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Relationships Sundays

Sexual Preferences

Finding Time For Sex With Small Children

If you have small children at the moment, you’re probably struggling to find time and energy for sex.

Maybe you’re an outlier and having small children has not changed your sex life at all - but if you’re anything like most people, sex seems to be at the bottom of the priority list.

First of all, there are a million things to do and think about when you are responsible for someone else’s life. They need to eat, be changed, be potty trained, put down for a nap, cleaned up after, fed again (for the thousandth time today!), taken outside to play, cuddled, snuggled, loved, fed again…it’s a never ending to-do list that is exhausting to get used to.

Then, you might find that you have low libido - this could be due to a number of things. It could be hormonal. It could be because all you want to do is get some sleep. It could be because you’re burnt out. 

Or, maybe you are feeling a bit frisky…but your partner isn’t at that particular moment, or maybe the kids are up and you just can’t find a moment alone together.

Having small kids is a season of chaos and wonder all wrapped up into one big jumble of trying to keep all the plates spinning. The trouble comes in when we stop communicating with our partners about our sex life. It might be a season where you discuss it and try to schedule a time once a week to make it happen. Doesn't sound all that sexy, but sometimes having it on the calendar is what it takes.

The point is to communicate so that you are both on the same page and understand where the other person is at.

You might find that your sex life has taken a dive for a little while, but just remember that seasons in life don’t last forever.

Recommended Book

Happily Married with Kids

Apr 22, 2011
ISBN: 9780983130536

Interesting Fact #1

Introduce the concepts of private time and knocking upon entering before you need to fall back on them. Model these concepts by respecting your kids' privacy and knocking on their doors as well. If your kids have questions, answer them simply and honestly, but don't share the details.


Interesting Fact #2

Keep it G-rated and use those desirous feelings to build anticipation and connection for next time if you get interrupted.


Interesting Fact #3

Have a script in place...Tell your kid, 'Whoops, Daddy and I were just having private time, I'll be right there.'" Then, pull yourself together, reassure your kid and deal with things head-on.


Quote of the day

“A perfect marriage is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other.” -unknown

Article of the day - 6 ways busy people make time for sex

True story: Two years ago, Aaron and Jila (last names omitted to honor the couple’s privacy) overcame the odds by starting—and maintaining—a relationship from Salt Lake City to Fort Lauderdale. Then they both moved to New York City where, without 2,500 miles separating them, things were supposed to be easy.

That’s when reality settled in for the 24-year-olds: Aaron works 80 hours a week in investment management. Jila is a full-time grad student and holds a retail gig on the side. Their apartments are a 45-minute train ride apart. They love each other, but they’re swamped. And stressed. And tired. Really, really tired.

A long-distance relationship isn’t easy. And for super-busy couples, a same-city romance can present its own unique challenges.

Here’s how overbooked partners can strengthen their sex life and relationship—without drugs or therapy.

Schedule Time for Each Other

With such limited time, busy couples may only see each other when tagging in and out of the bathroom in the morning or moments before passing out at night. It’s not exactly quality time—if there’s any time at all.

Many marriage and family therapists recommend scheduling one-on-one intimate times on a regular basis. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, just different from the routine. Whether it’s weekly or monthly, lasting just an hour or for an entire evening, the time should be consistent and uninterrupted, a designated opportunity to reconnect and focus on each other.

Go for a stroll in the park. Cook a meal at home. Have sex. Go for the trifecta! Doesn’t matter, as long as you’re together out of deliberate choice, not just mere convenience of sharing a space. Bonus points for intimate conversation, physical touch, and eye contact—with your partner, not a screen.

Take the opportunity to reconnect and focus on each other.Shutterstock

Separate the Hard Stuff from the Easy Stuff

Beyond the pressure to spend time together, there’s pressure when they finally do. They just want to enjoy that small window, so some couples will avoid addressing difficult conversations. For others, with so many important issues to discuss in so few opportunities, it feels like every encounter is an argument.

