Most new parents end up having less sex as a natural consequence of their new role as parents. Nonetheless, once the kids are a little older, we’ll be less exhausted and have more time for intimacy than we did before we had kids, right?
Okay, so that’s not the case. Family Lives surveyed 1,000 American adults and found that those whose children were teenagers had the lowest amount of sex.
Sixty-six per cent of those who responded have preteens or teenagers, and nearly half have kids between the ages of 5 and 12.
These teen parents aren’t suffering from inadequate sleep or feeling worn down by the responsibilities of parenthood.
Nearly half of the respondents said they engage in sexual activity with a partner fewer than once per week, and 23 per cent admitted they did not have any sex in the month prior.
It was the same story when we asked teenage parents about their sex lives after having kids. In an interview with Family Lives, a man said, “My spouse simply isn’t enthusiastic any more. ” He has three daughters, aged sixteen, fourteen and eleven.
We haven’t had sex in a long time, maybe once every month after we had our youngest daughter, and when we do, it’s always because I want it.
At first, I tolerated it hoping that my situation would improve as the kids matured, but it hasn’t. If I raise sexual matters, she accuses me of being overly demanding, and we get into a huge argument.
Eighty-six per cent of those who participated in our poll reported having fewer sex encounters after having kids, and 73 per cent stated that their sexual life had unquestionably worsened due to having children.
Taking Time for Oneself
However, for some parents of more mature children, concerns about privacy and a lack of alone time were more pressing than the issue of not having desire.
Only nine per cent of the parents we polled reported not wanting sexual relations. At the same time, nearly half (46%) said they needed more time alone or privacy from their children to have satisfying sexual encounters.
The problem is that my kid’s bedroom is next to mine, and the walls seem thin and are not sound-proof,” said one single mother who had not yet met anybody to date.
Around the middle of the night is my one shot at intimacy because any other time, I know she is awake and is listening before she sleeps.
‘I want to have sex because I yearn to feel connected to someone,’ said another single mother of two kids under the age of four who had separated from their father immediately after the birth of their youngest.
My entire existence revolves around my children, and there are times when the weight of that duty becomes too much to bear. Parents of all ages, not only those of recently born children, cited fatigue as a major issue affecting their sex life.
Almost a third of the parents who filled out our poll said they simply lack the energy and time for sex, while others who talked to us privately agreed.
‘My spouse is continually pushing me to have sex,’ a mom of two young children (ages 4 and 1) said. Before the kids, I was all about it, but now that I have a full-time job and am constantly exhausted, all I think about when I finally get to bed is having some sleep.
When we both take a day off on Saturdays, I’m certain he’ll tease me, eager to have sex in the morning. To maintain harmony, I usually simply go by the motions.
How to Rebuild Your Sexual Life After Having Children
1. Establish Habits That Encourage Direct Physical Contact
Some couples discover that, with all the responsibilities of raising children and maintaining a household, their relationship becomes more of a business partnership than a passionate one.
Including more moments of emotional intimacy or physical touch throughout the day can help your sexual life after having children. Relationship expert and writer Nancy Landrum, MA, recommends establishing “going &coming” rituals.
There must be intent and physical contact during these rites. In this context, a few seconds can do wonders for closeness between two people. Don’t just yell “Goodbye!” across the room.
Have a wonderful day! Spend a few seconds more intimately with your lover by hugging, kissing, squeezing, whispering, flirting, and making eye contact. Hug and tell your partner how you feel when they get home.
The goal is to regularly connect beyond the scope of being life partners, and you can do this in any way the couple decides, including foot rubs watching your favourite show.
CEOs of ‘Here We Flo’ Susan Allen and Tara Chandra agree: “Take the burden off sex and concentrate on other sorts of intimate connection like kissing, holding hands, cuddling and affectionate contact are all great things in their own right.”
When life gets hectic at work or in the house, making time for physical intimacy can be difficult.
2. Relish in some private time together
Numerous authorities stress the importance of weekly dates for marriages after children. Even though it’d be impractical to hire a sitter every week, we get that you want to go out on Saturdays occasionally.
