Working Moms Need Sex Too

By Brandee Contributor

I’m going to do that thing where I make you all uncomfortable for awhile. That is just sort of my calling in life; when there is something awkward, strange or potentially uncomfortable to talk about, I am the most likely one to bring it up. Around here, I’m probably the one with the least amount of shame and most personal transparency, so I thought I should be the one to talk about that thing we’re not really supposed to talk about. You know, SEX?

I think most relationships follow a general pattern. We all start off hot and heavy, making out on the couch, having sex whenever and wherever the mood strikes you, and never having to think about when you and your partner got naked last. This seems to carry on for awhile, and then things shift. You fall into your routine, the shine wears off, and before you know it, your once hot and heavy relationship is something a little cooler.

At least, this is how it is for many people I talk to.

Trying to get pregnant is often the catalyst which causes you to revisit those hot and heavy days; and then comes pregnancy. This goes one of two ways for people from what I gather. However, regardless of how things are when you’re expecting, things are going to be a whole lot different when the baby arrives.

I don’t need to go into all the details about sex after a baby; every single parent knows all about that. How your relationship was affected by the arrival of your child isn’t relevant here; just that there was a change. You are now responsible for another life, and things will never be the same. Not to mention you’re sleep deprived, lacking shower regularity and trying to figure out if that smell is poop or sour milk. Bringing baby home means adjustments in every area of your life, and sex is usually quick to be pushed aside, especially in those early days.

It’s what happens in the later days that starts to matter.

As time goes on and routines start to emerge, it can be easy to fill any new found “me time” with family tasks. What used to be an evening of cuddling on the couch followed by a passionate sweaty romp in the bedroom has now become a fight over the remote while you negotiate who has to fold the socks. While “going to bed early” used to be code for “I have something new and dirty I want to try with you”, it is now just literally, I am going to bed early.

For something so incredibly important to your relationship and your family, it’s amazing how easily it can be pushed to the side.

I get it, I totally do. After a long day of work, book ended by toddler wrangling and topped off with dinner making, chores and errands, it’s a wonder you can even walk yourself to bed let alone be expected to perform some sort of kama-sutra act. Parents are touched out, talked out and worn out, and the bed is calling to them to crash out until morning. Whether you work out of the home or not, by the time you and your partner are alone, you’re damn tired. The whole thought of getting naked seems daunting.

This is where it all starts to fall apart; the thinking.

Never in my life have I been half way to the Big O and stopped to think “man I wish I were sleeping.” Not even once. I have, however, thought to myself during the day, “Maybe I should jump my husbands bones later,” only to have that derailed by, “Wow am I ever tired I can’t even THINK about getting naked right now,” thoughts.

Here is the thing; the blatant, honest, probably too much information thing – my sex life isn’t always great. For all the reasons stated above, and 1000 more we all experience on a regular basis, finding time to have sex with my husband can be a challenge. We have things to do, separate interests and of course a child. Sometimes when things get going, we hear someone cry-out “MOMMY DADDY’ across the baby monitor, and even if she doesn’t actually need us to go to her in the night, we aren’t feeling that sexy anymore. Sometimes I just can’t wait for my husband to come to bed before I pass out, and sometimes it has just been so long since we had sex, that we’re all awkward and weird about it, and it can be hard to move ahead.

I often find myself thinking what does it really matter anyway? We’re married, I know we love each other and of all the problems we could have in our relationship, not being totally in sync sexually doesn’t seem like the end of the world. And it really isn’t, until it is.

Sex is extremely important. It’s what makes a marriage or partnership different than any other relationship out there. When you strip down your relationships with other people, they are all the same at the basis, and a lot of the time I could swap my friend out for my husband without a lot of repercussions in my life. When I’m having a hard day, I know a number of people to call for comfort. When I need help, there are friends and family members. When I’m looking to go out and have some fun, I can pick from a large group of people. However, when I want someone to make me feel good and loved and sexy and womanly, there is only my husband. He is the only person on the planet I am this connected to, and there is something about that connection that I need to survive. Without it, life starts to stifle me.

