The Impact of Having Children on Your Sex Life

These days, it feels like you and your partner are a little out of sync.  

Between work, making lunches and the babysitter canceling on Friday, life's logistics have been getting in the way of regular intimacy.

Are you feeling like your sex life could use a little help after having children? You're not alone. Studies have shown that many women experience tiredness, body image issues, and low libido after becoming a mother.

For both parents, the stress of daily tasks may outweigh the desire for intimacy, as life takes over and shows up with another soccer game or piano recital.

We want you to know that it's possible to have an electric and regular sex life-- even with a to-do list as long as yours. Snuggle up to your partner, and read on for our favorite sex and intimacy tips after kids.

How Much Sex Is Normal?

How much sex is normal for parents? For many adults with children, sex can seem like the last item on a list of priorities. They feel lucky if they can find time to connect on their birthday.

We're here to tell you that there isn't necessarily a "recommended" amount of intimacy-- though making it a priority can work wonders for a stagnant relationship. As long as you are considering your libido as well as your partner's interests, it's possible to get to a healthy cadence that seems satisfying to you both.

Remember--there is no "normal" amount of sex.

Even the polls and survey data available on the internet or in magazines can be misleading. There's little benefit to having regular sex if you are just going through the motions. Of all of our tips, mindful and intentional intimacy is the key to bringing back any semblance of a spark.

Common Obstacles

When asking parents about their most common obstacles to a regular sex life, the reasons can vary. Some of the most common blockers include:

  • Exhaustion
  • Body image issues
  • Mismatched libidos
  • Overscheduling

If you're experiencing any of these hangups, it's important to remember that you are not alone. These are some of the most common pain points for both new and established parents.

Low Sex Drive

Low libido is not just a postpartum issue-- some parents report a low sex drive even 4-5 years into parenthood. If you are experiencing low libido, know that there are many possible reasons for what you are feeling. Factors that contribute to libido may include:

  • Health and wellness
  • Age
  • Stress
  • Sleep quality
  • Stress
  • Hormonal imbalances

Sexual Desire Discrepancy occurs when one's libido struggles to work in tandem with their body. This can be something that you may feel you are currently experiencing, or something that your partner is working to manage. It's important to know that libido issues are not limited to one particular gender or household role-- it can affect all of us, to varying degrees.

Physical Limitations  

Sex cannot become a priority if you don't have your health. Taking the time to sleep, exercise, and nourish your body will be mandatory if you want to have the energy and bandwidth for any amount of sex-- let alone good sex.

If you are experiencing hormonal imbalances that are interfering with your libido, seek hormone support and any necessary specialists. Your health and comfort are the priority. Ensuring your body is functioning optimally will only benefit you in the long run-- and in the bedroom.  

For new moms, childbirth is a major bodily event that should be respected and considered during intimacy. Some mothers even report experiencing pain up to eighteen months postpartum. For others, the changes that occur during childbirth accompany them for years as they learn to adjust to what their body needs.

If one partner is dealing with physical limitations, it's important for these to be respected. Taking things slowly can help you to minimize injuries, frustration, and awkward moments-- all additional obstacles to getting back into the swing of things.  

Overscheduling

Overscheduling is a true enemy of quality sex. With many parents prioritizing their children, sex is one of the first joys that is pushed to the back burner.

Many couples benefit from maintaining a standing sex date once a week, twice a week, or a few times a month. Timing and cadence should always be at your discretion-- just make sure that both you and your partner are on the same page!

Truthfully, couples are happiest when sex can be regularly anticipated or prioritized. While there is no "golden number" for the quantity of orgasms you should be having, we hope you're having as many as you can realistically manage.

Boundaries

Is your child's presence in your bedroom keeping you from making a move? Are you uncomfortable with being intimate in such close proximity to the kids?

Common parenting practices such as co-sleeping can greatly interfere with a couple's ability to find the space to comfortably explore their sexual relationship. We know that co-sleeping and naptimes are not just for newborns, so this interference can definitely become a nuisance for years.

While we certainly would not want our recommendations to interfere with your parenting style, space and boundaries may be factors that need to be prioritized if you hope to get your sex life back on track.

How to Reconnect With Your Partner After Having Kids

Though a recent parenting site poll reported frequency of sex declined for 58% of respondents after having kids, the same poll indicated that for 57% of parents, the sex they were having was even better than before.

For most couples, improving your sex life means improving your marriage. The same is true for the quality of sex you can be having-- with a few extra considerations and an emphasis on communication in your marriage, your physical relationship might blow your mind.

Communication Tips

One of the most rewarding tools in your sexual toolbox should be communication. Learning to ask for what you want in the bedroom (including when you want it) can transform how you and your partner connect sexually.

Remember-- communication doesn't have to be stuffy, nor does it need to be confined to the bedroom. Send some flirty text messages during the day as extended foreplay. Get used to incorporating intimacy into an ordinary day.

If you don't quite know what you want, spend some time getting to know yourself and what you enjoy before bringing it to the bedroom. Find yourself some literature, some solo time, some adult films. Put yourself first for once, and reap the benefits later.

Trust us-- your partner will appreciate the direction more than you know.

Redefine What Sex Means to You

For many couples (especially heterosexual couples), sex is often defined as that of a traditional, cookie-cutter variety, one that has to end in a perfectly timed pleasure. In actuality, sex doesn't even have to involve penetration, nor does it need to look like the movies.

For many couples, good sex doesn't always result in an orgasm. Simply taking the time to mindfully enjoy your partner in the moment can strengthen your emotional and sexual bond.

At the end of the day, we stress quality over quantity. Sex might feel different or fit into your schedule differently these days. If you're able to provide undivided attention to your partner and co-parent, it can work wonders for you and the family you have built over the years.

Ideas for Dates

Find somebody to watch the kids, and enjoy some adult time for once. Something as simple as dinner at your favorite restaurant can become a great starter course for a fun night with your partner. Some of our favorite ideas for dates include:

  • Re-living your first date
  • Actually giving yourselves time to relax, kid-free
  • Trying something neither of you has ever done before
  • An adult night-in (bonus: more time for sex!)
  • Partner fitness activities
  • Roleplay
  • Wine and brainstorming fantasies  

Scheduling nights for sex may seem like the most unsexy thing since your childhood bedroom. It is, however, a pretty great tool if you're struggling with getting on the same page. Quality time is a huge factor when considering sexual frustrations or mismatched libido.

Another fun tip? Don't feel like you need to restrict sex to just the bedroom!

Take advantage of naptime or the help of grandparents. Try out every room in the house, if the moment moves you to. If you're feeling extra adventurous, we hear there are some exceedingly nice hotels that would make for a great end to date night.

Intimacy After Having Children

We're here to tell you that despite all of your extra responsibilities, you deserve a really great orgasm. We don't have the research on hand quite yet, but something tells us that a healthy sex life could make all of your household chores a little more enjoyable.

Having children and managing a household does not have to mean the death of your sex life. Sex is something that you should have the opportunity to enjoy with your partner well beyond parenthood.

We believe that sex truly does get better with age. For additional resources, sex tips, and access to intimacy support wherever you go, download our app. Make this next chapter the most satisfying one yet.