I May Never Be ‘In The Mood’ Again: 4 Ways You May (Inadvertently) Be Killing the Romance in Your Marriage


ID-100237677Nothing makes me feel more like a vibrant and desirable woman than a full day of wiping stinky bottoms and snot-crusted faces, filling and re-filling sippy cups, cleaning up noodles that didn’t stay on the fork, and whining. Especially whining. Nothing makes me feel sexier than a bunch of little children chanting “Mommy I need…” and “Mommy I want…” all. day. long.

Wait that doesn’t work for you?

Yeah, me neither. After a full day of mommying romance doesn’t come easy. In fact, I’d say it’s hard. Very, very hard.

You grow to detest every romantic scene you’ve ever watched because you now know that couplehood–in real life and post-children–has nothing to do with two people looking their hottest who come together in a flurry of passion ignited by a four star dinner and a walk along a body of water.

Real intimacy involves two people, covered in the bodily fluids of their children, coming together in a house that smells like dirty diapers, while trying to ignore the baby monitor.

Candidly, all I want at the end of most days is to be somewhere, alone, with no one touching me. Oh, and the chance to pee without an audience.

Date nights. They are just hard during some seasons, too. Even if you have help, I’ll confess to agreeing to see movies that I would normally never choose (G.I. Joe for instance) just for the chance to be alone in a chair where I could close my eyes with no one saying, “Mommy are you sleeping? Why are your eyes closed, mommy?”

That’s the spirit, eh?

Before children you fantasize about your time together. After children you fantasize about time ALONE!

Yet, alone isn’t necessarily what’s best for your marriage (or mine). We all need some personal space, for sure. But, healthy relationships require time. Even when it’s hard.

And, sadly, sometimes we are our own worst enemies in the romance department. It’s not just that we’ve “lost that loving feeling.” Instead, we’ve shot it dead…with a thousand bullets.

Sometimes we moms are romance murderers. Here are just a few of the ways we self-sabotage (or at least I do):

1. We talk to our husbands like one of the children…

Every time my husband and I go out, alone, I bite my tongue a minimum of three times per trip. It’s not because he’s saying something with which I disagree. Rather, it’s because we inevitably pass farm animals, construction trucks or some sort of emergency vehicle. It’s hard and requires great self control to exit mommy mode and not point out every fire truck, “moo” and “baa.” Oddly, my husband doesn’t really seem to care that we just passed a giant excavator.

If you think that’s bad: allow me to tell you about the time when I asked him if he needed to go potty before we left the restaurant. Yikes.

In order to become a couple again you’ve gotta let go of the mommy reins and reprogram. Even if your husband seems to handle it alright when you tell him to finish his vegetables or wear a jacket, chances are it’s not a turn on. Marriage works better when there are two equal partners — so save the mothering for tomorrow.

2. We only talk about the CHILDREN…

“Oh, you wouldn’t believe how the baby rolled over today, and Joshie had the problem with the bully at school, and Savannah doesn’t want to take a nap, and you should have seen the color of junior’s poop…” WHAT??!!

I (secretly) hope you are as guilty as I am.

We spend our time alone with the love of our life catching him up on the day’s (or week’s) events–in painful detail–until any flicker of passion’s flame has been snuffed out by a twenty minute story about the booger that was impossible to remove or the wrestling match you had at nap time after you searched the house for the missing bunny, Mr. Snuggles.

Make a date night “no kid talk” rule. I know it’ll be hard, but resist the urge.

3. We recount (and smell like) all the body fluids we’ve been doused with through the day…

This may be an obvious one, but showering (or taking a very long bath) before you spend some quality time alone together is an essential step in helping you feel like a human being again.

I recommend telling your husband what you are washing off before you bathe and then (try to) forget about it! Foreplay that includes the statement, “I think I still smell like a mix of breastmilk and urine” is not going to be very stimulating. Harness your brain, wash it off…and try to move on. Essential oils or perfume can help you mask the scent when you just can’t get it out of your head, too.

4. We wallow in  how tired we are

Mommy tiredness is real and a fatigue unlike any other. When you’ve spent the day being sucked on, pulled at, grabbed, and crowded the last thing you may want to do is that activity that resulted in the tiny assailants running around your house. I’m a big advocate of napping, but some days that just isn’t possible. So, you may have to get creative on this one. One idea: straight up ask your husband to give you an hour or two in the early evening to take a bath and a power nap and then commit to getting up because you know the time together will ultimately be energizing instead of draining.

If all else fails, Mom, remember that this is a season. Someday all of your children will sleep through the night. Someday they will also wipe their own behinds and noses. These days are hard but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Investing in your marriage, even when it’s the last thing on your to do list, is something you don’t want to skimp on. Not if this is your goal at least:

older couple holding hands


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