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Taking One For The Team

by Julie Keon on December 7th, 2016
A topic that doesn’t come up as often as it should in our special needs community is the logistics involved in sustaining some sort of intimate connection with our partners. One brave mama (I’ll call her Kelly**) recently reached out to her online tribe pleading with us to please share our wisdom on keeping our relationships from succumbing to the stress and overwhelm of parenting a child with special needs and medical fragility. Her child hadn’t slept properly in months and she and her husband were feeling the strain in their lives and in their bedroom. Our sex life is often the first thing to hit the road when sleep deprivation and unrelenting stress take up residence in our relationship.

The moms who are in a similar place shared messages of empathy. They got it and heard her loud and clear. They knew all too well how utterly impossible it was to not only have the time to connect with their partner but to actually have the energy to put forth if and when time was available. There is nothing more frustrating then finding some alone time only to discover your body won’t co-operate with your intended desire. They, too, wanted to know how one keeps the spark alive when it seems virtually impossible.
Those of us who are a little further down the path and who have already experienced this degree of strain, reached out and gave our straight shooting advice. We agreed that making time for one another is as important as the tremendous care given to our children. Carving out even one hour/ week can change the tides in a relationship that is suffering. Many of the skills we have honed as parents of children with special needs can be applied to our relationships. Things like efficiency and efficacy, for example. It turns out that you can have satisfying, mind-blowing sex in 8.5 minutes. Who doesn’t have 8.5 minutes to devote to their relationship even once per week?

Photo by Erin Egan

Photo by Erin Egan

But I deeply understood the profound exhaustion and the place of darkness this mother had found herself in and I hoped she could hear our words even though our suggestions seemed so out of reach. One thing for certain, if you don’t make time for your significant other now, you’ll have to make time for the divorce that is a definite possibility if too much times passes with disconnection. Creativity is key and mustering the courage to just do it no matter how much time has passed and how awkward you feel at first. Trust me: buried beneath those yoga pants and that t-shirt splattered with stomach content is a wild beast that desperately needs to be laid.

You can imagine my joy when, yesterday afternoon, Kelly posted a screen shot of a reservation for a hotel in her city and announced that “project save this marriage and have sex for once” was underway. Her announcement was received with virtual hoots and hollers and our mama tribe sent words of encouragement and tips to make sure she had an awesome evening with her husband. I shared the following:

Let’s all have sex tonight with our significant others in solidarity! I’ll be sending earth shattering orgasmic thoughts your way!                  Pro tip: Have sex before dinner so you can crash early.”

And with that, couples all over North America took to their bedrooms with a mission to support our sister. As things heated up these words were whispered throughout the land:“We’re doing this for Kelly.” My husband was more than happy to take one for the team with me. Amidst the online giggles, hashtags were created: #diditforkelly and #HFHsolidarity and “doinitforKelly” (I could imagine this mama quickly posting as things got underway). Another mom posted: “I’m in……I’ll #doitforkelly once I have a shower after my workout.”

This is the essence of support. One mother’s brave step to reconnect with her spouse leads to a sex fest across North America. How many of us awoke today smiling and revitalized? It doesn’t stop there, though. One poster shared that she and her partner are away from one another until the 16th. There will be a new hashtag on the 16th (#doitforClara) where we will gather in solidarity once again and support our sister in her quest to get things done.

My husband and I have figured things out along the way and make our marriage and our sex life a priority. I can reflect and remember how it was in those early days. Sometimes it is hard to find the time, energy and desire for our own needs but if we are doing “it” in solidarity, sisters get shit done. #noexcuses #HFHSolidarity #doitforkelly

“I say get it while you can, yeah. Honey, get it while you can. Ya, get it while you can. Don’t you turn your back on love, no, no, no.” ~Janis Joplin

**Names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.

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  1. Lana Keon permalink


  2. Claudia permalink

    Can I please make a request? Please #doitforclaudia tomorrow. Me and hubby haven’t been intimate at all this year (yes, I realize we’re in December) and our kiddo is having a sleepover tomorrow. I can count on one hand only all the times we did it after our youngest passed away in very tragic and unexpected circumstances during birth 2.5 years ago. So, please, #doitforclaudia. ?

  3. Claudia! You got it. Watch for it on my What I Would Tell You Facebook page. I am going to be urging all of my sisters to #doitforclaudia!!

  4. Sarah permalink

    Claudia! I did it for you (#diditforclaudia) and joined Julie’s challenge! I hope that you and your husband were able to reconnect, and that you are able to find the time to do it more often going forward xo

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