How to Get a Tired Mom in the Mood

by Laura Roe Stevens

How to Get a Tired Mom in the Mood

After a long day of work and then arranging dinner, bath, book, and bedtime for our six-year-old son, it’s no wonder that I’m not in the mood when my husband strolls in at 8:45 p.m. At that point, I’ve likely just sat down for the first quiet thought of the day. This is where we disconnect. By the time he has had dinner and we’ve both logged back onto our computers to check for emergency emails, cleaned dishes, etc. the evening is just about up. I’m exhausted. He inevitably feels shunned and neglected when I fall asleep—usually on the couch—while watching an evening show.


I admit it, I’m a tired mom who rarely gets in the mood during the work week. But I know how he could help me remedy the situation—and it doesn’t include a pretty bag with a nightie. I dream of the days when he comes home early from work (for him, this would be 7 p.m.) and actually eats dinner with us and cleans the dishes. On this evening, he doesn’t turn on his computer right away, instead, he plays with our son and then gets his bath going and reads the night-time story. On these rare ocassions, trust me, I’m very happy to show him how appreciative I am for the help!


I polled some tired moms from across the country and across the Pond and many agreed with my sentiments. Here are their tips to help get tired moms in the mood!


  • “A back rub never fails! In fact “Would you like me to rub your back?” has become code in my house!” says a mom of two from Brooklyn, New York.
  • “Manual labor around the house. Seriously. There’s a reason ads for women show a hunky maintenance guy fixing something that’s accidentally ‘broken,’” says an American mom of a five-year-old who lives in London. This woman, with a demanding job as the CFO of a hedge fund, advises men to do the following to get their wives in the mood: “Look around the house—then look again and pretend you’re a woman. Notice that the mood lighting effect is due to half the light bulbs being out. See that the caulk around the bathtub is gray, or needs to be refreshed. Change the light bulbs. Caulk the tub. Preferably be in the midst of it when I walk in the room. Wear a pair of faded jeans with no shirt (or maybe with a tight white T-shirt). Shower, but don’t shave that day. Mention you’ve poured me a glass of wine that’s sitting in the kitchen … I’m in the mood just thinking about it!” she says.
  • Moms of infants are definitely struggling with more exhaustion, so I was surprised when the mom of a two-year-old and a six-week-old baby replied to my poll! I was not surprised, however, with her response—which is just another reminder to be especially understanding in the early days just after having a baby.—“Honestly, just about NOTHING gets me in the mood except for being plied with ample whiskey, but here’s an idea … Come home early from work, bring dinner and a bottle of wine with you, bathe and put the kids to bed, give me a foot rub … Bada-Bing!”
  • “A massage that is NOT done just to get one back (or to entice sexual favors). If it’s done selflessly, it will turn me on,” says a mom of a two-year-old in Atlanta. Here are some of her other tips: Going to the grocery, planning dinner, and cooking—WITHOUT any prodding from me; surprising me with a little thoughtful something—maybe a homemade card that says, “I love you.” (Okay—that has never happened, but I can dream, right?); drawing me a bath, filling it with bubbles, and lighting a candle. Then getting out so I can enjoy the R&R!