Parenthood is rich with joys. From the smell of your infant’s velvety head to the thrill of seeing your kid ride a bike for the first time, raising children can be one of the most rewarding challenges you ever take on. Unfortunately, it can also wreak havoc on your sex life, leaving you with fuzzy memories of hot hookups that seem like they happened to someone else.
The initial phase of parenting a newborn is unforgivably all consuming. It can leave moms and dads in a sleep-deprived drunken state, wherein an uninterrupted shower or a meal eaten with two hands seems an unimaginable luxury. Sex understandbly tends to fall to the bottom of the priority list. The problem is that once the smoke clears and life resumes some normalcy, a parent’s sex life doesn’t necessarily just bounce back.
So how do you have a great sex life once you have kids?
Reclaim Your Sexual Identity
If you can’t remember the last time sex seemed like an awesome idea, you may need to reconnect with your sexual self. Parenting is non-stop selflessness. The daily rhythm of feedings and diaper changes or playdates and cartoons can leave you divorced from your inner adult. Constantly thinking about someone else’s needs can blind you to your own. It’s not easy to feel sexy when you’re covered in spit-up or stepping on Legos. So, take some time to reconnect.
Create a solo ritual to embrace your sexy self. We’re talking about the best possible version of Me Time. Commit to doing something, no matter how small, that has no other purpose beyond reminding you that you are a sexual being. Put it in your calendar and show up for yourself.
- A nightly bubble bath
- Sleeping in sexy lingerie or pajamas
- A weekly or monthly massage
- A nightly erotica reading (or viewing)
- A regular masturbation appointment
- A daytime erotic daydream or journal session
If possible, buy yourself something to support your new ritual. Silky sleepwear, a new sex toy, or a journal that locks are all ways of telling yourself that you’re worth pleasuring. This is a crucial first step if you’ve come to think of sex as a chore that can always be put off.
Find Your Groove
Where are you right now? Have you recently given birth and not yet had post-baby sex? Are you less interested in sex than you were before the kids? Is your partner less interested? Are you having sex that bores you? Wherever you are, there you are.
Set an intention for a slight, achievable improvement. If you’ve been celibate since the third trimester, start by simply re-establishing physical contact. Evening backrubs or holding hands in the car are good for this. If you’ve become sexually disconnected, talk about how you’re feeling. If you’re not into going all the way, try making out. Or going on a real dress-up date. Or meeting in a cheap motel room. Your libido is like a motor. It needs to be revved up.
If sex is something you’ve forgotten about, take this opportunity to indulge a forbidden fantasy. If you have kinky desires you haven’t pursued before, this is a golden opportunity. Partnered? Sharing your deepest fantasies can reconnect you to each other. Single? Putting yourself on your to-do list reinforces that you are more than just a parent. Regardless of your family structure, having a satisfying sex life benefits your kids by making you happier.
Make a Game Plan
Once you’ve rediscovered your sex drive and gotten back into the swing of things, commit to making your sex life a priority. Sexuality is like a plant, it needs to be tended or it shrivels. In the stress of modern parenting, it’s easy to imagine sex as something someone else wants from you or something selfish. But parenting requires patience and warmth, which are in short supply if you’re not getting it regularly. Here are some tips for prioritizing your sex life.
Take Care of You
Parenting is rough on a person. Sleep, grooming and exercise tend to slip off the to-do list. But no one can feel sexy when they’re exhausted, so put yourself on the agenda. Take a nap or go to bed early if you’re wiped out. Sign up for a fitness class. Treat yourself to a sexy new hairstyle or an old-school barber shave. When you look good and feel good, an orgasm is much more accessible.
Take Back Your Bedroom
Between co-sleeping and nightmares, your bed can easily become a kiddie zone. This is sweet, but definitely cramps your style. Whether you’re living with a partner or occasionally entertaining a visitor in your bed, it’s time to establish dominance over the master bedroom.
If your kiddos are in the habit of visiting you in the night or early morning, lock the door before you get busy. Explain to them that a locked door means the grownups are having alone time and they should wait for you to open the door.
Get Off the Premises
Your sex life thrives on field trips. Whether it’s a night in a hotel or a couple of hours at a cocktail bar, getting out of the house and away from the kids jump starts your sense of independence and sexual agency. So get a sitter or send the kids for an overnight with Grandma. Then plan a sexy adventure.
If you’re single, go on a date or meet some friends in a place you might meet a new partner. If you’re coupled, plan a night out. And if you’re craving a wild adventure, arrange a role-playing meet. Or go to a burlesque show. Or try a swingers club or kink party. Whatever charges you up, go out and make it happen.
Staying sexy after the kids takes more planning but it’s totally doable. And you owe it to yourself and your children to live your best possible life. So take control and dive back in.