They say the key to a healthy and long lasting relationship is communication. They also say having a healthy sex life is important too. And like all couples with young children will tell you, your sex life takes a hit after you have kids. It’s no secret that it can be difficult to find time or to even muster up the energy for sex when you’re busy with life, work, and kids. After we had our daughter my husband and I were anxious to say the least, to return to our normal “activities”. But instead we felt like two ships passing in the night. We were in an endless fog of diapers, bottles, and laundry.
“I didn’t want to be one of those couples that stopped having sex once we had children. I never imagined this could happen to us.”
We were obviously exhausted beyond belief and it was impossible to find time for one another. We were exhausted, yes, but even more so we were disconnected. We were disconnected from the world because we were so consumed with caring for a newborn and we expected this but we were also not connecting with one another which we hadn’t prepared for. We only spoke about the baby. We talked about sleep training and sleep regressions. We discussed how much she was drinking and how many times she pooped. We even had in depth conversations about what color her poop was. We would walk around like zombies. If we had a moment to ourselves, we would sleep or catch up on chores. And we both allowed this to continue. After all, we were new parents and we had to put our daughter first.
We both felt that this was just an adjustment period and honestly I didn’t expect it to last more than two or three months. Like I said, we were new parents, and we were very naive. But needless to say it didn’t just last a little while. Sex took a back seat. Whenever we did get to spend time alone, we were scarfing down food or sneaking in a quick shower. If we did get alone time, enough for sex, it was purely by accident and didn’t happen often. I didn’t want to be one of those couples that stopped having sex once we had children. I never imagined this could happen to us. I thought back to the importance of communication and and so we talked about it.
We realized we really needed to make time for each other. Just because we were parents, it did not mean we were no longer a couple. It did not mean we didn’t deserve time alone anymore. So we had a conversation.
“If we planned sex, would our sex life be ruined? I worried it would become too routine or feel like a chore on my list.”
My husband admitted that he was trying to be respectful and understanding that I was overwhelmed and exhausted and he admitted at times he was too. I realized that I had a hard time turning off “mommy mode” and I was always thinking of my daughter’s needs and all of the chores I had on my list. When we were in the mood it was usually at different times. So we talked about carving time out for one another. But I was worried. What about being spontaneous? Wasn’t that the key to a healthy sex life too? If we planned sex, would our sex life be ruined? I worried it would become too routine or feel like a chore on my list. I didn’t want to have to plan sex. But that’s exactly what we did. We basically made appointments with each other. We worked around our daughters naps, chores, family obligations and work. We tried to find moments where our free time matched up. We didn’t schedule it daily but we aimed for weekly. And you know what? It actually worked.
It may seem weird but setting these “appointments” were more satisfying than the spontaneous sex that we’ve had for years. It’s something about my husband telling me he’s made time for us and then anticipating the entire day for that moment that’s exciting. Perhaps most importantly, sex was more comfortable now that it was planned. I was breastfeeding and pumping and people fail to warn you how uncomfortable sex can be while nursing. Breastfeeding causes dryness and made sex painful but being able to plan ahead and have enough time to work around this issue made sex a lot better. Spontaneous sex was painful but now I was prepared for our “appointments”. Before long we were able to “reconnect” more often. And though it wasn’t as often as before we had a baby, it felt like enough. Having time alone helped us return to some kind of normalcy. And even though our daughter was the topic of most of our conversations, we began to talk about other things like we used to. I felt like I fell in love with my husband all over again.
“It may seem weird but setting these “appointments” were more satisfying than the spontaneous sex that we’ve had for years.”
I’m sure a lot of people think it’s insane to have to set up an appointment with your partner to have sex, but it’s better than not making time at all. We aim for spontaneous sex when ever possible but it’s not always realistic. Whenever life gets busy, we still revert to this method. It’s kind of like setting aside time for date night and we all know how important that is. Honestly if we just left it to chance, I don’t think we would’ve found time for each other and we would have drifted apart.