What we challenged the families is to think of Areas of Intimacy, as gradients, or degrees, instead of an all or nothing. As a couple we can look into these areas of intimacy and think about how we are doing within them. Perhaps we will find that one area is really strong and another is really weak. Then what we can do is put more effort into re-inforceing certain areas.
Consider these areas of intimacy:
As Parents: How we make decisions as parents (not the time we spend with our kids, but as a couple talking about how we parent)
Spiritual: We may share a religion, or a sacred process or thought or ritualize certain events or moments
Recreational: How we share having fun, what we like to do together
Asthetic: Our appreciation of what is beautiful to us
Crisis: Walking together through crisis, either an external crisis where we lean on the other or an internal relationship crisis where we are pulled together by our effort to reconcile and heal
Emotional: How we share, live and communicate our emotions
Sexual: How our sex life is lived, discussed and felt
When we consider intimacy by areas we can assess our balance or imbalance on a qualitative scale. We can work on enforcing certain areas and we will find that the better our intimacy gets in one area, the better it gets in another area. For example, if we agree that on saturday mornings we will bike ride together because we enjoy doing that, we will probably find that on saturday nights our sex gets better!
What we discussed in Family Circle (the first tuesday of every month at Luna Maya) was that during pregnancy couples can work on improving specific areas of intimacy so that when baby comes we can communicate our needs for intimacy as a couple, separate from the all consuming parenting.
If a couple has already had a baby and the couple feels astranged, perhaps they can check out these areas and see where there is possibility for improvement. Sometimes, its ok to pump milk, leave baby with grandma for a saturday morning so that mom and dad can have a bike ride and share some intimate time together.
It is important to remember that the new baby lives with two (sometimes) adults, and these two have a relationship that will immediately affect the baby. Lets give ourselves time as a couple to work on our areas of intimacy. We will teach our kids the importance of this and foster intimacy and communication among our newborns.