This post covers how parents can stay sexually connected and close in the thick of parenthood.
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This post is not intended to replace medical advice nor is it a medical diagnosis. For informational purposes only.
Staying sexually connected after kiddos come into the picture can seem like a Herculean task.
From lack of time to the fear of getting accidentally pregnant again or too soon, it can make sex seem like a chore or something to stay clear of.
People joke about how sex is off the table once you become parents.
My husband and I had as good of sex as anyone before our daughter came.
It was easy, spontaneous, and full of life. Although our sex life may not nearly be as spontaneous or easy, it is still abundant and full of passion, love, and pleasure…even though we wear a parent hat now.
Having healthy sex as parents is a great way to help you stay connected spiritually and emotionally.
Parenthood is hard.
However, it is imperative that we still make an effort to stay emotionally and sexually connected as much as possible.
Not only will staying connected sexually be good for your relationship, but it’s also fantastic for your health and marriage.
When you are both having regular and mutually pleasurable and satisfying sex, it can genuinely help you feel like a team. Connecting sexually and feeling like you’re on the same team matters now as parents more than ever.
Here are the best ways my husband and I have stayed sexually connected since becoming parents!
This post covers how parents can stay sexually connected and close in the thick of parenthood.
How to Stay Sexually Connected
I want to preface this by disclosing these are practices and perspectives that work for us as a couple to connect sexually. Sex and parenting are extremely sensitive topics and it’s okay if you don’t agree or resonate with these philosophies or practices.
We are all doing our best in our relationships with our partners and children and as long as you pursue what you feel in your heart to be right…that’s all that matters.
Contrary to our belief, sex after becoming parents can be more satisfying, loving, and pleasurable.
My husband and I took good sex for granted when we were childless. We had the time and energy to get after it whenever we wanted.
Now that it takes more work, we appreciate it more and feel more sexual and spiritual connection than ever.
Simply said, sex as parents has bonded us more than we could ever have imagined. Your parenthood label does not mean a dead bedroom.
In fact, it’s an opportunity for you to get even closer and have far better sex that is deeper (lol) and more meaningful than when you were child-free.
Here are the ways we have stayed sexually connected as parents. These aren’t really your typical mind blowing sex tips you see in Cosmo…you may be surprised how little involves sex!
1. Help Your Kids Sleep Independently
I understand that sleep is a sensitive topic for many parents. Let me preface this part by saying, that the way your child sleeps (or doesn’t) is not a reflection on the quality of your parenting.
Human sleep is incredibly complex and unique and their brains are developing at an incredible rate. Not to mention there has never been so much external stimuli to to take in.
Getting quality sleep has never been harder for everyone. We are all doing our best, and I understand there are some kids who despite your best efforts, just don’t sleep.
To those parents, I know there’s nothing I can say except I’m so sorry and I genuinely feel for you.
I hope this information doesn’t come off as redundant.
I’m here, however, to share that getting my daughter to sleep independently is what helped us, sexually connect more on a regular basis. I’m only sharing what works for us and it may not resonate with you and that’s totally fine.
I just want to share some perspectives and information that helped us get our daughter to sleep…take it with a grain of salt and that’s all!
According to Bringing Up Bebe, which goes over cultural parenting practices in France, most French babies sleep independently for a full night (meaning at least 8+ hour stretches) every night by 9 months old.
They sleep in their own rooms, parents’ room is off limits and boundaries are heavily valued in the child-rearing manual.
Unlike France, the modern-day parents’ biggest struggle in Western Northern American and British culture, is getting their kids to sleep soundly and independently.
I read so many books when I was pregnant on sleep, how it works, how other cultures approached sleep, why sleep is essential for the whole family, and how to instill healthy sleep habits early on.
We’ve all heard of that one mom who was up for years, and one day her kid just slept through the night and the rest was history.
Not for us though.
Annabelle didn’t start sleeping through the night one day..it took months and years of habitual implementation and intentional strategy to get her sleeping well… which we still do to this day!
Sleep is a skill to be learned and a habit to instill, not just purely developmental, just like using the potty.
How often do you hear a 2-4-year-old say “Okay everyone, I’m done pooping in my diapers and ready to start pooping on the potty! Let me know when you’re ready to get on it!”
Probably not often (although how heavenly would that be?!) We know they need help and guidance to learn the skill of identifying the urge to go and then understanding that means it’s time to go to the potty and all that implies.
