Homeschool Killed Our Sex Life

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.

About Tara Edelschick

Right now, Tara is on sabbatical in Costa Rica. She is sleeping more, and exercising and flossing every day for the first time in her life. She is enjoying her husband, her boys, and Nafisa (the daughter she never had) more than she ever has. And she is learning to rest in the arms of the one who doesn't rank you based on how many things you can cross off your list at the end of the day. Follow her on Twitter@TaraWonders.

  • http://www.dorothygrecophotography.com dorothy greco

    Laughing out loud.

  • Nancy Schultz

    Dear Tara: Excellent thoughts. I agree with you. Nancy

  • Christy

    I think having kids is what does it.

  • janis henning

    For ANY Ogea member to talk about their sex life on a public forum speaks volumes about how far we have come in the past couple of generations!! Tara – you continue to make me laugh…..at your humor, your honesty, your willingness to put it all out there for the world to see. You go girl! And wait — when the kids are a few years older the togetherness you once had as a “couple” will return……

  • http://www.facebook.com/jbarneson Jeff Barneson

    Once again I’m saying prayers of thanksgiving for the life and witness of Martin Luther. I’ve gotta say, “He was some reformer!”

  • Susie

    Sex twice a week sounds dandy, but unfortunately that is setting up a lot of people for a feeling of being a failure in that area because in my personal opinion and experience, that is really unrealistic for most folks…for many reasons, not just being tired.

    • Tara Edelschick

      Susie, I hope I didn’t make it sound like people need to have sex some number of times a week. It is what has worked for us. Having a schedule worked for us. But of course different things will work for different couples.


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