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How are things?

Our life coach and agony aunt Dr Pam Spurr answers your questions every fortnight. The author of many self-help guides her latest is The Emotional Eater’s Diet for anyone who heads for comfort food in times of stress or unhappiness. More about Dr Pam below.

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Dear Dr Pam,

My mum-in-law moved in with us after our baby was born because we all had a lot on our plate. Not only had she been widowed and obviously my husband and she were grieving, but she had some money problems and needed a roof over her head.

Our daughter also has some disability so placing a lot of extra stress on us. Despite this, my husband and I have a very strong relationship.

The one big problem is that my mum-in-law never gets the hint when he and I want to have some adult time together. She insists on hanging around watching TV, listening for our daughter, just in case she cries.

We appreciate so much what she does for us but what can we do to get her to notice that sometimes we’d love it if she would go out and do her own thing? We need to have some sexy time together!

Dear “Sexy time”,

You have an amazing place to start with this issue. In fact with sorting any issue because obviously you and your husband have a fantastic relationship. Not only have you brought a new life into the world, together you’ve coped with bereavement and your mother-in-law’s issues. Quite frankly other couples might have been pulled apart and argued constantly.

Next, it’s fantastic she is there helping you and you both appreciate that. Underneath that sense of owing her gratitude probably makes you both feel a bit guilty trying to get her out of the way.

There are a couple things you can try get her out and about. Tell her that as a “way of thanking her” for all her help with baby, you want to help her get out to have some enjoyable evenings. Insist that you’re happy to be home with your daughter.

Find out if there’s any evening class she’d like to take or maybe she’d like to visit the cinema occasionally. If she has a friend or other family nearby, your husband could offer to drop her over and pick her up later in the evening. Or pay for her to get a minicab.

Be quite insistent that you’d like her to have some “me time” of her own. Alternatively, since she seems incredibly helpful, maybe she’d be happy to go to the shops at the weekends, taking baby with her, leaving you two with that much-needed adult time.

If she really doesn’t want to get out of the house then you have to get inventive. If you don’t already have a CD player in your bedroom, get one. Pretend you’re very tired and put on some music to block out any noises you make – and then enjoy some fun time in the bedroom.

Also if you can afford it, why not book into a B&B occasionally for a night of passion while she minds your baby.

Enjoy, Pam x