kids get older, they look forward to their independent time just as much as their parents.
Of course, I do not feel these are outrageous expectations of your reconnection time. Do you? Probably. Here are some of the excuses you may have on why this is not feasible.
Baby-proofing sex buster #1—We do not have the money. Going on dates, weekends away, and vacations do take money—and who has money after paying for all those diapers? Yet, you need to ask yourself, "can you afford not to go?" Think of this money as being an investment into your life’s most precious commodity: your relationship.
Baby-proofing sex buster #2—I’m too tired. I can appreciate how inviting your lovely couch must seem to your butt after a long week. And in fact, your internal talk will be whispering (maybe even screaming) as much all week leading up to your date, i.e. "I’d really like to go but… [insert excuse here] we’ll go next month." Trust me, going out with your sweetie will be rejuvenating.
Baby-proofing sex buster #3—We do not have the time. Balancing time is the "it-word" for the new millennium. Consequently, there is enough information on the web on how to effectively manage your time to choke a horse. So invest some time in figuring out how to manage your time. Your relationship is worth it.
Baby-proofing sex buster #4—I don’t feel romantic or sexy. The end result of your time together is about reconnecting and not necessarily about getting as much sex in while you have the free time. If sex happens great, it’s an added bonus. If not, you at least gave each other your undivided attention.
Finally, Mother Theresa was the inspiration to one of my favorite quotes, "Always keep your lamp full." Wise words. Keeping your lamp full means taking time out and giving back not only to yourself but to each other as well. Ultimately, the best gift you can ever give your children is to model a happy, healthy relationship that translates to a lifetime love affair.
Dr. Trina Read has a doctorate in human sexuality. Dr. Read is also an international speaker and offers a free sex audio tip weekly on her website www.trinaread.com/t-sextips.