Last Christmas while visiting my parents in Florida, hubby and I planned our first overnight away from our 2yr. old. Our Christmas gift from them was two nights at a hotel on the beach in beautiful Destin, FL just about 45min from my parents' house. We were pumped!! I was a bit nervous about leaving my little guy but the prospect of two nights, alone, on the beach, over Christmas seemed too good to pass up. What could be better! We had just learned we were unexpectedly pregnant so there was not even the concern of it being "that time of the month" or having to "be careful" with protection. Oh, the romance to be had.... right?
Maybe not. Once at the hotel, we mostly enjoyed the quiet and watched a couple movies and spent about 2 hours browsing (separately) in Barnes and Noble after dinner. We did have sex, just not near as much as we had talked about. We got lost in the quiet and sleep won. It was a wonderful weekend, very refreshing just not very typically romantic.
Then just this past weekend, our son had his second overnight getaway. Another chance for some kid-free lovin'? ... not so much. We didn't make it to the outing with our friends we were planning on attending. We didn't even talk about having sex or pretend that we wanted the evening to be filled with hot passion. We just laid in our bed, the house SO VERY quiet, and enjoyed the peace. Even the dog went to bed early. He must miss the quiet too. Again, a good time, but not all that sexy.
What is it about parenthood that makes sleep, or even just some quiet co-existence, take priority over sex? Wait... could it be the late nights or the early mornings or the long days filled with couch pirate ships and dino parades through the grass?
Life with a toddler, and soon to be a toddler and an infant, is so full and noisy and exhausting. It makes one desperate to grab all the revitalizing rest one can. Even at the cost of less sex. It has forced us to rethink romance in this stage of life.
Romance used to mean candlelight dinners
, some good conversation, maybe even a movie followed by an evening of uninhibited fore-play and sex with mood-setting music playing softly in the background. Sex these days is most often accompanied by the not-so-sexy sounds of the noise machine over the baby monitor and feels more like a race to get in the romance and pleasure before our toddler interrupts or needs help soothing back to sleep. Our sex life is still good, granted sometimes better than others, and satisfying but just not as frequent or consistent as before. Even when the setting seems favorable, it is not always the highest priority on the list. Not that hubby and I don't enjoy sex - I mean, I certainly do. But sometimes, that basic need for some quiet /sleep takes over and my body decides the pleasure of shutting my eyes is more than anything else may offer in that moment.
I still think there is still a huge need for romance
, no matter what stage of life or marriage you are in. But romance doesn't necessarily mean the same things now as before. Before retreating to our quiet bed this past weekend, hubby and I took the dog for an evening walk and just talked as we enjoyed the night-air. That's romance too. It serves a similar purpose of connecting and renewing bonds that the tolls of parenthood often wreak havoc on. And sex just isn't that huge priority it used to be. I guess a couple pregnancies, a dog and simply all the life that almost 10years of marriage enfolds will do that to ya'. Sleep and quiet are just as rare and just as valuable these days. Sorry hubby. Maybe next time.
Farrah also blogs about motherhood and why she often chooses sleep at BabyLove Slings.