I can honestly say, for more than half of my marriage, I haven’t been in the mood for sex.

And while it pains me to admit that, it’s the unfortunate truth.

Somewhere between the making of babies and the taking care of them, sex lost its appeal. For years, I’ve felt like time spent on sex would be better spent on sleep. Or even just silenceme, alone with a book in a quiet room where I could actually spend time with myself instead of giving everything I have to someone else.

Since becoming a mom, a stay-at-home mom to be exact, sex has completely fallen off the list of priorities.

I’ve wanted to want sex, it’s just that I’m tired—physically, mentally, and emotionally. I take care of my kids all day long. They never stop talking to or touching me. I can’t use the bathroom alone. If I take a shower, major destruction ensues while I’m occupied and out of sight for a few minutes. There isn’t a moment my brain isn’t in overdrive. I’m constantly cooking, cleaning, teaching, helping, and disciplining.

And by the time I complete the nightly cycle of putting my kids to bed, putting them back to bed multiple times, and checking to make sure they are finally asleep, I’m done. The thought of having another person touch me or even talk to me makes me cringe. And at the end of the day, sex just feels like one more chore.

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I love my husband, I do. And while I try to show him that in various ways, I’ve neglected to do so in the bedroom.

But one evening, as I stood in front of the mirror in the same sweatpants I’d worn every day for a week and a raggedy nursing bra I still wore despite the fact I hadn’t nursed a baby in almost three years, it hit me. Maybe one of the reasons I hadn’t been in the mood for sex was because, for years, I’d felt anything but sexy. Wearing stretchy pants, oversized t-shirts, and old bras day and night wasn’t exactly the best way to change my mindset from sleep to sex.

Suddenly, I recalled the sexy little numbers I wore to bed pre-kids—sheer garments made of lace and chiffon that made their debut during the honeymoon stage of marriage but eventually got buried beneath nursing bras and ratty underwear. I wondered if I still had any of them.

So, I dug through my underwear drawer in search of one of those long-forgotten pieces of lingerie and found one. In an effort to reclaim a sense of sexy, I tried on the next-to-nothing top that wasn’t much more than a scrap of fabric. And it actually fit.

It was a black babydoll that skimmed my thighs and hugged my breasts. And after slipping into it, I was surprised by how I felt. Even though the sagging and stretch marks and bulging from all the wrong parts of my body were more visible, I felt attractive—for the first time in years.

In that barely-there top, I didn’t just transform from mom to wife but to a woman who was actually in the mood for sex.

So sex we had. And you know what? It felt really good—less like a chore and more like a favorite pastime.

That night I took one small step toward sexy, and it’s since become a habit.

No, not a nightly one, but a weekly one at the very least. I still wear elastic and old bras much of the time because my days continue to revolve around snot, urine, crumbs, and spilled milk. But I’ve intentionally begun wearing lingerie to bed on a regular basis because it makes me feel good. And when I feel good, the thought of sex feels good, which makes that act of sex feel good.

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This one small change to my routine has honestly helped me stop evading sex and start initiating it. Apparently looking and feeling sexy facilitates the transition from mom brain to sex brain and allows me to turn off stress and tune into sex.

Now, I’m not saying that slipping into something sexy is the simple fix for a low sex drive. Because like everything else, sex, bodies, and brains are complicated. And while I’m still not in the mood for sex as often as my husband would like, wearing lingerie helps get me there far more often than in the past.

Many years ago, I wore lingerie for my husband. But now I wear it for me. And we’re both reaping the benefits.

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