Motherhood has become, for so many of us, the ultimate marathon. Each day we seemingly put every ounce of energy into our children and running our households. The recent creation (and use) of terms like 'helicopter parents' or 'hyper-parenting' practically confirms that we are guilty of focusing on modern day motherhood emotionally, physically and spiritually in ways that mothers in the past never did. Although this type of energy outlay certainly makes sense when we have newborns, is it really necessary — or even healthy — as our children begin to grow up? If all of our energy is focused and devoted to our children, households and careers, what is left for us as adult sexual beings? Why have we put our sex lives on the back burner as if it is the least important aspect of our lives?
There is plenty written about the benefits of an active sex life. Before we became mothers, most of us enjoyed the benefits of an active sex life, and weren't lacking for desire either. Fast forward through marriage, a mortgage and kids, and now when our head hits the pillow at night sex is the furthest thing from our minds. Are we consciously turning off those desires in order to focus on our family and thus turning off a crucial aspect of joy, intimacy, and overall health in our lives? Probably not. So what has happened? We used to enjoy sex. We still love our partner. And we know that sex is beneficial to our health and our relationship. How can we live well-rounded fulfilled lives if we remove that aspect of ourselves in the name of motherhood?
So let's talk about the importance of taking care of ourselves as women physically, emotionally and sexually. Is it possible that you have (unintentionally) demanded too much of yourself in your roles as partner and parent? From our observations, you have! Children do not need us to spend every waking moment engaged and interacting with them or managing their lives. Being a great mother does not mean becoming an 'executive assistant' to your children and managing their every move. It is entirely reasonable to allow (or require) children to have some independent play time, or become responsible for certain activities. Besides enabling our children to become dependent on us, today's version of motherhood also fills our mind with so much mental clutter (who is on carpool tomorrow, do I need to schedule a play date for Sasha, what's for dinner tonight) that sexual thoughts and desires become few and very far between.
So how can you make the shift from the family's executive assistant to CEO of your own sex life? The first thing to do is to get really clear about what relaxes you, how your partner can help,and what turns you on sexually. So many women have become disconnected from their own needs that they have trouble verbalizing and asking for what they want. Do you need a little time alone, a bath, a glass of wine, time to read your favorite book, a quick conversation with your favorite girlfriend, your husband to put the kids to bed? There are no right or wrong answers to this question — only what's right for you. Reconnecting with yourself as an individual, particularly a sexual individual will add a crucial aspect to your energy, happiness, and especially your relationship. When we see sex as a chore versus a wonderful part of our lives, we lose desire and the fun and playfulness that comes with an active sex life.
After Nine Tonight is a company that has developed a creative and unique way to help women switch from mommy mode to sexual partner mode. As a mother, wife, and professional herself, one of the founders, Dr. Suzy Olds struggled with the "mind clutter" that affects so many of us. After eight years of studying this problem, Suzy and her husband Doug (the other founder) developed a solution that includes 1) a website to inform, encourage and support moms who are impacted by low desire and/or a much less satisfying sex life than what they used to have; and 2) a film series unlike anything on the market. Their episodes are only 15 minutes long and intended to de-clutter a busy mom's mind and then create mental arousal so that exhausted moms will actually want intimate interaction more than sleep. Real-life moms will identify with the mom characters in these episodes, who are reinvigorating their own sex lives with their husbands.
Motherhood can be as joyful as it is exhausting yet it should never be the loss of a mother's own individuality and pleasure. Have you ever regretted working out? We are guessing not unless you injured yourself. We are also pretty confident that you won't regret improving your sex life with your partner. Owning your own sexuality and caring for that part of your life as you would any other, will lead to less stress, more relaxation, a closer bond with your partner, and a calmer happier mom. Check out After Nine Tonight to help declutter your mind or come up with your own version of switching out of mom mode. We promise, you won't be sorry.
Lisa Kaplin is a psychologist and life coach at Smart Women Inspired Lives where she helps stressed out, overwhelmed women face their fears, step out of their comfort zones and find crazy amounts of joy and happiness. Are you ready to ditch the stress and find some happiness? Join Dr. Kaplin for her free teleclass "New and Unique Ways to Ditch the Stress and Find Happiness". Sign up here.
After Nine Tonight is dedicated to strengthening relationships by helping busy parents rekindle our passion. Our website is designed to inform, encourage and support women as they address the challenges of decreased sex drive. Our unique video series, each episode only 15 minutes long, is designed to de-clutter our busy minds and 'get us in the mood'. Pre-order our upcoming Rekindle Series so you can start reconnecting with your partner After Nine Tonight!
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