Today’s post is dedicated to all those mom’s who contacted me last week and said something like, “I WANT more intimacy with my husband but how do I find time?” Many of us are balancing work, ministry, multiple kids in diapers, breastfeeding, school transportation schedules, homeschooling, driver’s ed AND MORE!
Let me tell you. I GET IT! My husband and I, in a couple of months, are expecting baby #6. We have children 11, 9,7, 3 and 19 mo. Between the two of us we minister to a church, teach multiple classes for children and adults, serve on a board for a homeless shelter, run a school prayer group, organize retreats, open our home regularly for ministry, coach a baseball team… the list goes on. We are a couple of busy people.
But I only say that to say, we MAKE time for each other. What would the church, our family, the shelter, or any one we serve mean if we did all that to the destruction of our marriage. It would mean nothing.
I want to share a story with you I read from The Sexually Confident Wife by Shannon Ethridge.
Alma was in her late seventies and had been battling skin cancer that had metastasized to some of her internal organs. She had lost her eye to cancer and much of the skin around her eye socket was black and rough, like a bumpy oil-topped country road. At first I felt sorry for Alma, but that changed within a few short hours when I met her husband, Ralph. He visited her every day, bringing flowers, candy, or a book to read to her… Ever few days… he’d ask “Do you mind hanging your sign on Alma’s door for a little while?”
He was referring to my Do Not Disturb sign… I knew Ralph wasn’t changing Alma’s clothes or giving her a sponge bath. He was being sexually intimate with her. My supervisor warned me that Ralph would expect that courtesy, and to allow him private time with his wife.
“Some people may think it’s sick that an old man would want to have sex with his cancer-riddled wife, but if you think about it, it’s really the most beautiful thing in the world.”
When we value our sexual intimacy, the obstacles won’t stop us. There may be inconveniences, but they won’t become love blockers. In fact, I think Ralph had the right idea. I am going to look into a Do Not Disturb sign for OUR door.
A couple of years ago Daniel and I put a movie on for the kids and sneaked away for some afternoon alone time. We heard a knock at the door but we were committed to not answering. A few minutes later the TV sounded much louder. My husband rounded the corner to find, our then 7 year-old, son with a screw driver in hand and an open door. I get obstacles.
Obstacles come from our environment, our mood, our body image, fatigue, our family. Sometimes the obstacles require a little more creativity and planning, but we haven’t met an obstacle that we couldn’t overcome and one that wasn’t worth overcoming!
If you are in a similar place in life as we are maybe these tips will help you.
Keep up with good hygiene.
Ok, you might be laughing, but I’m telling you, there have been weeks and months postpartum that finding time to get in the shower was my first obstacle to jump during the day. Without a fresh shower I feel icky. And I’m not prepared to receive my husband’s affection let alone jump in bed.
Get your rest.
There’s nothing like dropping into bed, one spouse is fired up and the other is snoring. I’m not saying that this doesn’t happen in our house occasionally. But we try to get to bed at a reasonable time to avoid that.
For kids and Mom and Dad! One of the big blockers that we have cut out is TV. It was habitual that we would put the kids in bed and one of us would watch a late night show on the couch and the other went to bed. Make it a purpose to actually go to bed together.
Remember the night isn’t the only time of day made for love.
Sometimes at our house the night-time is the most Mommy demanding time of the day. Someone can’t sleep, another has an upset stomach, another a bad dream. Use your morning time or lunch break creatively. Maybe even grab an appetizer before dinner when the demands on Mom are diverted elsewhere.
Pray about having a healthy self-image.
Let me tell ya, pregnancy does a number on our bodies. I have stretch marks in places I didn’t know I had skin. We gain weight, our boobs sag, our hips spread. Our bodies change with each baby we carry. But it’s ok. Wear it with confidence. We should take care of ourselves of course, but no amount of yogurt and granola is going to make the tire tread on my stomach disappear. If you feel like it’s a big deal be creative with lingerie and lace. Don’t let your body image be dominated negative thoughts.
Put the baby down.
Babies are actually pretty resilient little things. The are able to lay in their beds alone. You can even turn the monitor off for next 15 min. Really. The best advice I got from an older women in the church was to let my first son get used to laying alone in his bed, even during the day. She said, “If he fusses let him go a minute longer each time.” Eventually my infant son would roll, kick and coo himself to sleep happily. It took so much stress off of me and freed me to have time to… well… go to the bathroom and shower. The romance eventually came.
Remember, the most important thing you can give your child is a loving, stable home.
Don’t let motherhood demands distract you from the most important thing your child needs- a mom and dad who are crazy about each other. Our kids have been exposed to a lot of divorce and broken homes from people we love. We explain to our older kids that when we need time alone that we are using it for God to renew our marriage and love for each other. Motherhood is important. But marriage is a covenant with God that should be cherished, nurtured and grow. Your kids will be thankful for it!
This is Solomon’s song of songs, more wonderful than any other. Kiss me and kiss me again, for your love is sweeter than wine. How fragrant your cologne; your name is like its spreading fragrance. No wonder all the young women love you! Take me with you; come, let’s run! The king has brought me into his bedroom.