Homeschoolers love to talk about the lifestyle that homeschooling affords them. They can take vacations whenever we want, have long, leisurely breakfasts with each other, and spend the whole week building an elaborate kite. Homeschoolers can stay up ’till midnight when everyone wants to finish the last three chapters of Wonder, which they’ve been reading aloud while drinking cocoa (not Swiss Miss) and wearing pajamas that mother made from wool that father sheered from their sheep.
What they don’t say about this family-intensive lifestyle, though, is how it affects their sex lives. Maybe that’s because it doesn’t; to be fair, I haven’t asked. To make myself feel better, I assume that, like me, they have a hard time staying on the family intimacy train once their heads hit the pillow. But whether it’s common or just us, the fact is homeschooling killed our sex life.
I’m a mild introvert, and I’m very selfish. Pouring myself out all day for the kids leaves me spent. The boys paw at me all day, Nafisa needs help with homework when she gets home. The house is a wreck from various projects, both academic and otherwise. So when nine o’clock rolls around, I want to hide in my room. I don’t want anyone to talk to me or touch me or even look at me like they might want something from me.
Poor Jeff. Sometimes when he starts to tell me about something that has him all jazzed up, my eyes glaze over and he scampers off to lick his wounds. Ocassionally, I just come right out with it: Sorry babe, but I’m done. No one else can talk to me tonight.
We’ve always had a rule that if one person wants to have sex, the other person will say yes. It takes away all of the negotiation and weird manipulation that people put themselves through to get it on. And even if you are tired or not in the mood when you are getting started, it’s a very simple thing you can do to bless your spouse.
But homeschooling left me so tired that I never initiated. And I guess my lack of desire to even talk to Jeff took the wind out of his sails as well. (It probably didn’t help that I gained nineteen pounds the first year of homeschooling; but since your husband is not allowed to mention that, I can’t be sure.) In any case, our sex life tanked.
Enter our Rule of Life. Over the past year-and-a-half, Jeff and I have developed a Rule of Life for our family, with regular rhythms of sleep, and food, and celebration, and prayer, and financial stewardship. It covers nearly every aspect of our lives, including sex. Jeff read that Martin Luther suggested that married people have sex at least twice a week, so we took that as our standard. We have sex on two regularly scheduled evenings each week. (I won’t mention which ones because even I have some sense of privacy.)
No questions asked. If the calendar says date night, we go to bed early and remember how wonderful it is to be married to someone who knows us deeply. And then we go to sleep without talking. Because I need all the sleep I can get to handle this great homeschool lifestyle.