I did an in home consult several years with a couple that had not shared a bed since their first daughter had arrived.
She was 5.
One parent slept with the 5 year old and one slept with the 2 year old.
After getting to know them a bit better, I jokingly said to them one day that I was a little bit surprised that they had ever had a second child since they were not sharing a bed. They looked at each other with a bit of a sad expression, and trusting me enough, confided that they really didn’t have much of a sex life.
They also told me that they really felt like their marriage was in trouble and had been talking about a separation. I said that I totally understood and that I had seen this too many times before. It’s very hard to maintain intimacy when you’re not sharing a bed with your spouse.
So I suggested to them, “You know what? Let’s work together at getting these kids sleeping well and the two of you back in the same bed. We’ll put everything else on hold for now.”
They made the commitment to do just that, and the good news is that within two weeks, both kids were in their own bed, and mom and dad were sleeping together again. They knew they had some hard work to do to mend their marriage, but sharing a bed again was a great place to start.
Now, for those of you who haven’t had kids yet, and are thinking that you’d never let the spark go out of your marriage, let me assure you, we’ve all made that vow. We’ve all meant it sincerely and we’ve all seen our sex lives dwindle from one degree to another after having kids.
There are so many obstructions to your sex life after the little ones arrive. People often complain that they can’t find the time, can’t get any privacy, or that they’re just too distracted with all of the little tasks and obligations that come with being parents.
But let’s be honest, if you really felt like having sex, you’d find a way to make it happen. It might be quick and awkward, but you’d find a way.
But the truth is, that’s the reason so many new parents find their sex lives suffering. They’ve simply lost the desire.
And a big reason for that loss of desire may just be lack of sleep.
A 2011 study from the University of Chicago showed that not getting enough sleep (adults need between 7 and 10 hours a night) resulted in a 15% reduction in testosterone levels. That’s about how much testosterone production goes down after 15 years of aging. (Guys, imagine yourself at 18 and then again at 33. Are we getting the picture?)
Testosterone, in case you didn’t already know, is a major player when it comes to getting fired up. (Yes ladies, this applies to you too.)
And as if that’s not enough reason to ensure you’re getting enough shut-eye, lack of sleep has also been linked to erectile dysfunction in men and lubrication issues in women, so even if you did feel the urge, you might have a tough time going through with it.
“But we’ve got a new baby!” I can hear you protesting. “We’re never going to get 8 hours of sleep a night!”
Well, that’s definitely the stereotype. We’re all familiar with the sitcom portrayal of the parents of new babies, dragging themselves around the house with their eyes closed, pouring a carton of apple juice into a bowlful of cereal. Ha ha! Oh, Uncle Jesse! You weren’t counting on twins, were you?
It’s not so funny when your marriage is on the rocks though. Intimacy is a key component of a solid relationship, and your kids don’t know how their actions can sabotage it.
And yes, I realize that kids can be terribly demanding, but if they could honestly answer the question, “Do you want to sleep in your own room, or do you want Mommy and Daddy to live in different houses?”
I’m sure we all know what the answer would be.
If your baby, infant or toddler is having trouble sleeping through the night, help is just a click away! The Sleep Sense Program has helped over 106,00 parents to get their kids sleeping 11-12 hours through the night AND taking long, restful naps during the day. If you’re ready to get started today – I’m looking forward to helping you!