“We have so little free time together that I think we can get frustrated more easily when things aren’t going well, because we do want that time to be perfect,” Aaron says. “If we start fighting quickly, I will lose patience faster than I might normally because I’m committing my free time to this and I want it to be perfect.”

The solution: compartmentalize. If you’re having a regular date night, just appreciate the enjoyable company. Set aside a different time to broach an important conversation. If you allow fun times and difficult discussions to encroach on one another, you won’t find value in either.

Find Ways to Communicate When You’re Apart

Use technology to your advantage. It’s easy to send a text, chat, photo, Facebook message, or even Snapchat to your partner throughout the day, just to check in. It’s a low-maintenance way to stay connected and let your partner know he or she is on your mind. And while Aaron and Jila enjoy texting hourly during the day, the content‐namely Jila’s midday sexts—can be contentious.

“It’s hard for me at work, and I’m honestly not thinking about [sexting],” Aaron explains. “And it’s not like I don’t want to think about [Jila] or about it. It’s just, when I finish something, I need to jump on the next thing. I don’t really have time to just sit and think.”

Where’s the common ground? Maybe Aaron can acknowledge he appreciates–and is excited by–the sexts, as long as Jila can understand he’s focused on work and doesn’t expect him to fully engage every time.

Texting (not sexting) is an easy way to check in with your partner throughout the day.Shutterstock

Keep your workday conversations light (photos, jokes, whatever), loving (a few sweet nothings), or logistical (regarding plans for after work, for example). As for sexts, best to finish that conversation in person.

Work Hard at Sex

“She thinks we have a really bad sex life,” Aaron blurts out, half-joking.

“I wouldn’t say we have a really bad sex life,” Jila jumps in, partially defending herself and partially reeling him back in. “I think it’s something every couple needs to put work into. You have to be proactive and you have to seek out what your partner wants at all times. And I think that’s something we could work on.”

While we’d all like organic, spur-of-the-moment sex on the kitchen table, sometimes couples have to schedule it in. That might seem less romantic or less spontaneous, but it can also introduce anticipation and excitement knowing it’s on the schedule.

It sounds oxymoronic, but you can (at least partially) plan spontaneity. Doing something out-of-the-ordinary beforehand, even if it’s a regularly planned event, can make sex feel more novel and exciting. Candlelit yoga or a swing dance class after work can transform the experience in the bedroom. Consider it fore-foreplay. And be opportunistic: Even after a mundane dinner at home, the kitchen table is available.

Fight Exhaustion with Compromise (and Sleep)

“There are nights where working retail kills me because I’m on my feet all day,” laments, Jila, noticeably pained by the thought of 10 hours in heels. “Sometimes Aaron doesn’t even want to talk, he just wants to come home and pass out. It affects everything.”

Exhaustion is no excuse for avoidance, find a time both of you will have the energy to engage.Shutterstock

Exhaustion is no excuse for avoidance. Yet, sleep is vital to your well-being and your relationship, too. Find a time both of you will have the energy to engage. If it’s something urgent that can’t wait, address it. But if you can get some rest now and block out 20 minutes tomorrow for a conversation or even sex, maybe that’s the best. It’s really about compromise and, sometimes, a little coercion.

“The last time you told me you were literally too tired to have sex, I got really upset,” Jila recalls to Aaron. “I started masturbating. You couldn’t sleep, and I got what I wanted. He ended up having sex with me.”

Use Being Busy to Your Advantage

A lot of people might say they do a better job with time management when they’re busy. They communicate and prioritize effectively when they have limited time. What’s more, if two busy people feel productive and empowered by their hectic lifestyle, that’s an advantage, because feeling good about yourself always helps a relationship.

In the end, it’s about priorities. You can’t give 100 percent of your time to everything. Do the pros of the relationship outweigh the cons? Is it worth fighting for? For these two, the answer is clear.

“No matter how exhausted or cranky I am,” Jila says, “at the end of the night, all I want to do is fall asleep with him.”

Question of the day - What do you think is the average number of times that a couple has sex per week with small children?

Sexual Preferences

What do you think is the average number of times that a couple has sex per week with small children?