A few years back...my husband took the homemade frozen muffins, put them on the bright blue IKEA plate, placed them in the microwave, turned to me and asked, "How long should these be in the microwave?"
Innocent enough question. But I was up at 3:00 a.m. with a teething baby, could not fall back to sleep until 5:00-ish when my baby, once again, woke up. I was exhausted and coming up with an answer was too much effort.
I looked at him bleary eyed with a confused haven't-had-my-first-cup-of-coffee brain and earnestly replied, "I don't know."
Then -- SHAZAM -- the complete frustration of always feeling totally responsible for everything child-related took over. And for one millisecond my mega-bitch came out and sarcastically replied every so softly, "Perhaps -- just once -- you could make that kind of decision yourself."
Of course he got mad. Said a few things I won't repeat. He heated up the muffins and, literally, threw them on the table for my toddler to eat. Stomped out of the kitchen and got ready for work.
I knew if nothing was done this would fester into an argument later that evening, so I made a peace offering by giving him a hug as he left for work. It was a cold hug but still it took both our guards down and made us more civil. It wasn't great but it was the best we could manage.
The "frozen muffin incident" lasted all of thirty seconds. Yet it's one of those minor things that can have a major impact on a relationship...and sex.
Frozen muffin moments can completely annihilate the ability to be intimate and connected. Because I can say with all sincerity in that moment I sure as heck didn't want to have sex with him. And if it wasn't for the hug the anger could have lingered for days, affecting the well being of our relationship.
However, it did get me thinking about how the universe can turn on a dime.
If instead my husband would have seen how tired I was and given me a mini-back rub. Or taken the kids. Or said, "Go back to bed and sleep for another half and hour." I would have certainly been more open for sex.
And I, understanding that he's not a mind reader and needing him to understand that I was on-the-edge of a meltdown should have said as much.
And so it seems the quality of our sex lives hangs in the balance of these ordinary life moments that have little to nothing to do with sex.
So when couples ask me, "How can we start having sex after kids?" I implore them to look at their frozen muffin moments. Too many added up over time will mean a frozen muffin sexual incompatibility.
And just as easily, they can be reconciled and turned around in a matter of seconds. Remember: In the "frozen muffin moment" it's really up to you and your partner which way you want your relationship to go.
Choose to support and take care of each other.