Having a new addition to the family is wondrous, beautiful event. It can also cause a lot of stress on the parents and sometimes can severely strain the relationship. Dealing with a new body or PPD as a new mom is one thing but once that is over, how do you find time to balance your new lives as parents while not losing who you are and keeping up with your love life?
There is no easy solution for any of these problems nor is it a one size fix all solution but know that you're not alone. A study conducted back in 2014 says that men usually lose 1/3 of their testosterone and show a decrease in sex drive when actively being around an infant for more than 3 hours a day. Having a spouse that's less aggresive than usual and a poop tired mommy could spell disaster for an otherwise flourishing sex life.
A decrease in sex doesn't always have to end in a split or infidelity. Realizing what's going on in your relationship and keeping the lines of communication open is crucial to saving it. Talking about sex expectations or needs in a non confrontational and unthreatening way can actually be an eye opener for both parties and lead to an increase of sex in the bedroom or at least the attempt.
In my own experience, I have found that it was a lot easier to engage in getting my cheeks busted when Sai was not in the room with us. Some parents love to co-sleep, I however enjoy sex with my man without a crying baby in between us so, I sleep trained Sai at the tender age of 6 weeks. Now that he is almost 2, I can give Corey head in the morning without worrying about my son staring me in the face or asking me what I'm doing to daddy. If co-sleeping is absolutely something your and your significant other can not give up, morning sex in the shower or in the living room while the kids are still sleep may be something that will work better for you. Or the classic, take your ass down for a nap time.
Here are some tips that helped us rekindle our spark:
1. Being open and honest about both of our weight changes after the baby
Both of us had very different bodies after Sai, he lost a ton of weight and I seemed to take the weight that he lost and then some. He thought my extra weight was unattractive and I was too busy dealing with stress of going back to work amongst other shit to worry about jogging around anyone's track. We finally had a real conversation about the changes our body had gone through and both of us ended up meeting half way. I increased my yoga, ran once a week and took up tennis and he let me feed him without doing 1,000 push ups every day.
2. Being vocal about what turned me(us) off & meeting half way
After having a baby, your hormones are all over the place and anything will send you into a whirlwind of emotion (anger included), I found myself rolling my eyes, sucking my teeth or just being nasty for no apparent reason. If something upset me, I would express it and leave it right there. I constantly told him I would eventually get over it, which I did so there was no need to drag it.
3. Mandatory date nights
Date nights are so important to relationships. They force you to get off your couch, out of your house and experience something new. Leave your phones in your bag/pocket or put them on the table face down. Get to enjoy each other, talk about new goals and what's going on in your separate lives. They don't have to be the same each week because having those habits can be problematic when other events arise. It also technically doesn't have to be a date "night" because as parents, we know how difficult it is to find reliable baby sitters. Maybe, it's meeting up for a beer once a week before picking up the baby or scheduling lunch if you work in the same vicinity. Once yo get married or have a baby, there's no reason to stop doing the stuff that made you fall in love with each other in the first place.
4. Scheduling sex before dinner
If you're feeding him, you should also be feeding him if you get what I mean. If you let your kids watch TV, schedule a quickie session right before dinner while the munchkins are watching their favorite show.
5. Introduce something new
Sometimes, as parents, we forget about sex until it's brought up. There's a Babeland right downtown on Flatbush, stop in and pick up a vibrator. You can buy an inexpensive new piece of lingerie at Rainbow and actually wear it one night randomly after you shower or on a date night. If you're not a lingerie girl, buying cute new PJ's works too. My favorite thing to do is to take a picture while I'm in the bathroom and send it while he's still sitting at the table. These are really easy things to do.
6. Foreplay never ends
Look at your conversation with your spouse, if you have to scroll more than once to find a sexy picture or a loving comment and the last text was two days ago about putting chicken to dethaw, re-think your strategy. Single people are masters at being spicy and sending those "I'm thinking about you texts" with the pictures attached so don't let them beat you!