Too Tired for Sex

Dear Courage,

I have two kids, ages 6 and 2. I’m a full-time student. My husband goes to work, and then to school. We’re living on one tight income. My DH is horny all the time! I’m not. I’d just as soon skip it and go to sleep. I can barely do it twice a week. He pressures me and wants to try things I’m not comfortable with. What can I do? I love my husband… I just don’t have any sex drive any more.

Low Libido

Dear Low Libido,

Yours is not an uncommon problem. You have several factors contributing to your low libido. You’re exhausted. How do I know this? Because you have kids and you’re in school. I did that once, years ago. Being a student is hard enough for single kids. When you’re married, it’s harder, and when you have kids, it’s harder still. Single kids – all they have to worry about is studying and attending classes. Married students have to worry about their relationship with their partner, the rent or mortgage payment, usually one or two car payments, fixing meals, laundry, and everything else. When you also have kids – well, it’s a miracle any mom ever graduates. But it’s not insurmountable – just give yourself a break. You are exhausted, and doing the best you can under these circumstances. How soon until you graduate?

Another factor for low-libido is having kids. There’s a period of adjustment, usually while you’re nursing a newborn, that your hormones are out of whack. This should have fixed itself by now, but you should check with your doctor. You could have a hormone imbalance, a problem with your thyroid gland, that is causing your low libido and aggravating your feeling is exhaustion. The hormone test is a simple blood test, and treated easily with medication or changes in diet.

Yet another issue affecting your libido is the lack of “together” time you and your husband have been getting. You’re just too busy! You don’t have time to date one anther the way you did before the kids came along. You don’t have time between school, work, children, housework, etc., to really invest in your relationship. All together, these issues contribute to your low libido.

So what can you do about it? Try explaining it to your husband again and again. In just little bits – because his attention span is very limited. But also, try to find time for yourself to get more rest. Would it be possible to trade baby-sitting with a girlfriend? Maybe a couple of afternoons a week she could take your kids, and you could take a nap? And then do the same for her? Even getting together with a girlfriend, creating play dates for your children, can help, as you reconnect with others, get some fresh air, and relieve some tension.

Finally, start “dating” your husband again. Once a week, do something special together – no kids. Again, if you can’t afford childcare, then work out a babysitting trade with another mom. You can find moms in your community through support groups like MOMS (Mothers Offering Mothers Support). There are chapters of MOMS in any major city and many of the not-so-major ones. What you do with your husband isn’t as important as the fact that you do it. Go on a picnic if you can’t afford to have dinner at a restaurant. Go for a bike ride together. Sit out on a blanket one night and look at the stars. You can find 101 ideas or more online for free or inexpensive dates with your husband.

Once you start to reconnect with him, you may feel more aroused and less like a sex object. Otherwise, you could resort to using a vibrator before you go to bed, to get you “in the mood.”

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