Finding the Time: Coping With the Loss of Time & Privacy That Comes With Parenting

By Lily Whitten

I understood many things about how being a parent would change my life. I knew I was in for sleepless nights, far fewer movies at the theater, and a whole hell of a lot of diaper changing. Those first six months with my daughter were just that – exhausting, no going to the movies, and yes, a lot of very smelly diapers. But there were so many wonderful things too; the lovely smell of my daughter’s head, the way the whole world stopped and sang with joy when she laughed, and how everything was just so FASCINATING to her.

But somewhere around a year old, she clicked into being her own person and not just the cutest pooping doll I’ve ever seen. She began having preferences, objections, and some of these caused me more stress than I anticipated. She would eat this, but she wouldn’t eat that. She started taking fewer naps. She began moving around, meaning I had to stay right next to her at all times in case she tried to eat the cat or climb into the fireplace. Suddenly I was restricted in ways that surprised me; not because they were unexpected, exactly, but because that first year tricked me into thinking it was going to be EASY.

The biggest loss, of course, was private time. While I am a work-at-home mom, I know most mothers find that this is true. Even if you can get the kid to nap at a regular time, it might be the only time for laundry/cleaning/doing the dishes. It’s nearly impossible to set aside time for yourself. I used to try to get in bed for a little private time with one of my trusty tools, but I was so damn tired I would fall asleep. If I was lucky enough to have the cooperation of my husband, I’d be so afraid of making noise and waking the baby that I’d find myself sucking the fun, so to speak, right out of the moment.

So, what do you do? I’ve heard everything. One of my friends hires a babysitter and then rents a nearby hotel room with her husband. Sounds delightful, although it can get very expensive (and, frankly, I’m afraid I’d fall asleep and forget to go home). I know other mothers that set an alarm for before the kids wake up, just so they can grab some nooky from their partners before the day starts.

What I’ve learned is that if you don’t make it a priority, intimacy and private time simply vanishes. Perhaps renting a hotel room is a little extreme, but getting the babysitter to take your kids down to the playground for an hour? Much more doable. My husband and I have tried to make our lovemaking a priority without it becoming a rut, and I’ll admit it, it is a challenge. As my daughter gets older and is sleeping through the night, finally, it’s much less likely that I fall asleep when I lay down with my vibrator.

It really is possible to maintain a quality sex life (both with yourself and your partner) after children. It takes a great deal of work, and you have to accept that lack of spontaneity as a simple fact of reality. But it is worth it! Your partner, and your libido, will thank you for trying.

About the author:

Lily Whitten is a devoted mother and wife who agreed to share her story with MyPleasure.
Please share your thoughts and related stories by commenting below.

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