When you lose the sex, you start to lose the love. That isn’t to say you stop loving each other, but you stop being in love. The seemingly innocuous pet peeves you have, the fact that your husband has no sense of urgency or ability to pay attention to you when you speak, become deal breakers. Quirks and annoyances that used to simple frustrate you in passing start to plague the relationship on a continual basis. Feelings of inadequacy are validated instead of being rebutted, and before you know it, the resentment starts.

My husband and I call this the vicious circle. It always starts on a high; somehow you manage to have a good night and reconnect and things get better (this is usually fueled by wine). You maintain the rhythm, vow to never let sex fall by the wayside again, and make promises to each other you have full intention to keep. Then life gets in the way. You throw in a toddler cold, a work deadline and 27 required social activities and before you know it, so much time has passed since you have been intimate, you start to forget how. Each person is feeling it; both feeling rejected, alone and bad, and neither one of you is ready to make the first move. You get awkward, more time passes, the perceived rejection turns to resentment and the bickering starts. By this point, you’re so frustrated that it’s been so long, you don’t even want to have sex anymore. And so on and so forth for however long you ignore the problem.

Then one of two things happens – one of you decides to be the adult and put an end to the stupidity either through talking or groping, or you just plain fall apart.

This is what I meant earlier when I said sex is important to your relationship AND your family. It isn’t just about feeling good for a night; it’s about developing and maintaining an important connection. It’s about feeling loved by your partner, and allowing them to feel that way, so that no matter what else is happening in life, you know you can deal with it together. Without sex, you lose intimacy and without intimacy your love starts to change. Before you know it, you’re raising a family with a glorified roommate who shares expenses but get’s on your last nerve.

As a working mother, I struggle to find time for me, time for my marriage, and time for my family every day. I know these things are all equally as important, but is can be so easy to deny myself the connection I need with my husband, in favour of doing something for someone else. I put my daughters needs above everyone else’s, and sometimes that means being run ragged and exhausted, or feeling like I’m out of time. I don’t doubt my husband feels the same way. Having sex should come easily and naturally like it used to, but as we pile more stuff on, finding time to be with each other becomes increasingly difficult. We can be so quick to give up sex for something else, but I’m trying really hard to not make that an option.

I am trying to remember us when things were a lot more simple; when we were young, hot and sexy, like when we got married:

Aren't we just the hottest couple ever?

When you think about it, sex doesn’t take that long. We have been married long enough to know what to do, and sometimes a quickie can be just as fun and can reconnect us just as well as a long romantic night. So we need to work at it. We need to stop pushing it aside and putting it in the optional category. Sock folding is optional, doing nasty, terrible things to one another is not.

What do you think? Do you and your partner struggle to find time to connect, or have you fallen into a routine that works for you? Are we the only ones who suffer that vicious circle? And if you’re not someone who struggles to keep the fires burning despite all the things going on in your life, what advice do you have for those of us who do?

33 Comments

  • Thank you so much, Brandee. It’s Thanksgiving this week, so let me say that I am grateful for people like you! Not just that you said something that needed to be said but that we find ackward to talk about … but that you said it eloquently & without excessive shock value stuff.
    We are right there with you. For all the same reasons.
    This may come off as incredibly lame to everyone else, but what has worked for us is “date night”. Sometimes we do actually go somewhere (dinner or just a couple drinks) and let my parents babysit our daughter. BUT regardless, Saturday is “date night” – “rainchecks” are allowed if there’s a surprise in-law visit or one of us is deathly ill. My husband thought it was a crazy idea at first, but it really has been great – no wondering if tonight’s the night, you know? It may not be as wild & crazy as those early days, but it keeps us connected. I absolutely agree that sex is vital to a marriage. It doesn’t need to be anything like what it was pre-kids, but it does have to be there. I’ll borrow your fire analogy – I see us as keeping the fire burning until life lets it blaze up again!
    Thanks again!!!
    Angie Matthewson recently posted..Working with Style V – Bohemian RhapsodyMy Profile
    Twitter: smallerstuff

  • Brandee says:

    Date night sounds great. it works for some people, but we tried is and what happens to us specifically, is my husband gets so worked up thinking about the “pressure” it tends to backfire on us. Welp. He’s an interesting one, that’s for sure. 

