Opinion

Top 3 tips for moms who don't feel sexy | Amy Johnson

Recently, I spoke to about 100 moms at a conference called MamaCon.

The conference — just for moms — included TED-style speakers, vendors, complementary spa treatments and the Seattle Mom Prom. I gave a speech titled “Getting Your Groove Back: Sex for the Exhausted Mama.” My advice was not as much about sex as it was about self-care.

Moms who find themselves over-scheduled and under-nurtured don’t find themselves with a lot of leftover time and energy to feel sexy.

It’s challenging to be your most romantic, fun-loving, sexy self when you’re exhausted. A marriage or partnership that includes young children, growing children or teens provides extra challenges to keeping one’s intimate life intact.

So, what’s a well-meaning mama to do?

Taking care of your sexual self isn’t about botox and boob jobs. It’s about slowing down, paying attention and making time.

Here are my top three tips to take charge of your self-care and your sexuality.

1. Schedule time for yourself. Seriously. Put a self-care appointment on your calendar for at least two hours a week and treat it with the same importance you would treat a doctor’s appointment for your child or a meeting at work. In addition, don’t do anything parent- or kid-related during this time. It’s time to rejuvenate the adult, non-parent you.

Why do this? We all need time to recharge our batteries and fill up the selves that give, give, give. The more you care for yourself, the more energy you will have for others — like your partner.

2. Schedule time for your relationship. There are 24 hours in everyone’s day, and seven days in everyone’s week. This is 168 hours for everyone. Even if you take a few hours for yourself, you need to also take a few hours for your relationship.  This is not the time to solve logistical issues or hash out the budget. This is time to have fun — to do things that nourish your relationship and remind you of your love for each other.

Why take time for this? Nourishing your relationship intentionally on a regular basis and creating a strong partnership is a gift to yourselves and your children.  If you are a single parent, take this extra time for yourself or to nurture friendships.

3. Take 15 minutes a day to explore your sexuality in a holistic way. Here are some ideas:

• Sensuality is about how we enjoy our bodies and the bodies of others through our senses. What does the adult, non-parent version of you like to see? Hear? Smell? Taste? Touch?

• What is a reasonable risk you can take to help you feel more alive? Who is someone safe with whom you can be vulnerable? These things can help strengthen intimacy, the emotional side of sexuality.

• Think about what has stayed the same and what has changed in your gender roles since you became a mom. Is there anywhere you need to make a course correction?  Being clear about your sexual identity, including gender roles, is healthy.

• Are you overdue for a pap smear or mammogram? Using condoms if you’re newly single and dating again? Taking care of your physical health is important.

• Is your relationship safe? Is it mutually respectful, mutually pleasurable and free from all types of abuse? If not, get professional help now.

Our culture is not filled with abundant role models for being sexually healthy women and moms at the same time. Focusing on these tips can help us reclaim our authentic sexual selves. And what’s more sexy than that?

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