Dates at home allow you to spend time together as individuals rather than parents, whether by making a drink after your children leave for bed or enjoying a board game.
Landrum advises partners to schedule “even if it’s only half an hour of alone time” every day, in addition to going on regular dates. You may discuss the day’s events in bed or find some quiet time away from the kids and the phone.
3. keep the lines of communication open and have frequent conversations.
Although many specialists agree that talking isn’t the most romantic form of foreplay, they do agree that it’s essential for couples to communicate to maintain harmony in their relationships.
“Great sex can be maintained by good communication and conflict resolution skills, where a dispute is settled swiftly and simply so that bitterness doesn’t destroy intimacy,” adds Landrum.
That may involve admitting that you’re having trouble adjusting to life with a new body or that you’re still healing from childbirth even though your physician gave you the all-clear). This could involve expressing the desire for something other than intercourse.
If you’ve put off having a serious talk about your sex life for too long, you should probably have one.
“Approach the subject with a willingness to learn and a nonjudgmental attitude,” advises Joni Ogle, CEO, CSAT, LCSW of The Heights Program. Say something like, “I’d like to speak about how we can add passion to this relationship,” to start the conversation.
The alternative is to say, “I miss being connected to you. What should we do to reconnect?” as she suggests. “By taking this approach, you’re making it easier for the two of you to discuss issues of mutual importance.”
4. Give Out Your Sexual Contact Number
You’re wrong about this. In an episode of the Motherly podcast, sex expert Shamyra Howard, CSTS, LCSW, talks about a “sex number,” or the desired frequency of sexual activity between a couple. Finally, “discover what’s effective for your relationship,” she advises.
“Because a phenomenon that occurs is that spouses believe if someone wants it less frequently, they are less interested in sex,” Howard explains. So, you don’t like me, do you? You aren’t finding any appeal in me. They could have a different libido and nothing to do with the spouse.
5. Realize that all relationships evolve with time
Good sex after children may look different in the future, so don’t judge your current performance based on your past achievements. Or with your expectations for the frequency of sexual activity between yourself and your partner.
As the clinical psychologist and owner of Ocean Recovery in Newport Beach, in the state of California, LMFT, Kalley Hartman stresses the importance of couples remembering that it is normal and common for relationships to change after conceiving children.
According to the 2022 State of Motherhood poll, more than half of the Gen Z and millennial mothers who were sexually active at least once a week reported being happy with their sexual relationships. Having a satisfying sex life following having children is all that should matter.
6. Just Pay Attention to Yourself
Mothers can easily lose perspective of their hobbies, self-care routines, and interests amid the chaos of parenting. You can bring renewed energy to all you do, including your sexual life after children, if you take the time to rediscover your core values and identity.
To have a satisfying sex life, “make sure you’re taking good care of your psychological, physical, and emotional needs,” as Hartman puts it.
She advises, “Make a point of pampering yourself, whether through leisure activities or just carving out a little solo time, and you’ll feel calm and more comfortable bonding with your spouse on a personal and intimate level.”
Don’t discount the effectiveness of friend dates. They’re more about having a good time than anything else, and they can be cheaper than a couple’s date if a babysitter isn’t required.
7. Schedule Some Fun Time Together
Adding sex to your calendar may feel like one more thing you must do. Experts agree, however, that this is one method to maintain your relationship and enjoy a fulfilling sexual life after having children.
“When you plan for connecting emotionally and physically with your spouse, you can enjoy all that juicy anticipation building towards it,” explains Allison Anderson, MD, a licensed life and relationships coach.
“The most exciting part of making romantic or sexual plans is dreaming about how wonderful the experience will be. When you plan to spend time together, you can avoid the hassle of attempting to be spontaneous. Now you can look forward to something.”
Even if you’re not the schedule type, it can help to create smooth transitions from your daily life to your romantic life. That could mean taking a long, luxurious shower, wearing your finest underwear, or doing something you enjoy alone.
8. Make Room for Quiet Time
Experts’ conclusion on maintaining a good sex life after children included avoiding bringing the kids into the bedroom.