    And how sweet that you’re thankful for people like me lol. You may be one of the few ;)
    Brandee recently posted..LostMy Profile
    Twitter: Babe_Chilla

  • Thanks for posting this. I seriously have tears in my eyes, because we have really been struggling with this lately. And you are right, it does affect a lot of other things. We keep promising each other we are going to make a point to be more intimate, and it just doesn’t happen. Hopefully we’ll hit a turning point soon.
    Misty @ The Family Math recently posted..SOC Sunday: The joy of being a momMy Profile
    Twitter: mistymathews

    • Brandee says:

      The amount of tears I’ve cried over this are countless. The feeling of not being wanted by the person you love truly is gutting. That said, when I get out of my own head and look at it rationally, and am able to talk with the man I married. I discover a lot of my concerns rest solely in my head. 

      I strongly urge you to have a frank discussion. If you’re feeling too shy and beat down. I strongly encourage a bottle of red, some candle light and a “not taking no for an answer” attitude. ;)
      Brandee recently posted..LostMy Profile
      Twitter: Babe_Chilla

      • Yeah, tried the red wine. It usually just ends up with him drinking a little, me drinking a lot and going to bed early because it makes me sleepy.

        I think we’re just at the point where we’ve been so overwhelmed and busy raising a kid these past seven months that we don’t even know how to get back to the point where we even talk about it much. We both readily admit that we want it to be more of a priority, but I feel like he doesn’t really make advances, and there’s always some reason or other not to do it when I make the advances. And he tries to make sure I know he loves me and wants me, but it’s hard not to feel rejected.
        Misty @ The Family Math recently posted..SOC Sunday: The joy of being a momMy Profile
        Twitter: mistymathews

    • Brandy says:

      FWIW…it took me a good bit post LT to feel sexy on the regular.  And it wasn’t because of weight or body issues…it was just not being overwhelmed.  I just had to get my shit straight.
      Brandy recently posted..Toddler Dinners: When shit hits the fanMy Profile
      Twitter: mannlymama

      • Brandee says:

        For sure, and we all do but, this isn’t even about me as much as the hubs and the do of us together. My kid is 20 months old, shit should be together by now. The current state is truly that we’re at a point where things aren’t as easy or natural as they once were. We need to make US a priority. 

        We spend so much time trying to make sure our kid is happy and well cared for, the least we could do for her is be happy and well cared for ourselves, you know? 
        Twitter: Babe_Chilla

      • Brandee says:

        I am so awesome and totally thought that was directed only to me, but then realized the world actually revolves around the sun and not my ass, and that you were probably talking more to Misty who’s bambino is only 7 months. So ya. What Brandy said. 
        Brandee recently posted..Working Moms Need Sex Too!My Profile
        Twitter: Babe_Chilla

  • “when there is something awkward, strange or potentially uncomfortable to talk about, I am the most likely one to bring it up.” This is me! No wonder I love you so much!

    This is a wonderful post, so honest and true. Thank you for being brave enough to share. And keep that spark alive! You both deserve to feel loved and wanted. :)
    Twitter: efloraross

  • Ginger says:

    It’s like you’re IN MY HEAD. This is something that we’ve struggled with, a LOT. It’s not helped by the fact that my husband (who stays at home with our son), does most of his work between the hours of 8pm-2am. Not that that’s an excuse, but it’s one more thing, you know?

    But I do know this. It’s SO important. Every time things have gotten weird in our relationship, it’s partly been due to that breakdown. I don’t know how to always find time, but it’s so, so, SO important to try.
    Ginger recently posted..Reads From Around The WebMy Profile
    Twitter: rambleginger

    • Brandee says:

      I’ve learned we can make an excuse out of anything. That’s the hard part. 

      One thing I am TRYING to do is separate “sex” from “bedtime”. Pre baby, we just did it whenever we wanted. If we felt like a quickie before dinner, we went for it, who cares. Obviously there are responsibilities that make that not an option anymore but, that time between when the toddler is down for the night and I go to bed is a sacred time. I’m trying to put the sex before the sleep, and not dive into bed swaddled in my flannel jammies and then wonder why nothing is happening. I’m TRYING to make sex it’s OWN thing, just like blogging or watching my show or reading. I think that it helps. 

      And you’re SO right about the weirdness. No sex = everything getting strange. 