We don’t expect them to just jump to that conclusion themselves and one day grab their tablet and head to the potty, make their poops, wipe themselves, flush, and wash their hands without a shred of guidance from their parents (again, how awesome would that be?)
Using the bathroom is a process and a skill, not just an instinct that we develop…sleep is no different.
Teaching your child healthy independent sleep habits can make the difference between you having the time and energy to stay sexually connected with your partner after a long day of work and child-rearing or spending additional hours trying to get your overtired toddler to sleep and fully expecting to be woken up again in just a couple of hours, for years and years.
Of course, nobody would be in the mood for sex when you and your kids are constantly overtired, stressed, and in survival mode.
Our bodies won’t go “Sh*t man I’m overtired, overworked, overstimulated, stressed and don’t have a second to myself. We should totally get it on!”
Our cortisol and stress hormones always take precedence over our sex hormones.
Our daughter is so deeply ingrained now that she is 2.5; we spend about an hour in her room, reading, listening to relaxing music, talking about her day, and recently, she started putting her stuffed animals to sleep first too!
We will cuddle together on her floor bed and relax until her sound machine comes on.
I’ll kiss her head and tell her to sleep well and when I check the monitor 15 minutes later, 99% of the time she’s sound asleep.
When she is healthy or doesn’t have an unexpected poop, we all sleep until around seven the next day.
There’s no such thing as bedtime battles; I don’t dread bedtime; it’s a way for us to decompress from the day together, and she only calls for us when she is sick or hurt because she loves her bed, feels safe and secure, and knows how to fall asleep without us.
She understands the process so much, she replicates it with her stuffed animals first, so they can sleep with her too…how cute is that? I was dying the first time she started doing it…she understands the steps leading up to sleep and what it means to rest and she actually looks forward to it!
She knows she’s safe; we are here when she needs us.
After she is down and getting the super important sleep her developing body needs, this leaves my husband and I time together as a couple, and we all get the rest we need to function at a high level.
My daughter is a fiery redhead who is highly spirited (just like her daddy).
I found she benefited from the routines and implementation we had more because she needed more prediction and structure due to her spirited nature.
Skills and habits can be learned and instilled.
There is hope, parents!
If you have a baby, check out my 18 Amazing Baby Sleep Tips That Work Fast on how to help integrate healthy sleep habits sooner rather than later.
The more sleep your kids get, the more sleep you get, the better you feel, and the more energy and time you have to connect sexually!
Not only that, but everyone will be better off in every way for getting the necessary sleep to stay healthy.
It will be an entirely new experience when the whole house is rested and you guys are connecting sexually and loving each other regularly.
2. Have Kids in Their Own Rooms
Not only for boundaries sake but to give you the space you need to be intimate in your room.
Unless Annabelle is sick or hurt, our room is off-limits to her. She isn’t allowed to play in there or anything. Our room is our space, her room is her space.
Before we switched Annabelle to her room, sex was not happening (nor was a ton of sleep).
Once we switched her, she and I slept better and had our space back! With Annabelle sleeping soundly AND in her room, we were better able to connect sexually on a regular basis.
Having your kids in their own rooms is excellent for instilling boundaries, giving you much-needed space, and the atmosphere for decent love making lol
If you’re wondering how to have more sex as a parent, creating boundaries within your space is a great way to start.
I understand many moms and parents co-sleep with their kids. This is all well and good if you enjoy it and the practice works for the family; however, this practice will inevitably interfere with your intimate alone time with your partner.
If having your family sleep in one bed is non-negotiable, putting in the effort to where you at least have the space alone sometimes (you may have to schedule this) is imperative.
I also understand that a child having their own room is a luxury for many people.
If the only choice is room sharing, you may have to get creative to find a space where you guys can be intimate with each other.
Try getting cozy in the living room after your little one is down either for a nap or bedtime…you’d be surprised how comfortable recliners and couches can be!
If you’re wondering how to have more sex then creating an intimate space just for you both is a good place to start.
3. Ensure Duties are Equally Distributed
Odds are right now, they aren’t if you aren’t as sexually connected as you’d like to be.
Despite becoming increasingly more present in colleges and the workplace, women still do most household chores and childrearing.
“Sharing the load is beneficial.
Couples who have a more equal division of labor seem to be happier, and that’s reflected in various ways, only one of which is sex,” said co-author Sharon Sassler, a professor of policy analysis and management who studies family and gender.
