Dear Mary Jo,
When your kids come to you if they hear you and your partner being intimate, how do you respond in a thoughtful way without making it seem scary or dirty?
Although there is no perfect answer, my personal favorite (if the child is younger) is, “Mommy and daddy were spending time together, and couples like doing that.” If they need more explanation, you can gauge by their age what you should tell them in regards to actual facts. It’s not so much what you say, but how you look when you say it, so I will begin by cautioning you not to panic. Don’t act ashamed and don’t shame them for asking or make them feel that you’re trying to hide something. Present an atmosphere where you’re encouraging your kids to come to you with questions, and reassure them that no matter what they ask you will do your best to give an honest answer. With older kids, their question may be a golden opportunity to plan a time to sit down and talk to them about their changing body and sexual health. With small children, answering their question in an honest, but simple, way is best. Parents who teach their children about healthy relationships and sex, raise children who make better choices in choosing a partner and delaying sex until they’re ready to handle the emotional and physical consequences.
Hi Mary Jo,
When you have two people in the marriage both working and starting a family, how do you get your significant other to start helping out with the chores and house duties?
If you’re married with or without kids you shouldn’t have to start sharing the load after the kids. It should already be happening as part of the marriage. In a study as recent as 2015, women were still doing 87% of the household chores and although it would be easy to blame men, it’s really the person doing the majority that needs to help make the change. Sharing the load isn’t an option…it’s a necessity. Tell your partner that you can no longer continue working and doing it all at home. No one likes to be told what to do, so presenting three options help you decide as a couple which will work best for your family income and marriage.
- You can hire a nanny or housekeeper to come in and help.
- You can make a list dividing the chores and assign who does what each week (this works well if both people contribute to what they can do, making sure it’s balanced).
- You can have a family meeting and bring the kids into the discussion. Make a list of the chores and divide them up.
Remind your significant other that you can’t be his lover and mother. It’s time for him to step up and do his share.
“Marriage is selfish…a healthy marriage must be selfless.” – Dr. Michael Krychman M.D.