If My Spouse Did The Dishes More, Maybe I'd Have More Energy For Sex

by Katie Cloyd
Originally Published: 
Julia Meslener for Scary Mommy and CamiloTorres/ PhotoAlto/Frederic Cirou/Getty

Hey, honey, remember before I was a work-at-home mom when all we had was time? We didn’t just have sex … we had Good Sex. You and I both left for work in the morning and then came home to a house in the same condition as we left it. Sex wasn’t something we had to work into the schedule. Good Sex was just sex back then. And it was incredible.

Thankfully, Good Sex is still in our rotation now and again. But let’s face it: we mostly have interrupted-by-kids sex, with occasional I’m-exhausted-but-I-still-want-to-do-it sex.

When we have sex, that is.

Which is … less often than we used to.

I think we can do better. I mean, we can’t stop the kids from being tiny little blockers with the most ill-timed bad dreams in history, but we could have less of the exhausted sex.

If you’d do the damn dishes.

Or run the vacuum. Fold some towels. Ask our kid about his homework, refill the water pitcher, throw in a load of your own laundry, sweep, mop, wipe a counter, scrub a toilet, or bathe the baby.

Literally anything that I usually do — you do it before I have to ask.

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Somehow, we have fallen into a pattern that makes your workday 9-to-5, and mine 24/7. While you’re gone, I have to find time to do my actual, paying job from the house, and I also have the full mental load of this house and our kids on my shoulders. You get to leave the stress of work at your office, but I feel like I am never off the clock.

I need that to change.

I love our life and I know you work hard, but you’re an adult, and I don’t live in this house alone. It would go a long way if you would be a lot more proactive.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I appreciate everything you do for our family. You’re my best friend, and you’re an incredible partner. If I ask you to do something around the house, I know you’ll do it. You’re not the kind of overgrown child I hear some women complain about. You’re a fantastic husband and father. Truly.

But when I have to ask you specifically for help with certain tasks every single day, it makes me feel like I never get a minute out of Mom Mode. I already spend the entire day directing our kids. When I spend the entire evening directing you, it’s just an extension of the same stress. It’s really hard for me to feel sexy and in the mood when I’ve just spent three hours relating to you exactly like I relate to our children.

You’re helpful, but help is not what I need. I know you see your contribution to our house as “helping me,” and that’s too hard. It puts all the responsibility of creating a nice home for our family on me. Anything I don’t do each night stays on my to-do list and contributes to my feelings of exhaustion and anxiety.

I don’t need you to be an assistant in caring for our home and children. I need you to be an equal partner.

Instead of asking what you can do to help, how about you take inventory of what still needs to get done before we can relax for the evening? Don’t wait for me to direct you. Just let me know what you’re going to handle. That will free up my time and give me some relief. If you want to really make a difference, take complete ownership of some household tasks. Remove them from my schedule altogether. Take anything off my plate for good, and see how our sex life changes.

It’s not that I don’t want to have sex, and I’m certainly not withholding sex to teach you some kind of lesson. Sex as a weapon is not my style, and our marriage deserves better than that.

You deserve better than that. You respect me when I say “Not tonight, honey.” I know you don’t just want me to have sex for the sake of having sex. You really want me to be in the mood more often so we can be together. I understand that. I’m telling you all of this because we have the same desires.

S A R A H ✗ S H A R P/Unsplash

You just seem to be more in the mood than me lately, and that’s not how I want it to be.

I promise when you sidle up behind me while I’m washing pots and pans, move my hair off my neck and kiss me, I want to turn the water off, turn around to greet your kiss, and take you by the hand to our bedroom. And sometimes I do.

But sometimes I just can’t bring myself to walk away from the sink because I know I won’t be able to be fully present. I’ll spend my time thinking more about the bond the marinara is making with the dinner dishes than about the bond I’m supposed to be nurturing with you.

I don’t want to wish away the moments we spend in bed together. I want to be all in. You’re still so sexy to me, we are good in bed together, and I want to be with you.

After all these years, we are still happy and our life is beautiful. I don’t want the pressure of kids and the endless mountains of laundry and dishes to make us forget that. If we do a better job splitting up the duties around here and just get it done as a team every day, I will probably want to have more sex, but I’ll also just like you better. I’ll be in a much better mood, and we will have more time to laugh, and talk and play.

This mom life is the only life I ever wanted. This is what we planned, and I know we are lucky to make it work. Raising a family and working from home is the fulfillment of my biggest dream, but you know what they say, baby: Teamwork makes the dream work.

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