Courtesy of Yasmine Singh

I Make "Sex Dates" With My Partner, & You Probably Should Too

Ad failed to load

People say that the key to a healthy and long lasting relationship is communication. They also say that it's important to maintain an active sex life. But after you have kids, both of these things become incredibly difficult — and the latter is arguably harder than the former. When you're busy with life, work, and kids, it can be incredibly difficult to muster the energy for sex. So we decided to start scheduling sex on a regular basis. At first, it was a last resort, but I don't think it's a stretch to say that it helped save our marriage.

After we had our daughter, my husband and I were anxious to return to our normal "activities," to to speak. During the last few weeks of my pregnancy, sex had become too uncomfortable, so we were eager to resume our normal sex life. But instead, we were in an endless fog of diapers, bottles, and laundry. We only talked about the baby. We talked about sleep training and sleep regressions. We discussed how much the baby was drinking and how many times she had pooped that day. We even had in-depth conversations about what color her poop was. We'd walk around like zombies, and if we had a moment to ourselves, we would sleep or catch up on chores.

We were exhausted beyond belief, and it was impossible for us to find time for each other. Because we were so consumed with caring for a newborn, we felt disconnected from the world, but we also felt disconnected from each other.

Ad failed to load
Courtesy of Yasmine Singh

At first, I didn't think it was such a big deal that we weren't having sex. After all, we were both new parents, and we had to put our daughter first. We thought that this was just an adjustment period, and we figured everything would be back to normal in a few months.

I never imagined that we'd become one of those couples who stopped having sex after having kids.
Ad failed to load

But needless to say, our dry spell lasted for much longer than that. For about four or five months, sex took a backseat in our marriage. When we did get to spend time alone, we were either scarfing down food or sneaking in a quick shower. My sex drive took a hit because I was too tired most of the time, and because I was pumping milk, sex was often painful. (Breastfeeding can cause your estrogen levels to drop, which can result in vaginal dryness and can make sex painful.) My husband was usually in the mood regardless of how tired he was, but we just couldn't find the time to have sex. When we were in the mood, it was usually at different times. We were like two sleep-deprived, sexually frustrated ships passing in the night.

Before we had a baby, our sex life had been pretty healthy, so I never imagined that we'd become one of those couples who stopped having sex after having kids. I knew that it was best to address this issue with my husband before it got worse. We had always made communication a top priority, and I knew that was more important now than ever.

Courtesy of Yasmine Singh
Ad failed to load

My husband admitted that he wasn't approaching me for sex because he was trying to be respectful and understanding. He knew that I was overwhelmed and exhausted, and he admitted that, at times, he was too. I realized that I had a hard time turning off "mommy mode" and I was always thinking of my daughter's needs instead of myself.

I was concerned that sex with my husband would feel like yet another chore on my list.

We realized we desperately needed to make time for each other. Even though we were now parents, that didn't mean we were no longer a couple, and we still needed to find time to be alone together. So we talked about carving time out for each other to make "sex dates."

Ad failed to load

I was worried. I'd always thought that spontaneity was the key to a healthy sex life. If we planned sex, I wondered, would our sex life be ruined? I was concerned that sex with my husband would become too routine, or that it would feel like yet another chore on my list.

Courtesy of Yasmine Singh

Over the next few months, my husband and I basically made sex appointments with each other. We worked around our daughter's naps, as well as our work schedules and family obligations. We didn't schedule it daily, but we aimed to schedule at least one appointment weekly. And you know what? It actually worked. Somehow, amidst the chaos of new parenthood, we were able to actually stick to these appointments.

Ad failed to load
I'm sure a lot of people think it's boring to have to set up an appointment with your partner to have sex. But it's better than not making time at all.

It might sound weird, but setting up these "appointments" was more satisfying than the spontaneous sex that we've had for years. There was something about my husband telling me he'd made time for us and then anticipating our time along together that was exciting. Perhaps more importantly, sex was also more comfortable for me now that it was planned. We were able to take our time instead of trying to rush. (Using a ton of lube also helped.)

Before long, we started having sex more often, without planning our "appointments" beforehand. And though we didn't have sex as much as we did before we had a baby, it felt like enough. Having time alone helped us restore some sense of normalcy. I felt like I fell in love with my husband all over again.

Ad failed to load

I'm sure a lot of people think it's boring to have to set up an appointment with your partner to have sex. But it's better than not making time at all. It's not always realistic to expect sex to happen spontaneously, so whenever life gets busy, we still revert to this method. It's kind of like setting aside time for date night. And honestly, if we had just left it to chance, I don't think we would've found time for each other at all.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

These Millennial Parents Are Taking Gender-Neutral Parenting To An Entirely New Level

A woman on the subway looks at my bulbous shape and asks, “What are you having?” I take a deep breath and throw a glance to my 5-year-old. “I’m having a baby,” I say to the woman. “No, no” the woman says laughing as she pushes further. “Are you havin…
By Madison Young

I’m Registered At Babies “R” Us, & I'm Freaking The Hell Out

Hi. My name is Abi, and I’m registered at Babies “R” Us — and I’m freaking out. This may sound silly, but after being a die-hard Toys “R” Us kid, I was so excited to register at their baby store once my husband and I finally got our big fat positive …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

