For every couple, to a greater or lesser extent, sex life undergoes a change after the arrival of children. Bodily changes, childcare and multi-tasking leave parents with little time and less energy to engage in lovemaking with the result their sex lives often end up monotonous at best or non-existent at worst. However it is possible to reclaim your amorous selves and bring back the spark in your marriage. So here are few tips on having an exciting sex life even with kids.
For you and your partner to have a great sex life even as parents, it is necessary that you make it one of the priorities in your relationship. This means acknowledging that it is important to you as a couple and that you both are willing to invest time and energy into it. You may already be burdened with caring for the little ones, never-ending housework and an unhappy boss at the workplace and thus unwilling to put in any more effort anywhere. But remember, a happy sex life leads to a happy relationship which in turn makes you great parents and fulfilled individuals.
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Learn to be more flexible
Plans are one of the first casualties of parenthood. As soon as you have tucked in the kids and are ready to snuggle up to your partner, you might hear your two year-old ask for a glass of water or wake up crying because of a bad dream. Rather learn to make plans as you go; for instance when your baby is napping during the day, get together with your partner for a brief romp between the sheets instead of worrying about the dishes piled in the sink. Or when your seven-year old is away at her piano lessons, invite your partner for a lovemaking session instead of rushing out to get the groceries. Also be open to different ways of making love like having a quickie every now and then instead of waiting endlessly for prolonged amorous encounter which you enjoyed when there were no kids.
Take the help of friends and family
Whenever possible, rope in family members and close friends to act as babysitters while you and your partner sneak away for some “us-time”. Consider leaving toddlers and older kids overnight with grandparents – the latter are sure to have a great time pampering their grandkids while you both can look forward to a long romantic night.
Be open to love
Don’t assume that you have to be “in the mood” to be able to initiate or enjoy sex. Time was when you only had to exchange significant looks with your partner to get physically aroused or at least in an exciting frame of mind. But now with deadlines at work and dinner to prepare, your mind or your body may not always be so receptive to subtle signals. Instead be open to intimacy with your partner whenever the opportunity arises and let your physical arousal be part of the process. That way if sexual climax is prevented by any external exigencies, neither of you need feel frustrated or let down.
Teach kids to respect your privacy
As soon as your kids are old enough to understand that parents are different from their own selves, try to tell them about Mum and Dad needing some “cuddle” time too. Children are great ones for giving and receiving love and thus are likely to understand that parents need love from each other too. Once you are able to teach them that parents are a couple and need their privacy, not only they are less likely to interrupt you and your partner but can be easier to deal with if they do. For instance when your pre-schooler wants to play with Mum, you can ask him to watch Spiderman on his own with the promise to take him out for an ice-cream later.
Help each other
Exhaustion is one of the biggest causes of lack of sexual harmony among couples and more often than not it is the parent who bears the lion’s share of parenting duties who is too worn out to initiate or enjoy sex by the end of the day. No matter what age the kids are, they come with their own responsibilities. Babies and toddlers need to be fed, clothed, bathed and cleaned while school-going ones need to be dropped at school, picked up from soccer practice or have their homework supervised. How you and your partner share these responsibilities and who does how much are best decided by you both but you do need to be clear on who will do what and why. Or else there is bound to be too much burden on one person and the consequent building up of resentment, neither of which are particularly favorable for a happy sex life.
Be open to experimentation
The secret to having an exciting sex life as parents lies in modifying your lovemaking techniques according to the emotional and physical demands of that particular parenting phase. As parents of toddlers, time is at a premium so sharpen your skills required for a quickie. When kids are out for longer periods at school or a friend’s house, then rediscover languorous episodes of love-making which you indulged in as newlyweds.
Change your perspective
Women especially are victims of unrealistic body images which highlight only the skinny look as sexy. If you have been avoiding sex on account of changes in your body, learn to accept them as perfectly natural part of being a mother. If you are a man, make your partner feel desirable precisely because of a fuller, more rounded body. Once you begin to discard artificial notions of what is sexy and attractive, you will find your own body and that of your partner more desirable and consequently sex more enjoyable.