If you’re a busy mum with young children, chances are sex isn’t the top of your priorities. The fizz and spark of sexual desire can be somewhat dampened by, well, everything you do.
Being a parent is physically draining. There’s the endless washing, cleaning, cuddling and carrying involved. It’s also emotionally draining; the negotiating, the worrying, the caring, the bottomless well of patience, the fear of getting it all wrong.
By the time your partner is waggling his eye brows suggestively after the kids are in bed, you wonder what it’s supposed to induce in you. Is the eye brow waggling meant to incite lust? Is it the equivalent of a peacock showing its feathers? Are you missing a piece of some fundamental human mating ritual?
Alternatives to the eye brow waggle might include a cheeky slap on the bum, a from-behind-boob-grab while you’re doing the dishes or a casual “how ‘bout a quickie?”
News flash: none of these “methods” are likely to work
Because: see paragraph three above.
It’s a bit like when you’re walking down the street and some yobbo yells out “show us your boobs!”
Really? Did you really think that would work?
These clumsy attempts to invite a woman to bed just end up being annoying.
And it’s very hard to be aroused when you’re annoyed.
When it comes to an overtired mum, just because you’re busy and it’s hard to find time to have sex, doesn’t mean that the quick approach is going to work.
You’re better off finding time to try an approach that will actually work.
Ideas on what might entice your partner to the bedroom
It is said that a woman’s desire starts in her mind. In order to switch that mindset from its frazzled everyday reality requires a few things.
Kindness. Compliments. Thoughtful actions she doesn’t expect.
I know there’s a stack of research on how doing more housework will get men laid, but it can be more straightforward than that (though equal domestic labour definitely has its place).
Listen to Kinderling Conversation:
When was the last time you offered her a genuine compliment? Bought her flowers? Took her on a romantic date she didn’t have to plan?
The emotional load that women carry is a real thing. We can feel weighted down by the responsibility of looking after everyone else. Look after her and see what happens.
Sex is not a marital right
Sorry, that went straight off the deep end didn’t it?
But I feel like it needs to be said.
While I’m sure there are many women who are keen to jump back in the sack as soon as they feel well enough after babies, many of us are still reeling after the experience of child birth and becoming a mum.
Our sex drives change, our desire for sex is misplaced, if only for a while.
And yet it still feels like men have the right to expect sex from their relationships whenever they want it.
Men are 'understanding' or 'patient' when a woman needs time away from sex. It’s a waiting game until they get what they need.
I’m not saying that need isn’t legitimate. I am saying it’s a two-way street. And it’s not just about a crude gesture to indicate you’re hot and ready to go.
Sometimes she just needs time. Time, understanding, and a bit of effort on her partner’s part.
When men start to feel this is unfair I want them to think about the alternative.
If she doesn’t want sex and you do, what would you prefer? That she does it but doesn’t enjoy it? That she says no and you say yes. There’s a word for that, and it’s not a nice word.
Taking the long road to a healthy sex life
I’m not saying you need to be like Sting and take seven hours to make love. Though to be fair, I think he had the right idea.
Sting once made a comment that he and his wife Trudie would have tantric sex for seven hours. Seven hours that included wining and dining.
Sex after babies is going to require more than a slap on the bum and a waggling eye brow.
It’s going to take picking up your dirty undies from the floor, asking her if she’d like a glass of wine, telling her she’s doing a great job and maybe even giving her the odd massage (without expecting sex).
It doesn’t mean you have to do these things every day, but having a healthy sex life includes sprinkling these other demonstrations of love throughout your life.
And then, who knows, your waggling eye brows might just do the trick.
'Flatmate syndrome', scheduling sex and getting it on post-kids
How often? How good? How different to 'before'? The latest Bodyshock episode answers all your questions.
How to reignite the romance in your relationship after kids
Has passion left the building since you’ve become parents? Therapist Desiree Spierings shares some invaluable advice to reviving the romance.
Reconnecting after kids: 6 great tips
When it comes to love, the simple things are often the best...
Why Meshel Laurie’s book about breakups could help you stay together
The comedian and radio host shares her tips for making your relationship and love last.
Four simple steps to recharge your relationship after kids
How to bring back the spark when it's all sizzled out.
Can scheduled romance make love real again?
Book in the love to keep your relationship strong, says Shevonne Hunt.
Seven date ideas that are better than a fancy dinner
Sick of the same old options but too tired to plan something different? With Valentine’s Day on the way, Kinderling’s here to help.
Matrescence: The transition to motherhood
This word changes everything, says Amy Taylor-Kabbaz.