After kids, when you refer to "peanut butter jelly time," you are is more likely the act of making an actual sandwich than the act of getting it on with your partner. (What, I'm the only one who routinely used that euphemism is my relationship? Whatever, prudes.) It can be — in case you haven't already been told this by every single person with a baby you've ever met — sometimes a little tricky to schedule sex after having a baby. It's inevitable absence from time to time can put a serious damper on even the most solid of relationships. What's the word for when you're cranky because you haven't been getting laid enough? Is there one? Can we make it horngry? It is decided! Anyway...
After a baby enters the equation, getting and staying in the ~sexy zone~ of your relationship (which possibly resulted in said baby in the first place) might be difficult — but it's also essential. That's not to say that there's something wrong with you, your partner, or your relationship if you aren't getting in on like mad right after you pop out a new babyfriend. How and when sex exists in a relationship is different for literally every couple. As long as everyone's needs are getting met via however much or little sex you're having, then there's nothing "wrong" with whatever you're doing. That said, "getting everyone's sexy needs met" can prove to be a hell of a battle after you've got a tiny human living in your house.
So what if you're so exhausted that you've developed the ability to sleep with your eyes open? So what if the t-shirt you've been wearing for the last five days smells like sour milk and baby powder? So what if you've got an alarm set on your phone reminding you to brush your teeth daily? It's easy to get swept away by the nuances of newborns during that adjustment period, but you're still you, and you are very likely someone who would like to get off from time to time (to which I say, "Preach.")
The good news is that your sex life doesn't have to be DOA after a baby enters the picture. With a little bit of creativity and improvisation it might just make its comeback with a vengeance. Here's how that went down (heh) for some women:
Maybe Sometimes Don't Sleep While Your Kid Sleeps
Mother of two, Jill, takes advantage of naps in her house: "Some kids nap for twenty minutes; some nap for two hours. Either way, as soon as their eyes close, you're on the clock." The minute they pass out, make it go time. And if you're really good, you might even have enough time after doing the deed to catch a nap of your own. Sometimes, it might be better to momentarily forget about that expired advice urging you to sleep when the baby sleeps. Nap times are the equivalent of happy hour once you've got kids, so might as well make it the happiest hour (or like 15 minutes; this isn't a contest) possible.
Fuck It — Put The Kids To Bed Early. YOLO.
Sleep training, though mind-numbingly painful at times, has proven time and time again to be effective in improving the overall well-being of parents. New mom Sam said, "I feel like I can reclaim a bit of my life again now that my kid sleeps through the night." Part of that life involves alone time with her husband. Let's just say that sleeping in a bedroom without a baby in the bed for the first time in six months involves less sleeping.
"Let It* Go!"
*Your rigid control over screen time, and just pop in a damn DVD.
Mother of one feisty toddler, Amanda, has no shame when it comes to using screen time as a means for her and her partner to escape the constant needs of their daughter for a little alone time: "Sometimes Doc McStuffins saves the day and the night."
I mean, look, these shows have a powerful hold over kids' attention, so if you're gonna fight it most of the time, why not leverage it for personal gain the rest of the time?
They literally don't even take their eyes away long enough to realize that their parents might have snuck away into the next room. Work that to your advantage sometimes.
Besides, screen time, in moderation, has medicinal effects on an entire family when used properly. It's OK to stick your little friends in front of the Disney Channel sometimes for the sake of your relationship, and it's seriously beneficial for all involved.
Bribe Them. Whatever.
Leighton, a mother of one baby boy, sometimes bribes her kid into his highchair using yogurt and other snacks that he can safely consume on his own while she and her partner slip in a little one-on-one time a safe distance behind his back. "Obviously, the snacks I choose aren't choking hazards and he is safely buckled into his highchair when we sneak away," she explains, "and I don't feel one single ounce of guilt over giving him ice cream so my spouse and I can treat ourselves... to ourselves."
Nutritious and aerobic. Win-win.
Morning Sex, You Guys. Morning Sex.
We're all well aware of the exhaustion that accompanies parenthood, but sometimes getting an early jump start to your day sets the tone for the rest of the day to be nothing short of blissful. At least that's what Christina, mother of two, thinks.
"I'm definitely a morning person and much more equipped to deal with chaos if my boyfriend and I start the morning off with each other." she boasts.
"Morning sex is better than the stiffest of coffees."
Ha! She said "stiffest." Anyway, sure, waking up before your kids is downright painful sometimes, but that's nothing a little morning rendezvous can't conquer.
Keep An Eye On Hotel Deals For Date Nights
"What better way to take advantage of having a babysitter than to skip dinner and head to a cheap hotel?" new mom, Jamie, asks, "No one really cares all that much about the food anyway. Seriously, let's skip to the good stuff."
Um, this might be the best advice anyone has ever given me. Why has no one ever thought of this before? If ever there was a necessary splurge for parents this is definitely it: Keep your eye on travel sites running deals on fancy hotels (or not-so-fancy; whatever suits you) and book a night when you can get it on the cheap, and then book a sitter. It's basically a miniature honeymoon. Eh, OK, so it only lasts a few hours, but that's better than nothing.
Go All 'Big Brother' On Your Kid: Video Monitor
This one isn't as creepy as it sounds, I promise. "We bought a video monitor after our daughter was already a toddler so that we could leave her alone in her room and still check in on her if we needed a break. It's proved to be an investment in our relationship, too. We can do our thing while she's in there having tea parties," mother of one, Lonnie explained as she justifies the loot spent on a video monitor. Sure, the sound of your daughter hosting tea parties with her Barbies doesn't exactly light the fire, but you're almost guaranteed an easier time getting in the mood knowing that her safety is assured and your bedroom is free of children.
Have A Little Weekday Afternoon Delight
OK, this one assumes a few things about your daily set-up, but toddler mom Jessica has an idea: "My partner and I will schedule "lunch meetings" away from work once a week, while our kid is at preschool. We actually just run home, have sex, and go back to work. It's pretty amazing. Being home — especially considering what we're doing there — while our child is not feels illicit in the absolute tamest way ever. But it's still hot, like we're sneaking behind everyone's backs to steal time together."
I mean, that's one way to satisfy your appetite.