We’ve got two kids under five and our sex life is dire! Either I’m too tired or not in the mood or he is, or the kids are awake and demanding our attention. We don’t have a big support network so babysitting is rare. How do we get our sex life back or is it gone for good?
I want to start firstly by reassuring you that with a little bit of effort, your sex life will not be gone for good … it might seem temporarily on pause but in all honesty, I am going to use advice from the very wise parenting guru, Maggie Dent, who regularly reminds parents to “cut yourself some slack, take a deep breath and relax”.
Although this is Maggie’s advice regarding parenting, I remember reading the article in which she made this comment and thought to myself that this advice fits perfectly for couples concerned about their sex-life — especially those who have a young child or young children also featuring in their relationship.
Let me explain.
One of the main complaints of new parents or parents with young children is a decrease in their active sex life, frequency, duration, and spontaneity.
Yep, buckle-up – this is a known side effect of life after a baby. Parents' focus is usually redirected to the baby and/or children and less on each other, which can cause the feeling of distance between the two of you.
What we do know is that cuddling, and the frequency of mutual oral sex typically increases, whereas the desire to have sex decreases.
Let’s not beat around the bush – growing a human and then ultimately raising a tiny human and making sure that it lives through each and every day is sometimes (mostly) exhausting.
Parents are sleep deprived, they smell of stale milk, vomit (or worse), may not have showered in days, and have been told repeatedly to ‘sleep when baby sleeps to stay sane’.
Women who have given birth might potentially have insecurities about changes that have occurred physically as well as gynaecologically, whereas men are generally more cautious about physically and sexually touching and engaging with their partner, especially if there’s been a traumatic birth or one that has required stitches — which means that the healing process might be longer than normal.
Be open and talk to one another about this.
My recommendation is to do what is best for you, there’s no right or wrong way to feel about sex post-children.
Listen to Maggie and cut yourself some slack but also realise the importance of one another as your primary support person in this situation.
Talk, listen, share, and try as hard as possible to make time for each other, even if it’s a romantic home-based date-afternoon while the kids are napping.
Anything to regularly connect with one another is important to keep the spark alive. As children get older, you will discover new and creative ways to reconnect and find the time for quickies, late night romps and maybe even some shower or bath-based sex.
I wish you all the best with parenting (it’s a hard yet very rewarding gig) and staying sexually, physically, and emotionally connected to your partner because after all, everyone deserves to have great sex.
Published October 22, 2021 on https://www.perthnow.com.au/lifestyle/hey-bestie/hey-bestie-how-do-i-revive-our-dire-post-baby-sex-life-ng-b882048141z