Children – do they mark the end of your sex life? Have you fallen into the ‘parent trap’?
Many couples find that once they settle into the routine of parenthood, their sex lives experience an unfortunate, and dramatic, decline. This can be due to increased stress, less time to be intimate, interruptions from the child (either crying baby or walking into the bedroom when they’re older) or just seeing one another firstly in the roles of ‘Mum’ and ‘Dad’ rather than in a sexual context.
How can parents still enjoy an exciting, fulfilling sex life and not fall into the ‘Parent Trap’?
New mothers can often suffer from a lack of confidence due to the changes their body has been through, some of which may be permanent. A regular exercise routine will keep you feeling fit and toned, as will a balanced diet. Take the time to make an effort with your appearance, even on days when you really don’t feel like it. If you feel that you look attractive, you’ll be more inclined to respond positively to sexual advances from your partner – or even instigate them yourself. Partners can really help in this regard, by reassuring that they still do find their lady very sexy!
Arrange to have your children looked after by babysitters/family on a regular basis. Whether it’s once a week or once a month, this will give you valuable to to rediscover your intimacy, explore each others’ lives and interests and keep the connection between you. This will lead to a stronger relationship that isn’t solely cemented by the fact you have children together.
Ensure that your children have regular bedtimes – that means sticking to them! Bedtime is a certain time and don’t be afraid to keep to it. The children will get used to a regular pattern of winding down to that time, then sleeping from when they get to bed, with less hassle and hopefully no midnight interruptions. This gives you and your partner the peace and quiet at the end of the day to have your much needed ‘grown-up’ time.
It’s also important to teach your children to sleep in their own beds at night – it is difficult to maintain a regular sex life with a child in between you in the bed.
If your children do need you, teach them to knock on doors and wait – there’s nothing worse than being pounced upon at just the wrong moment!
Keep toys in the right places – both kinds! Your bedroom should act as a haven for your adult times, so children’s toys shouldn’t feature. It isn’t romantic or sexy to look up at a climatic moment and see the latest Ben 10 figurine or Fifi Flowertots doll staring back at you. Likewise, your sex toys need to be stored out of sight and away from curious minds and fingers, so think about a lockable case or combination locked suitcase under the bed. Your bedtime play essentials need to be safely stored but at the same time, easily accessible.
If you are still worried about being interrupted, why not take sexy fun out of the bedroom – into the bathroom? There are so many options available to you, not least of which is a lock on the door. Once the kids are with a babysitter, or safely asleep, grab some waterproof toys, your Sex in the Shower accessories or bathtime Rub my Duckie and prepare to get sexed up while you’re soaped up.
If one or both of you work during the day, don’t just communicate about parental, work or financial matters. Keeping things sexy is important too – so send them a few flirty texts in the day to prepare them for later and to keep that frisson of lust between you. If you’re feeling daring, send a cheeky picture… it will get them hot under the collar and make you feel sensationally sexy too!
This advice isn’t just limited to couples with children. Single parents need to set aside their own time too, in order to enjoy self exploration sessions as well as time out with friends. Times when the children are looked after by babysitters can be well spent on an evening of self indulgence, pampering and pleasure. Mums might enjoy redicovering the thrills of their Jessica Rabbit – or a long bathtime session with relaxing candles lit and a personal massager.
Remember, look sexy, think sexy, act sexy. With set routines in place and making an effort to prioritise your intimate times, you can avoid the ‘parent trap’ and be fantastic lovers as well as fantastic parents.