Sex After Parenthood – It’s Good For You And Your Relationship
Let’s talk about sex after parenthood. Firstly let’s remember that good sex is good for you.
It’s good for each of you as individuals, and it’s good for your relationship.
If you and your partner are BOTH happy having little or no sex, it’s all good.
But if sex is important to you OR your partner OR both of you, finding a way to make it happen matters.
Because sex after kids can be difficult, and complicated. But for most couples, finding a way back to each other physically sooner or later is important.
Kurt Vonnegut said,
“Make love when you can. It’s good for you.” And I think this is good advice.
It’s a powerful way to feel closer, especially at times when you’ve been feeling disconnected.
Plus each of us is responsible for our own wellbeing. And a key part of that is managing our stress response – calming ourselves down when we feel overwhelmed, and taking time to do things that relax us.
Many of those things involve getting out of our heads and into our bodies – like exercise, meditation, deep breathing, or massage.
Good sex works similarly, as we breathe deeply and focus on physical sensations, on pleasure. This helps us to get out of our heads and break anxious thought patterns.
So sex, whether alone or with a partner, is an excellent self-care and stress-relief exercise.
But… just like it can be hard to relax into deep breathing or meditation, it can be hard to relax into sex sometimes too.
It can be hard to turn our attention away from the endless to-do lists and into our bodies.
It can be difficult, once we become parents, to switch roles from Mum or Dad to lover.
Sex After Parenthood – Getting Back In The Sack
When we become parents, it changes how we feel about so many things: ourselves, our partners, our friends, family, in-laws; our bodies, finances, and our work, to name just a few.
All of this impacts our identity, our priorities, our values, and how we feel about the balance of freedom and responsibility in our lives.
It can feel for a while like there is less of everything to go around.
Less time, less talk, less sleep, less money, less freedom, less privacy.
And often there seems to be less closeness between us too: less intimacy, less touch, and less sex.
However happy we are to become parents, most of us find the transition harder than we expected.
It’s usually hard on each of us as individuals, as well as on our relationship.
As Esther Perel says,
“The transition from two to three is one of the most profound challenges a couple will ever face. It takes time – time measured in years, not weeks – to find our bearings in this brave new world.”
But eventually – hopefully – it all starts to get a bit easier.
We get more confident looking after our kids.
We ask for help.
We work out how to divide things more-or-less fairly (it’s a work in progress).
We arrange childcare.
We make friends with other parents.
We start to get tiny bits of time to ourselves.
We start to get some sleep, some exercise, some space.
Sooner or later we look at each other and ask: who are we on the other side of this massive change?
Can we be lovers again?
Maybe that’s one of the things sex is for… to remind us what drew us together, and who we were in the beginning?
Life may have got a little easier, but most of us still feel overworked and overwhelmed at least some of the time (and especially by bedtime).
How much sex we have is largely a matter of habit, so we have to find a way to prioritise it if we want it to happen again.
Back In The Sack is for you if you want to find your way back to being lovers again.
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