“It’s kind of a no-brainer. Contributing more does make a partner appreciate what the other partner is doing.” – Cornell Chronicle
This is actually why same-sex couples don’t have this household duty inequality problem…they don’t adhere to traditional gender roles!
They understand it’s both their responsibilities as members who live in the house together to keep it running and thriving at a functional level.
When you contribute more fairly among the household duties and parenting, you will actually feel like a team instead of the guy carrying the team on his shoulders and then getting complaints you also aren’t available enough sexually.
My husband spent many years living alone before we lived together.
This enabled him to learn how to be capable of keeping house. My husband and I split our household duties.
I do more cooking, baking, meal prepping, and laundry, while he does more mental labor, organizing, landscaping, and cleaning.
It makes me feel like we are a team, and he didn’t just marry me for free food, maid services, egg quality, and sex availability.
I feel seen and loved. Therefore, I have the energy and time to make sweet, sweet love to him after we get Annabelle down for the night! Preparing for sex isn’t such a huge thing now.
Have a conversation with your partner to ensure you aren’t taking on more than the other.
Related Reading: 21 Best Tips For Better Sex With Your Husband
4. Organize Parental Shifts
Parenting is a job. A job where we don’t get paid. So having breaks is more imperative than ever.
Otherwise, it’s a recipe for Resentment City and you will want to claw the other’s eyes out for doing something fun while you haven’t had a parental break in weeks.
After reading If You’re In My Office, It’s Already Too Late: A Divorce Lawyer’s Guide to Staying Together by James Sexton, I learned from a divorce lawyer that people co-parent better after divorce because there is an actual legal obligation to uphold “50-50” parental custody.
No, divorce didn’t make them better parents together; it gave them parental breaks! Legally demanded!
They only had their kids half of the time they were used to.
Divorce lawyer James Sexton suggests trying a “divorce model” parenting strategy, where you work out breaks for each other.
For instance, no family is here to help us, so we don’t get breaks unless we schedule them for each other.
Each weekend, one of us takes Annabelle for half a day to ensure we get free time from parenthood and life. I take her Saturday till around three, and Hubby takes her Sunday till the same time.
During the week we alternate afternoons with her after daycare.
This ensures we both get breaks, rest from life, and get our work done. A dynamic like this can make a huge difference in staying sexually connected.
Moms have a more challenging time with asserting their free time.
I KNOW your husband isn’t asking you when to have a break is a good time for you to manage.
He makes the time, schedules it, and then lets you know the plan.
Dudes don’t have the hangup we have over whether we deserve a break or not…they are entitled to a break, and so are you!
Balancing parenthood and life is tricky; you both deserve time off.
After talking with your husband about instilling scheduled breaks for each other, start scheduling what you want to do in it! Or do nothing and rest!
When you both get breaks and rest, you will feel better equipped for sexual intimacy and better to stay sexually connected with each other.
5. Dress In Something You Feel Sexy In
I was watching one of my favorite shows, Mom, one day, and one of the characters, Tammy, was recently released from prison and commented about how she hasn’t worn anything but prison sweats and sweatshirts for years.
It occurred to me in that moment, that my wardrobe generally consisted of sweats, a T-shirt, tube socks, slides, and a zip-up. I was dressing like an inmate! Don’t get me wrong, I love dressing like this, it’s cozy, easy, and mom-efficient.
However, it’s not a look I generally feel my best in for obvious reasons.
For my own sake, after Annabelle is down for the night, I wear something I feel cute or sexy outfit to lounge in.
Sometimes, it’s a Nightie, or my husband says he likes me wearing my Woxers with a sports bra!
Something a little more fitted and revealing. It helps me feel sexy and more in the mood.
So don’t feel you need a Victoria’s Secret-esq lingerie lineup ready to dress up in.
Sometimes, all I do is wear an oversized t-shirt and panties, then spray my perfume on my chest and décolleté and braid my hair.
It helps me feel cute and sexy…no need to overthink it!
Sometimes this leads to sexual intimacy and sometimes it’s just us cudding and kissing!
Which is a great way to get to my next tip…
6. Keep Your Relationship at Low Heat
What I mean is it’s easier to have pleasurable and mutually satisfying sex when your relationship baseline is at a nice simmer at all times.
Having a constant flirtatious frequency between you and your partner makes it easier to elevate to hotter levels for sex.
