I hope you said your marriage! Your husband was there before the kids, and he’ll be there after the kids move out. And more importantly, once you have children, you have even more of a responsibility to work on your marriage, because other people count on you now. You can’t give your life entirely to your kids. That is wrong.
And ladies, sex is a big part of marriage! Men feel loved through sex, and we women feel much closer to our husbands when we’re connecting on a regular basis.
So let me ask you: is your bedroom a haven for your marriage?
What does that mean?
It means no laundry to be folded all over the bed and the floor. Don’t use your bedroom as a place to store laundry! I know that nice, beautiful big bed, at just the right height, makes it an ideal folding surface. But if you start, chances are you won’t finish, and then at the end of the night clothes are scattered everywhere. Not inviting.
Don’t make your bedroom a repository for stuff, either! I’ve known women who have so much junk in the bedroom because it’s out of the way so company won’t see it. But who is your house supposed to nurture, first and foremost: you and your husband, or the occasional guest? When you put junk in your room, then you feel the weight of it everytime you walk in. It isn’t inviting; it’s like having a neon sign in your bedroom saying, “I need to be cleaned! I need to be organized! I take a lot of work!” That’s hardly conducive to relaxation.
And here’s the hardest one: Making your bedroom a haven means that kids go to sleep in their own rooms. Many women believe in sleeping with the babies and toddlers in the bed because it promotes bonding. You can find co-sleeping websites all over the internet, and this is a widely debated topic on many sites.
Let me give you my two cents. Most men don’t feel comfortable having the kids in bed. My husband is a pediatrician, and he talks to co-sleeping parents all the time, and he has yet to meet a couple where the man didn’t secretly admit that it gives him the creeps having the kids there all the time (and it scares them that they’ll roll on the kids). Usually this is a woman-initiated thing, and the men go along with it.
And this will ruin your sex life! Some moms have written to me saying, “we just make love in other rooms, and be more intentional about it!” But let’s be honest: most sex occurs when we’re not being intentional; we’re just lying there and we snuggle and it goes further. Being intentional takes more energy, and means that sex will be less frequent. And men really do need it.
I know when a baby is first born you may want it in bed to make nursing easier, and if you’re absolutely exhausted, perhaps that’s the best idea. But let it be very temporary. You don’t want children to be your birth control!
Of course, keeping kids out also means that you need a lock on your door. Once, when my youngest was 6, Keith and I were having a good time when we heard the pitter patter of little feet. Freeze. She rattled the doorknob. “It’s locked!” Keith yelled. “Oh, that’s okay,” she replied. Pitter patter pitter patter. We resumed. And all of a sudden the door flew open. Grab the sheets.
It seems that 6 is old enough to know how to pick a lock, but not old enough to know that you don’t want to pick it.
So do what you can to keep kids out. Keep the springs on your bed oiled so the bed doesn’t squeak. Tighten the screws periodically, if you have them, on the headboard so that it’s secure and doesn’t rattle. Invest in comfortable sheets and a nice duvet. Get some candles. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but doing little things to help you feel comfortable and stressfree in your bedroom will help you to relax in it, and then maybe more will happen!
Finally, making your bedroom a haven may involve ditching the television. Do you really need to watch TV together at night? It just intrudes on couple time. Why not let the bedroom be where you snuggle, pray, talk, and cuddle? Why not let the bedroom be just for your relationship, and keep other stuff out?
I think if we show that we prioritize the time with our husbands by keeping the bedroom free of distractions, we’ll reap rewards! Your marriage is the most precious relationship God has given you, and we need to be doing all we can to honor and nurture that relationship!
Sheila is the author of the upcoming “The Good Girl’s Guide to Sex”. She blogs everyday at To Love, Honor and Vacuum.