Do you remember the last time you had really noisy, sweaty, all-over-the-house sex? Do you remember the last time you kissed your other half – not a peck, or a quick goodnight, but a proper snog, tongues and all?! Do you remember the last time you walked down the street together holding hands?
If you do, and it was within the last couple of months, great!
But if you can’t remember, or you can but it was what feels like a lifetime ago, welcome to my world, and the world of so many parents! Even with the best will in the world, it can start to feel almost impossible to carve out time for those seemingly little things, and I am just as guilty of that as anyone else.
I convinced myself that my sex drive had naturally decreased; my body no longer feels the need to reproduce, therefore the sex drive disappears. Can’t argue with science. But this has become part of my excuse for not really making an effort, ever.
Of course it’s harder than it was pre-kids; you’re tired pretty much all of the time, there are other things that need to get done like the washing, cooking, and cleaning, you’re still two weeks behind on your favourite TV show so you just want to watch one more episode before bed, there are kids in your bedroom; kids in cots, babies in Moses baskets, kids crawling into bed at 2am. All of this coupled with the fact that when the Mr gets home from work you’re still wearing the same PJ’s you were wearing when he left, only now there is a smudge of an indeterminate food product down the sleeve, and you’re hardly likely to be feeling all that sexy.
On top of all this, you might not be feeling all that great about your post-baby body. Things aren’t quite the same as they were before, and if you’re two or more kids in, things definitely aren’t the same as they were before! There’s bits that are looser, bits that are slacker, bits that are sitting a little differently, bits that are suddenly more or less tender than before, not to mention the baby belly that just won’t budge.
It can be so easy to give into all these things and to allow them to get in the way of carving out time for each other, and believe me when I say I know! I am guilty of all of the above, and more. I’m not saying that I should be getting dolled up every day of my life, or even every other day, and I’m certainly not saying that I should be making an effort for anyone but myself.
What I am saying is that once in a while – whether you can manage it once a month, every two months, or once every six months – it feels great to throw on some half decent clothes, maybe even a pair of heels and head off for an outing that doesn’t involve hefting a pram up a hill, or pleading with a three-year-old to pick their feet up and possibly try walking quicker than a snail in quicksand. It feels great to walk down the street, hand in hand, at whatever pace you choose. It feels great to get to wherever you’ve chosen to go, and just pick a table. Any old table! It feels great to wander home after last orders, open the front door and make as much noise as you like – don’t even bother taking your shoes off, just clomp around, there’s no-one here to wake! And you know what, sometimes there’s nothing quite as confidence boosting as a night of zero inhibitions, loud, no-need-to-hold-back mummy and daddy time (*wink wink*). Who am I kidding – get naked, have really loud sex, and do it in whichever room of the house you fancy! It’ll make you feel great about yourself.
We all love our kids, there’s no doubt about that. But there’s also no doubt that there’s simply nothing more refreshing and invigorating as parents than time spent forgetting about being parents. So take a night or a day, or anything you can get, whenever you can get it, and do all of the things you used to do before you had to worry about waking small people, and sharing your room (and bed, inevitably). A little escapism from the everyday does wonders for my parenting skills!