Dr Anderson recommends finding alternative locations (maybe the guest room?) or times (perhaps after dropping the kids off at school) if the family bedroom is beginning to intrude on your sexual life after children.
In addition, a new venue could bring about an exciting new vibe.
On the same note, she mentioned that Kourtney Kardashian has been sharing a bed with her daughter Penelope for at least ten years.
9. Prioritie Sleep
Many moms may identify with staying late at night for a little peace. However, fewer hours of sleep usually means more occasional sexual encounters (and “I’m too worn out” is always an excuse).
Good sleep is something to keep in mind, adds Ogle, “especially if one partner is doing the lion’s share of parenting and possibly is working a highly demanding job.”
Reduced interest in sexual and other intimate activities can strain an already tense relationship. One partner’s exhaustion can cause the other’s feelings of rejection and frustration.
More sleep can improve intimacy between partners over time. A delay is understandable if it means more time in bed, together or separately.
10. Ask For Support
You know when to seek professional assistance for a personal or relationship problem. Consult your gynecologist or an abdominal therapist if you’ve recently given birth or experienced physical difficulties with sex after children.
A couple’s therapist, sex counsellor, or marriage counsellor may also be helpful if you and both having serious communication problems. And you never know; maybe the schoolwork you get will be the most thrilling you’ve ever experienced.
What Should I Tell My Children When They Ask Me About Sexuality and Dating?
Consider how far you have come as a parent when your child comes up to ask about sexuality or dating. If your child feels safe enough to ask you these questions, it’s a great sign that they look up to and respect you.
Here are some suggestions for responding to those inquiries:
Don’t assume you know the motivation behind their questions. Requesting a summary of prior knowledge is a valid option. Alternatively, ask, “What do you understand about sex?”
Answer questions briefly and clearly, and define unfamiliar terms for your child.
Maintain an open dialogue after responding. Asking, “What additional questions do you have regarding this?” is an option. Or “What are you learning/going through that has prompted you to think about this more?”
Verify their comprehension. Do you have any further questions after I’ve answered them? Alternatively, “What’s your thought on that?”
You can independently or collaboratively find the information you need online. I’m delighted you posed that inquiry. I need to learn how to describe it or what the solution is. Let’s check that out!
Remember that the awkwardness and embarrassment you and your child may experience is normal. Attempt to push past your shame. You will benefit from this decision. The challenging questions will become easier over time.
What More Can I Do to Ensure My Children’s Safety and Well-Being?
Parents should actively participate in their children’s life and establish limits to ensure their well-being.
Here are some effective methods of participation:
Inquire about their school day with free-form queries like, “What did you enjoy most?” or “What are your impressions of your new classroom/teacher/school?”
Learn more about them by inquiring about their friends and their family. You should encourage them to hang out with other kids you consider positive influences.
When your child is playing at a friend’s house or otherwise away from home, keep tabs on the other adults there.
Inquire as to their online activities by asking them questions.
Help them pursue their passions and interests. Attend as many events as possible, such as games, recitals, etc.
Be receptive to their inquiries at all times.
Setting appropriate limits with your teen or preteen child will help them avoid potentially harmful activities like smoking, drinking or engaging in sexual activity before they are emotionally and developmentally ready.
To ensure your child follows the guidelines you set for them, it is essential to lay down specific demands (such as curfews, dating rules, restrictions around substances/alcohol, etc.). You can turn this into a talk with your teenager.
Relating to them while giving them room to bargain demonstrates that you value their input and recognise that they are becoming more independent adults.
Get children interested in after-school activities like athletics or clubs where an adult will always be present.
Don’t let preteens or teenagers spend too much time unattended without adult supervision, and know where they’re going and who they’ll be with.
Ensure responsible adults are present when sending party invites to teenagers and preteens. Being involved in your teen’s hosting events is necessary to ensure that no illegal substances are present.
Calling the guardians of the teens hosting your teen is an excellent way to ensure that a responsible adult should be present.
It’s important to discourage teenagers and preteens from flirting or spending time with young adults and mature teenagers on school evenings.
The parents of your child’s friends and potential romantic interests should be among the people you get to know.