by Mary Jo Rapini, Sex and Relationship Specialist
The summer may mean more relaxed schedules for kids, but for parents it means the kids are around 24/7. If you’re like many parents, you don’t wake up alone with your partner; you wake up with at least one kid in your bed. You may have been able to find quiet time with your partner while the kids were at school or a school-related activity, but this becomes more difficult in the summer when kids are always home.
Finding time for the two of you is one of the most complicated aspects of having children. Even when you find time to be together, you’re exhausted and need sleep more than sex. However, always putting the kids first can have devastating effects on your marriage and relationship if it gets in the way of intimacy. Couples who are close and stay intimate will be better parents and more content as a couples.
Below are suggestions that will help you enjoy time with your kids and keep your sex life alive. Make the summer your time as a couple to relax and be creative with finding new ways to share intimacy.
1. Put intimacy before sex. Sex is a physical activity; when you’re tired, it can feel like a chore. Intimacy is feeling close to your partner, and there are many ways you can feel close and connected. That feeling energizes you. Begin kissing more.
2. Change your expectations. Sex is different things to different people. Expecting sex every night is unrealistic with kids at home. However, taking advantage of a shower together or a night out while a babysitter is with your kids is doable at least once a week. Look forward to these – get enthusiastic and focus on each other.
3. Comfort is key. It is important to communicate and listen to the each other’s needs during sex. Painful sex can occur for many reasons and is common for women that experience dryness. Try incorporating a personal lubricant such as Replens Silky Smooth or Wet Platinum to increase comfort.
4. Flirt with your partner. Flirting is a great way to let your partner know you desire them and look forward to being with them. Text them, take opportunities to hold them, cuddle with them, and put them first. Kids love to see their parents flirting with each other, and public signs of affection are healthy.
5. Once a month have “sleep-in Saturday.” Tell your kids the night before and have a ready-made breakfast. Tell them mommy and daddy are sleeping in. They can watch cartoons, but they cannot wake you. Kids have to be old enough for this plan to be effective.
6. Enforce bedtimes and schedules and take opportunities when you have them. You can’t plan when a baby will wake, but you do have schedules. If night time isn’t a good time for love, use the morning. Lunch times are great if the kids are in camps. When you make your relationship a priority, you find the time to be together. Flexibility is sexy.
7. Turn to each other when you’re overwhelmed. Remember to keep your friendship alive. Couples who have the best sex lives turn toward each other when they’re stressed rather than getting away from each other. Your partner should be the first one you talk about your feelings with. Sharing your vulnerabilities with each other leads to better sex.
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