You know that frequency you were on when you were dating? Remember the general banter that was flirtatious, free, and fun?
That’s the frequency I’m talking about.
My husband and I flirt all day long. We tell each other how sexy the other is, compliment each other, remind each other of our love, give hugs, winks, playfully insert sexual innuendos, and whatnot.
This makes it easier to get into the mood later to connect sexually. Sexual intimacy isn’t just physical, it’s the energy you create between you both outside the bedroom.
Our brain is our biggest sex organ.
Everything starts from the brain receiving stimulation. It makes sense we would be more sexually connected when are in flirt mode…it’s all mental!
You’re more likely to be emotionally and sexually connected to someone who tells you they love you, how attractive you are, and generally showcases their attraction and devotion to you compared to someone who never tells you they love you or makes you feel unseen or un-attractive but somehow expects you to enthusiastically jump their bones.
Husbands married to wives, this is especially true for you.
Vocalizing your love and showcasing attraction for her like you did when you were dating, will help your wife feel attractive, loved, safe, and cherished.
What men sometimes don’t realize is talk is cheap. You can’t just say “No babe I do find you attractive” if your actions aren’t correlating.
Otherwise, your words come off as empty and meaningless…even if you are being genuine.
Ask your wife what you can do to make her believe your words.
It’s way easier for your wife to open up and feel vulnerable for you sexually when you vocalize and show how much she means to you.
I’m not saying you are solely responsible for making her always feel attractive and wanted…that’s not your job.
Just like it’s not her job to always be available for you sexually.
It’s important as women, we do our job to learn to love ourselves and not need the approval of men, especially our husbands.
However, letting your wife know most of the time what she means to you, is what the goal is.
My husband never wastes a moment to tell me how sexy I am and reminds me of his love and appreciation of me and then gifts me with a loving kiss and tight embrace.
I believe his words since he follows through with his actions and this helps me sexually connect with him way before we are in the bedroom.
Sexual chemistry starts brewing way before you get to the bedroom!
Talk to your partner about how you enjoy being simmered and get after it! If you want to know how to have hot sex, remember to keep your relationship sizzling and simmering!
Related Reading: How to Give AMAZING AF Oral Sex to Your Husband
7. Get Comfortable Talking About Sex
Very few sexually active couples openly discuss their sex life or, in some cases, lack thereof. Long-term healthy sex in relationships means talking about it…a lot!
My husband and I have gotten to a point where we talk openly and honestly about sex and our intimate relationship.
We talk about it all the time!
Healthy sexual intimacy isn’t just about having incredible sex, it’s about being able to talk about having awesome sex or how to have incredible sex.
Talking about sex should be part of the fun! Wasn’t that part of the fun when we were young virgins?
We weren’t really having it but talking about it with our friends…we were more comfortable talking about sex as kids than adults who have it!
I promise you, mind-blowing-mutually satisfying sex rarely happens long term by never talking about it.
It will not just happen naturally contrary to poor examples in movies and p*rn culture.
We talk about our finances, kids, jobs, and other essential things needed to stay on the same page, yet one of the most fundamental human activities needed in most marriages to remain healthy, happy, and mutually satisfied is wildly ignored.
Many husbands say, “we aren’t supposed to talk about it we’re supposed to have it.” Or “I know what I’m doing, I don’t need to talk about it.”
Talking about sex is so essential for maintaining sexual intimacy. It brings you closer than just bodies to enjoy.
The more comfortable you get talking about sex, and the more you talk about it, the better sex you’re going to have….I promise.
You will feel more loving, confident, and safe to initiate sex, advocate for your needs, and facilitate the sex life you desire in your marriage.
How Parents Can Stay Sexually Connected
Remember, this is just what we do to help us stay sexually connected. You don’t have to do anything different if you are happy with your parenting dynimac and everyone is happy and fullfilled.
Sex as parents can be a truly wonderfully intimate experience for you both. Our best sexual experiences happened after becoming parents!
Maintaining a sexually healthy relationship with kids is hard, and I know how much easier it is to put sex on the back burner.
However, healthy sex with your partner is good for your health, wellness, spirit and relationship. Hopefully, this helped guide you closer to having the best couple sex you can have.
The daily mundanities of life sting less when you feel sexually close to your partner.
You’ll both feel better and your whole family will reap the benefits of you both maintaining a loving, intimate sexual relationship together. Real couples make love…good love!
Having fun growing in sexual connection with each other!