Women everywhere are struggling with this transition all the time. For those who live predominantly in a very a-sexual mode, there is a territory to traverse from this into their sexual persona. We therefore have to ‘gird up the loins of our minds’ to flow in and out of the different parts of who we are and want to be. The starting point is of course to feel confident and at ease with the lover role, but then a little mental and physical journey has to take place to cross over from mother to lover.
You will need to take some time to do this, which may involve enlisting your husband’s help to release you from running the show temporarily so you can work on making the journey: have a bath, go for a walk or have a sleep. The map for this journey involves attending to your body, mind, environment and emotional state.
Body: in the Bible, Esther went through extensive beauty treatments with oil of myrrh, perfumes and cosmetics (Esther 2:12) before she was ready to meet the king. You should treat yourself to things you would enjoy to get you in touch with your body as a pleasure zone rather than a workhorse. Start to physically stimulate your body before you are with your husband, even if this is just as simple as moisturising all over.
Mind: attend to the focus of your mind. Draw on the memory bank of erotic experiences you have had with your husband and daydream a little, while you get your transition space. Imagine how you would like your foreplay to unfold, imagine how you would like it to feel if your husband touched you through the clothes you are going to wear. If there are any aggravations and stresses burdening you, then also hand them over to God and let them go, like it says in 1 Peter 5:7: ‘Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.’ It sounds like you carry some of your responsibilities heavily – take some steps to carry them more lightly. Having done what you can, let God carry the rest.
Environment: don’t expect to be the sexy lover when surrounded by the kids’ toys. Create an erotic physical space that the rest of the day is excluded from. This might be as simple as lighting candles or as creative as making a four-poster curtain surround to your bed. In the summer it might mean finding a secluded spot in the countryside or occasionally booking a night away. We need to ‘break state’ and this may include disciplining yourself not to bring too much of the stresses of the day into the conversation when you are seeking to be relaxed together. Remember too that the clothes you wear are the immediate environment you dwell in, so choose ones that will help you feel the relaxed, sexy lover you want to be.
Emotional state: of course deal with any negative emotions, and remember that sometimes all we need is some fun and happy vibes to dispel the shadows. Play! Lay naked and blow soapy bubbles on each other, get competitive over card games...let life be less serious for a short while. Then after the above…make love… and see what happens! (Do write and let me know!) Remember to have good, creative foreplay, taking your time and communicating to each other what you enjoy.
And, no… you’re not supposed to be having sex three times a week. As soon as you get into counting, you miss the point. It is about making space for your love, putting in the effort to make each other feel good physically, being responsive emotionally, investing time to build your intimacy, in short, not giving each other the butt end of your resources. With this framework, you will sometimes make love several times a week, many times less often depending on work, life and health patterns, but all the time we are intentionally making our energies flow towards an intimate and supportive relationship that will see us both through the joys and demands of real life.