Sure, your toddler sleeps through the night most of the time—too bad it’s so often in your bed. Between wrangling kids and working hard to make ends meet, frustration and exhaustion can get in the way of good loving. Vancouver mom Brandee Brown, whose daughter just turned four, says she spent years feeling “touched out, worn out and like there’s always someone to clean up after and feed.”
Brown says that she and her husband eventually realized they needed to give their relationship more attention. Their efforts have paid off. “We feel more connected and less like roommates,” she says. “We argue less over petty things when we find time to be together romantically, and we are both happier and more in tune with each other.”
How to deal:
Pencil it in. Seriously. Put it in your calendar. “Nobody wants to hear that they have to plan sex, but the more effort that you put into it, the better it’s going to be,” says Read. “When your child is young, you need to look out for the times in your week that you can carve out for it; otherwise the days will go by in a flash and you won’t have had sex,” she says.
Smith and her husband plan staycations where each child goes off to one set of grandparents, then they’ll book a last-minute hotel that day (to ensure no sick-kid/family drama sabotages their plans). “We’ll make the best of it, go out for drinks and then not have to worry about going home to the kids [when we’re] drunk,” she says. “We can be adults together.” Don’t have parents willing to take the kids overnight? Ask trusted friends or other family members.