A New Mindset to Embrace Sex when Parenting

Raising kids is hard! Even though I am now an empty nester, I remember well the days of changing diapers, wiping spit-up off my clothes and interrupted nights of sleep. With 4 kids under the age of 6, I wish I had known then what I know now about sex. Surviving those years, I often felt isolated, exhausted, and on opposite teams from my husband. Sex always seemed to be the last thing on my “to do” list. I found myself feeling resentful when Jim would gently coax me towards connection. Though I am sure some practical choices might have helped for a while, they would have just acted like a band-aid that eventually falls off. What I really needed was a whole new mindset toward sex.

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Leaving My Daughter a Part of Me

Lately, my oldest daughter has taken to wearing one of my beloved old hoodies. The elbows are bare, the cuffs frayed, and the color completely faded. I replaced it several years ago with something a little more presentable. The sweatshirt has seen my everyday goings on of bible study, picking up groceries, pulling weeds, and snowboarding. It has also seen long walks with friends as we did battle in prayer and held each other’s arms up in ministry. It has caught the tears of women that poured out their anger and hurt over hard marriages. And it has held me as I wrestled with God about my own insecurities of teaching a sex class and stepped into obedience. It is one of those sweatshirts.

I don’t know why she started wearing it. She borrowed it one day when she was cold and took it home with her. Just about every time she comes to visit she has it on. Even though I am a little embarrassed at how tattered and threadbare it looks, it warms my heart to see it on her.

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Hormones, Sleep Deprivation, and Grandparents, Oh My!

Melanie & her boys.

Melanie & her boys.

Years ago, my pastor told our congregation that we should let go of the expectation that life will get easier once we enter the next season of life.  As I began preparing my defense for being unable to handle even more, my pastor added that parents of young children were excluded from his comment. New parents were the only ones who could hope that the path may smooth out in the days to come. Whew!  That’s right where I was and I needed to hear that it would get easier. Parenting infants and toddlers brings many joys, but it can also be immensely stressful. Hormones, sleep deprivation, grandparents, and your child’s lack of an owner’s manual, oh my. Often a couple’s sexual intimacy takes a hit.

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