Kids place an inevitable burden on your sex life. When your entire existence revolves around the timeline of raising babies — from the endless dirty diapers, to the many meltdowns, to the complete and utter exhaustion — it's easy to bid the flame farewell. Having sex after you have kids is different, yes, but it's also pretty familiar territory (hence the baby). Sometimes it takes time to reintroduce yourself to your physical desires and to relearn how to lose yourself in between the sheets. After all, a lot has changed since you brought your baby home.
Your life has changed in ways that you might still not quite understand, but your love for your partner may have grown. Just because you spend the majority of your day nurturing an all-consuming infant doesn't mean that you should forget to foster the relationship with your partner, or your own needs.
When you're good and ready to get down again, consider the following 11 ways that sex can change after you've had a baby. They're all completely normal and very common, which will hopefully save you some self-consciousness and stress as you get ready to get down again.
It Might Hurt The First Time.
Your body just did an amazing thing, but with that little miracle you birthed also came some ... reorganization of your lady bits. Giving your body the proper amount of time to heal is important, but even then, the first time you have sex might still hurt a little — or a lot. Everyone is different.
Here's what you need to know: Lube is your friend. Here's something else to know: the pain is temporary (although if it turns out not to be, definitely give your doctor a call). Assuming you're properly healed, you'll soon be able to focus completely on your pleasure and your partner's. It'll almost be as if nothing ever changed. Except for, you know, there's a baby nearby.
Quality Is Better Than Quantity
Now that you've got a small human dependent on you for basically everything, you're not going to have as much time to time for sex as your used to. So when the stars align and you and your partner happen to be in the mood at the same time, try to focus on and savor that rather than focusing on the fact that you're maybe not getting it on as frequently as you used to and don't have hours to spend in bed together in the middle of the day.
It's going to take some time for the two of you to build up your stamina again, and you're always pressed for time. That's totally normal. Parents pretty much invented the quickie.
It Is Definitely Necessary
Of course there are more important aspects of a relationship than sex. That doesn't mean that connecting with your partner is something that should be just tossed to the side, though. Physical connection is important for many reasons: it helps combat stress, it supports cardiac health, and it benefits your immune system (among others).
So if not for the physical stimulation, do it for the mental benefits. Also, it's going to strengthen the bond between you and your partner, so when you get your energy back, both you and your relationship will reap the benefits of being sexually active.
You Might Be Too Tired
In case you haven't heard, parenthood is exhausting. No, like, really exhausting. Sometimes that extra hour of sleep you spend not having sex is actually a very real turn on.
It's okay to be tired, and it might take a while for you to feel lively enough to want to partake in sex. Don't rush yourself. Jump back in when you're ready, and keep in mind that the greatest rest often happens after sex.
Sometimes You Have To Schedule It
Kids are sort of demanding. Okay, really demanding. Your primary responsibility in life is to ensure that they're taken care of, so when they're sick or hungry or want to read Dr. Seuss for the 17th time, it's your job to meet their needs.
It's fairly common for parents to pencil in some intimacy while the kids are napping or when you know Grandma is available to take your bundle of joy for an hour or two. Some parents even plan a standing "breakfast meeting" on mornings when you have childcare and don't have too much going on at work. We get our kicks where we can.
You Will Get It On At Random Times Of The Day
It's not just your kids' regularly scheduled nap time that give you an open window for sex (although nap time is the parental equivalent of happy hour). Depending on your kids' ages, screen time or snack time can also prompt peanut-butter-jelly-time (not the sandwich, obviously).
Whenever there is an opportunity to be alone, take it. Whether that's before you've even had your coffee or when you wake up in the middle of the night, take advantage of the moment.
You've Got To Be Sneaky
Does your kid have that one Disney movie they're obsessed with? As long as they're safe (obviously), it's okay to sneak away for a few minutes while they're glued to the TV in order to get some one-on-one time. It's a win-win-win.
It Means More After Kids
Remember when sex was carefree, fun, and frivolous? Well, it definitely still has the potential to be all of those things after you've had kids, but the emotional connection is so much stronger.
You're a family now. You've seen each other at your best and your worst, and you've likely grown closer because of it. Sex after kids has a deeper meaning to you and your partner, and that's probably the best thing about it. It makes scheduling sex or neglecting to have it at all on occasion completely worth it.
Even Though You're Exhausted, You Will Still Want To Get It On
You're only human.
You Might Be More Self-Conscious
Pregnancy alters your body. It just does. Even though you're genetically engineered to recuperate beautifully, your body likely has still changed somehow some way. I assumed that I would look like my old self in no time, but I was so so so wrong. I'm still toting around an extra 10-15 pounds of "baby weight" and I'm not sure if it's every going to make its exit. Having sex the first time in this new body made me a little more self-conscious than normal, but eventually I came around, and you can too.
You And Your Partner Will Be More Comfortable With Each Other
The greatest thing about sex after kids is the level of comfort you feel with your partner. Even if you're self-conscious or tired or just not feeling like yourself in general, your partner probably knows this and loves you just the same.
There's no new, unfamiliar awkwardness to intimacy after kids. It's actually a lot more open and carefree than in your single days when you had to worry about the unrelenting judgment of someone you don't know as well.
Sex after kids can be tricky, yes, but it's worth it every minute.