FEATURE Aren't they lovely? But who's left at the end of the queue for your affection? Being the perfect mother can be a strain on being the perfect wife

I am Woman, Hear My Snore

The problem with being at the pinnacle of motherhood is its way of demolishing intimacy. Which is a bummer.

Let’s face it, after fulfilling the material, physical, emotional and spiritual needs of three offspring, plus of course, all the creative work and cleaning that every mum at work does on the side, who’s got the energy to … well, spend time with one’s partner?

What’s the point of having perfectly brought up children if bringing them up pulls your relationship down? It niggles that after a day of painting with my daughter, playing football with my sons, and writing a short story on the side, I have no energy for anything more than small talk with my husband.

It may be normal to have divided loyalties when responsible for so many human beings. But the father of my children achieved love-of-my-life status when the children were mere hopes and dreams. He got there first. He doesn't deserve to end up at the end of the queue for my energy and attention.

Here's an experiment we are going to try: since I am too tired at the end of a day being a perfect mother, we have to find another time to make space for each other.

Like lunch.

My partner and I have decided to do lunch so that we can get some intimacy back into our relationship. This doesn't have to be purely gastronomic. We can spend time together by going to exhibitions or simply talking over a cup of coffee. Making time to be just us two. Time is of the essence when retrieving lost intimacy. It could lead to wonderful things. And if the kids are at school, you don’t even need to pay a babysitter.

Have you got any strategies for creating space for each other while continuing to be a perfect mother?

Reply by email to mumatwork@blueyonder.co.uk

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