Can you have a sex life after children?
We all know that having a baby can mean less sex but when that child gets older, sex is back on the menu, right?
Wrong! According to a survey conducted for Family Lives, parents of teenagers are the ones having the least sex. 66% of respondents had teenagers and 49% had children aged between 5-12 years. Contrary to popular belief, these parents are not having very much sex and it isn’t caused by sleep deprivation or exhaustion caring for a small baby or toddler.
86% of parents said they had less sex after having children and 73% said that their sex life had got progressively worse since having children.
For the parents of teenagers, lack of privacy and never having enough time alone was a huge factor as many teenagers stay up late or are generally around in the evenings watching TV. Only 9% said they didn’t feel like sex and 46% said that having more privacy and time away from their children would significantly improve their sex life.
Bringing back romance
Having a good relationship is not only healthy for you but also for your family. Parents need to put the romance back into their lives. All children, whatever their ages, can be exhausting and overwhelming and parents feel that they are being selfish if they think of themselves rather than their children.
A recent Children’s Society survey found that 70% of children reported that their parents having a good relationship made them happy whilst only 30% of parents recognised this. Having a strong relationship with your partner not only improves your connection but benefits your whole family. When children see their parents being physically affectionate it can have a positive response as to how they will build relationships in the future. Many teenagers will squirm at their parents being intimate but it is important for them to realise that physical contact is vital to building relationships.
Privacy is difficult when you have children at any age but small children do normally have a regular bedtime. Younger children won’t even be aware of what you are doing if they do walk in on you and can be put back to bed. Teenagers roaming around the house at all hours can be extremely off putting but having locks on the door can help to avoid embarrassing interruptions. From personal experience, if you do get interrupted, your teenager will only ever do that once: they will be more mortified than you!
Try to have your own private space, be it a spare room or make your bedroom into a sitting room too. Make your children aware that this is your space and your time so no interruptions unless some one has died, severely injured themselves or the house is on fire!
Making time for each other is important so try to get family to look after your children or send them to the cinema for a few hours. Sex does not need to be penetrative try cuddling, touching, holding each other and kissing. Being tender towards each other may mean that sex might be on the agenda later in the day!
Talk to each other
Talk to each other about how you feel. If you feel too tired, look at ways in which you can feel more energetic- do you have too much on your plate – Sharing the chores can boost your sex life.
There may be a physiological reason for your lack of energy so seek medical advice. Some medication can affect your sex drive so speak to your GP if you think this may be the problem. Hormonal changes after childbirth and some medical conditions can also impact upon your libido too.
Flirt with each other, write little notes, talk in code, cadbury creme eggs are code for us!
Add some spice to your sex life
Invest in some new lingerie, choose sex toys together, get a good bottle of lubricant or buy some bondage to spice up your relationship. Just make sure you hide them in a secret place, away from prying eyes.
Sex doesn’t need to last hours
Quickie sex is fun. Marathon sex sessions can be satisfying but completely exhausting and not always possible on a regular basis, whereas quickie sex can be.
There is something explicitly exciting about having a secret quickie before making it into work, during your lunch hour or getting to that important meeting on time.
Even if you feel tired by the end of the evening after doing battle with your children at bedtime, you can still enjoy sex. The sex you have in your twenties may be very different for the type of sex you have in your thirties, after you have children or when you get older.
Planning a weekend away is really beneficial but not everyone can afford to do this. It can also make your children appreciate you more when they have been parted from you, even for a few days.
Being a single parent and wanting to have a sex life can be difficult. As a lone parent your whole life is centred around your children and you can feel weighted down by responsibility. Children can feel unsettled when meeting any new partner but don’t feel guilty about trying to establish a new relationship. It is best to keep your sex life away from home at first, so ask family or friends to look after your children whilst you establish your new relationship away from home.
Whatever you do, make time for sexual intimacy and pleasure in your relationship, your children are important but so is your relationship too.