If you take a minute to recall the beginning of your relationship, you’ll probably remember a time when things were new, exciting and the sex was great. Think about after you were newly married and relishing in the blissful emotional connection that comes from a new and deeper level of commitment. Throw a kid or two in the mix and most couple’s sex life comes to a screeching halt. Is there such thing as good sex after kids? Ten percent of couples report only having sex once a month and 15% responded in a recent study with “Sex? What is that?”
I think that’s a pretty good description of being a parent. Being a parent is also fun and fulfilling but, let’s be real, it is really, really hard work. Moms either stay home and chase their kids around, attempt to keep the house clean and not burn it down, probably have to complete a million other tasks as needed – laundry, feeding the children (and maybe herself), running errands… the list goes on. At the end of the day, if Mom has kept everyone alive she’s done her job. Plus, she gets bonus points if she managed to take a shower and get dressed. The alternative is the working mom or dad who likely works from sun up to sun down and still has to manage to take care of things around the house, spend quality time with the children, and tend to the never ending to do list. Just thinking about all that makes me feel tired. So, is it even possible to still experience romance and good sex after kids or is that a thing of the past? Below are our tips to maintain a healthy and happy sex life amongst the chaos that is life as a parent.
Tips to experience good sex after kids:
Make an effort to set the mood.
Wash the baby food out of your hair, shave your legs, put on a sexy nightgown or one of his t-shirts (whatever makes you feel sexy). Pick up the baby clutter from your room, put on some soft music or light some scented candles. Help your brain shift from mommy/daddy mode to sexy mode by creating an environment where you can relax and feel sexy.
Schedule date nights.
Taking time to connect is vital for increasing emotional intimacy. Increased emotional intimacy leads to increased physical intimacy. Plus, you get a fun night out to relax and enjoy your partner, a dinner you didn’t have to prepare, maybe some nice wine and time away from the kids – it’s a win-win.
Parents all know the saying for kids that sleep begets sleep. The same rule applies to sex. The longer you go without it, the less you want it but the more you have it, the more you want it. So, no matter how tired you are, dig deep and make the effort. Many people will turn down sex because they expect to feel the desire before, hence “I’m not in the mood.” The desire to have sex comes after you start experiencing the pleasure of sex, it doesn’t always come before. So sometimes if you are willing to rally, you’ll find your desire.
Take care of yourself.
It can be hard to focus on sex when your mind is full of work, life, kids, and house stuff. One thing that can help is to practice mindfulness. Telling yourself that right now you aren’t going to focus on that thought. Instead, turn your attention back to your bodies and the pleasure you are experiencing. You deserve that. Talk to your partner about what helps you turn off some of those thoughts – do you need to take a short walk, vent or take a warm bath? Practicing self-care even when you aren’t trying to be intimate can help train your mind how to turn off those thoughts when they are getting in the way of being able to enjoy your partner.
If you’re having trouble connecting with your partner or would like to experience greater intimacy and a happier sex life, our therapists are here to help you. Schedule a counseling appointment today. Or, join us on our upcoming LUXE Couples Retreat where an entire day is dedicated to helping you rekindle your sex life, and you can reconnect with your partner in five-star luxury.
If you’re struggling to balance your marriage with your children, check out our related post, how putting kids first can kill your marriage.