Keeping the Flame Alive: How to Maintain Intimacy When You Have Small Children

Balancing the demands of raising small children while also trying to maintain a connection with your partner and have a good sex life can be challenging. We all know that we risk losing that connection altogether if we let the intimacy fade away and don't prioritize sex. In this article, we'll share practical tips to help you maintain a healthy sex life and remain connected, even when your daily life is filled with the ups and downs that come with being a parent.

1. Make Time for Each Other

When you're busy with kids, it's easy to let quality time with your partner slip through the cracks. Be intentional about setting aside some one-on-one time together, whether it's sharing a meal after the kids are in bed, planning weekly date nights, or just enjoying a cup of coffee together in the morning. Time together doesn't even have to involve leaving the house (which can feel like such a mission with little ones!).

A couple are pictured on a red background and they are both wearing red. They are sitting on a couch looking into each others eyes and smiling while sharing a bowl of popcorn which is placed in between them and they each have a hand in the bowl.

2. Communicate Openly and Honestly

Regular communication is crucial to maintaining intimacy in a relationship. Talk openly about your needs, desires, and expectations, and encourage your partner to do the same. Keep channels of communication open and honest, and make an effort to really listen to each other. Remember that open communication is a two-way street, so give your partner the time and space they need to express themselves as well. Be brave and be vulnerable with each other.

3. Prioritize Physical Touch

Physical touch is a powerful way to connect with your partner, even in non-sexual ways. Holding hands, cuddling on the couch, or exchanging hugs and kisses throughout the day can provide a sense of safety, comfort, and closeness. Make a conscious effort to incorporate more physical touch into your daily routines.

4. Flirt with Your Partner

Just because you're parents now doesn't mean you have to stop flirting with your partner. Keep the romance alive by sending a sexy text during the day, surprising them with their favourite food, flower or complimenting their appearance. These small gestures can help to spark passion and remind you both why you fell in love in the first place.

5. Support Each Other's Needs

Parenting can be demanding, and it's essential to support your own and your partner's individual needs and self-care efforts. Encourage them to pursue hobbies, spend time with friends, or engage in activities that bring them joy. By prioritising your partner's well-being, you’ll create a more balanced and harmonious relationship.

6. Plan Regular Date Nights

Carving out time for regular date nights is key to maintaining intimacy when you have small kids. Whether it's hiring a babysitter and going out for dinner, or organising a fun activity at home after the children are asleep, these special evenings allow you both to focus solely on your relationship and deepen your connection. Date nights don't have to involve leaving the house and are more about prioritzing each other and taking time out to be connected.

7. Foster Emotional Intimacy

Developing emotional closeness is essential for maintaining intimacy, especially during the hectic early years of parenthood. One way to do this is to share your thoughts, feelings, and fears with your partner. Opening up and being vulnerable with one another can strengthen your bond and lead to a deeper, more satisfying connection.

8. Keep Expectations Realistic

It's natural for the dynamics of your relationship to change as you adjust to life with small children. Understand that it's normal for both of you to feel stressed, tired, and overwhelmed at times. Be patient with each other and remember that this period of your lives is temporary, and things will change as your children grow older.

9. Spice Things Up

It’s important to keep the fire burning by introducing new elements of excitement and variety into your love life. Get creative with your intimate moments – explore new positions, surprise your partner with romantic gestures, try role-playing scenarios, or introduce sex toys. The key to ensuring your sex life remains fresh and exciting, despite the demands of parenthood, is to prioritize it.

10. Practice Gratitude and Appreciation

Take time each day to acknowledge and appreciate the positive aspects of your relationship. Express gratitude for the little things your partner does, such as making you breakfast in bed or simply being there to offer a shoulder to cry on. Focusing on the positives can help to strengthen your bond and prevent feelings of resentment from creeping in. Share with your partner what they do that you are grateful for, such as making you a coffee, and practice being kind and patient with each other.

11. Seek Help If Needed

If you find that you're struggling to maintain intimacy in your relationship despite your best efforts, consider seeking the guidance of a professional therapist or counsellor. They can offer valuable insight and strategies to help you reconnect with your partner and improve your overall relationship.

A couple are pictured both wearing orange and facing each other. The woman has her head pressed against the man's chest in an embrace.

Maintaining intimacy while raising small children does require some extra effort and creativity, but it's a worthwhile investment in your relationship. By implementing these tips and ensuring open communication, you can sustain the passion and connection in your partnership even amidst the challenges of parenthood.

Cherish every moment with your loved ones and foster a fulfilling and connected sex life and relationship with your partner. After all, life is short and this too shall pass.

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