      Who knew we’d have to think so much about this when we were married? 
      Brandee recently posted..LostMy Profile
      Twitter: Babe_Chilla

  • Brandy says:

    Ok I don’t have a lot of time to comment.  Suffice to say, LOVE THIS.  We go through the ups and downs too….what I have found for me in those “can’t stop thinking about something else” moments?  Literary porn.  Not even joking.  Can read it on my phone. I don’t need it to fantasize about something or somebody else…it just makes me STOP thinking about projects, grocery lists, work deadlines, the next post idea, ahem, twitter.  It takes just a few minutes of reading and I can clear my overworked mine and focus on “the task”.  
    Brandy recently posted..Toddler Dinners: When shit hits the fanMy Profile
    Twitter: mannlymama

  • Ericka says:

    I’m thrilled to find people, moms or not, that are not afraid to speak about things we ALL think! I’m also a huge believer in sex being a part of a healthy marriage. It’s too bad that the very word sex or anything related to sex brings about such awkwardness for most people! Thank you for a great post! Thank You Elizabeth Flora for tweeting about it :))
    Ericka recently posted..“Talker’s Block”My Profile
    Twitter: lifeandspice

  • Ben says:

    I wish I could get my wife to buy into this. With the exception of baby making (which was very brief), we’re going on 10 years without sex. I’m trying and we’re great otherwise, but yeah…it’s very hard.

    Thank you so much for giving me some hope. I know we’re missing out and it’s killing our marriage.

    I love my wife madly, but I can’t live like this.

    Ben

    • Brandee says:

      Ben, that is a very very very long time. I’d of lost my ever loving MIND by now if I was you!

      You need to talk about this. And maybe see someone for help. Sex is a natural part of a relationship, and ignoring the need for it for so long is going to cause irreparable damage. There must be a root cause to this problem? 
      Brandee recently posted..It’s a Very Uff Da ChristmasMy Profile
      Twitter: Babe_Chilla

    • Amanda Hughes says:

      I can only imagine what you’re going through but that’s not what life is mean to. You need to enjoy every moment and sex plays an immense role !
      Amanda Hughes recently posted..JC Penney CouponsMy Profile

  • Lea says:

    Hi Brandee, I rad this post when you fist posted it. I thought is was great- planned on jumping my husbands bones as soon as he got home, but I’m sure something crazy happened, like poop on the floor or fevers, so I completely forgot. About a week later, my husband and I had some serious talks following a really intense blow out.
    We came to the understanding that sex, for him -is like good food, back rubs, alone time and lovey dovey emotional talk to me.
    I’m here to report that we have been the closest this last week than we have in years. Not only in the intimate sense, in an emotional war as well.
    Our moods are better, he is more agreeable and doing things I enjoy, and he’s getting what he wants.
    Thank you for this post. It helped me to process something that needed to be taken care of.

  • Brandy says:

    I don’t think that this issue is just for working moms or even for new moms. I have two children ages 6 and 2, and my husband and I might actually be moving from the necessary sex stage to the enjoy sex stage. There are so many reasons and excuses for not having sex regularly. What it comes right down to is having a child COME OUT OF YOUR BODY!?!?!? is a serious mind and body f#@k! It has taken me years to recover! Once you are in the middle of a no sex cycle its hard to break out of it and then your husbands ego takes a blow. There are two things that I have found that will help us…. First of all, “date nights” don’t work for us and suck if you are poor!!! Its not the same when you have to put all the work into the planning AND prep, when you could be doing 100 other things around the house and if you can’t afford to go out it just makes you think about how poor you are which stresses you out even more!! I have found though, when I make an effort to set aside time in MY schedule to have sex with my husband it works. The part about you being chicken to initiate is sooo me! But once we start, well….. This also keeps pressure off him and makes him feel wanted and needed. Also, try to throw in that quicky! Don’t just wait for him to come to bed, do it while Everly is napping on the weekend! It will make it a little easier if the time between tends to get long… I also make it very clear to my hubby, that the more he helps out with the kids and around the house, the less tired and stressed I am and the more likely I am to want to have sex. After making this clear, he has taken on ALL of our laundry! I have been to doctors and therapists and pretty much get the same “date night” response and that it is normal. That said it makes me feel better to see this isn’t just my problem! I LOVE my husband! And love him even more when we have a wild romp in the hay! I hope this might help…. If not, hang in there, eventually the kids grow up and it gets better!

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