My Daughter Is Obsessed With Being "Pretty" & I'm Way Past Terrified

Last week, when I picked up my daughter after school, she immediately wanted to know if I liked her hair. "Is it pretty?" she asked. Her hair was pulled up into two ponytails that were intertwined into thick, long braids. A shimmering pink and purple…
By Dina Leygerman

7 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 20s, But I Will

I was 24 when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. The pregnancy was a surprise, since I was on birth control (side note: antibiotics and birth control don't mix), but my partner and I decided to continue with the pregnancy and committed to m…
By Candace Ganger

Women Who Miscarry Early Deserve To Grieve — Here's How Hospitals Should Be Helping

When I lost my baby back in 2013, it was because of a very early miscarriage. Because of the little amount of time I spent being pregnant, it was though my child had never really existed, which made the next few years hard — I felt like they had been…
By Risa Kerslake

7 Things I Wish My Partner Had Said To Me In The First Hour After Giving Birth

I don't know if it was the buzz of the surrounding machines, the non-existent cry of our son as the doctors tried to resuscitate him, or the fact that I'd already been through labor and delivery once before, but I knew something was missing after I h…
By Candace Ganger

Moms’ Groups Weren’t For Me, Sorry

I go to my moms’ club everyday of the week, but not usually on weekends. My moms' group is a place I can always count on finding fellow mothers who understand the daily struggles and triumphs of parenthood and of juggling life’s responsibilities. Dep…
By Samantha Taylor

Millennial Women Are Getting Married Later Than Gen X, & The Reasons Why Are Pretty Badass

The battle of the generations seems to come up when it comes to every lifestyle or career choice people make. Women, especially, are an important demographic when it comes to analysts looking at the lifestyle choices we make or the expected milestone…
By Josie Rhodes Cook

I've Had 3 Miscarriages But *Please* Keep Telling Me About Your Pregnancy

I can feel the tension the moment my friend announces her pregnancy. I can hear the forced nonchalant attitude she's willing herself to exude as she fishes for the ultrasound. I know why I was the last to learn that she was expecting; why she keeps l…
By Danielle Campoamor

7 Early Signs You're Going To Need An Epidural, According To Experts

Even if you've constructed an elaborate birth plan, it's impossible to control every aspect of labor and delivery. Complications can occur, proactive measures might be necessary, and your mind is subject to change when those damn contractions really …
By Candace Ganger

I'm Pregnant & I Refuse To Read Any Parenting Books

I didn't read any parenting books when I was expecting my daughter, and I refuse to read any parenting books as I await my second child now. I'm the first to admit that I don't really know what I'm doing when it comes to raising my daughter. A good d…
By Marie Southard Ospina

7 Reasons Why March Babies Are Total Badasses

From the moment you become pregnant, you begin to wonder what your little one will be like. Will they look like you, your partner, or your Great Aunt Edna? Will they be the quiet, thoughtful type or arrive on this planet raring to go? It's fun to ima…
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

12 Overnight Face Masks To Use To Wake Up Feeling Pampered AF

Spring is right around the corner, and as far as I'm concerned, the sunshine and warm breezes can't come soon enough. But now that we're about to say goodbye to winter, it's a good time to take stock of your facial skincare routine. You know, in the …
By Katie Malczyk

11 Essential Products To Pack In Your Hospital Bag, According To OB-GYNs

The minute you go into labor (or think you're going into labor), chaos ensues. You and your partner are likely to get a little frantic, just like in the movies, so you most definitely want to have a hospital bag packed before the day comes. This prec…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

7 Photos You *Must* Take In The First 6 Months Of Motherhood

In my experience, becoming a mom is like becoming an amateur photographer. There's just something about the need to capture every single coo and sorta-smile that leaves you obsessed with all things photography. I know I couldn't stop taking selfies w…
By Candace Ganger

Here's How Early An Ultrasound Can Actually Determine Your Baby's Sex

From the moment you see those two lines on a pregnancy test, there are a few markers along the way that stand out as especially exciting. Amongst them are hearing your baby's heartbeat and feeling that first, sweet little kick. And if you are finding…
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

9 Easy Kid Foods To Turn Green, Just In Time For St. Patrick's Day

The best part about having kids is that you get your own personal crew to celebrate the holidays with, in all your color coordinating and matching glory. And with St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, you are obviously working on turning everyth…
By Mishal Ali Zafar

Here Are Some Conditions That Might Require You To Be On Bed Rest During Pregnancy

When I worked in an office, I worked with quite a few pregnant ladies all at the same time. Something must have been in the water, because while I was there for three years, two of my coworkers got pregnant twice, and another girl was pregnant with h…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

I Didn't Follow The Pregnancy Diet Rules & My Daughter Turned Out Just Fine

My diet is an ever-changing and wholly personal thing, which is precisely why I refused to follow any pregnancy diet rules when I was expecting my daughter. For years, I've essentially practiced intuitive eating, in that I listen to my body and eat w…
By Marie Southard Ospina

5 Foods You & Your Partner Should Eat If You're Trying To Get Pregnant

When you're trying to conceive (TTC) and it's just not happening, it's easy to feel like you're doing something wrong. It can be soul-crushing to keep seeing negatives when all you really want to do is wave a positive pregnancy test in the air. So wh…
By Kate Miller