“Tu hi bata yeh koi mummy papa kekarne ki cheez hai??” (You only tell me, is this a thing to be done by Mummy Papa?) This dialogue from the Hindi Movie Badhaai Ho neatly sums up how Indians look at sex post-childbirth. But there is no denying the fact that there is an absolute need to have a sex life after being parents.
While young couples are pressurized to have children as soon as they marry; the idea of sex for pleasure or intimacy by slightly older couples or couples who have had one or more grown-up children is a taboo. The standard belief is that sex is for procreation and once that’s achieved; sex goes out of the window (literally). So the sex challenges for parents are endless.
However, sex and physical intimacy are very important for partners to keep love alive and should come naturally.
How To Have A Good Sex Life After Being Parents
Most Indian couples end up giving up their sex lives at the altar of managing kids, duties towards the parents and in-laws and to achieving financial security. Co-sleeping with kids is the most common thing and it is taken for granted that “mummy papa wouldn’t lock their doors.” Everything gets priority – eating out, going for holidays and putting up photos on social media – except for sex. And before you know people end up having a sexless relationship after having a baby. In a scenario like this, how does one keep the intimacy intact?
1. Communicate about each other
Once you become parents, your conversations only and only focus on your child. How he looks, what he did, did he eat, did he sleep; so, on and so forth. Where did you two loose each other in all of this? You started your journey as partners and are now parents; but you are still together and still feeling, thinking, live human beings. Talk to each other, about each other, about how your day was, about your feelings, thoughts and more. Once you get back into communicating, you will also start seeing each other as you were before you got bogged down with parenting responsibilities.
2. Compliment each other
Compliment each other, and do it often. We forget what we like about each other as we get loaded with daily life, parenting, careers, responsibilities and such. Pay attention to what’s nice about your partner, the little things that our spouse does to make life a little easy for you and say thank you. Start with the small things. Say it as you mean it.
3. Schedule sex
Yes, you read it right. If intimacy does not happen naturally due to responsibilities and duties as parents; then schedule it in. Mutually decide a date and time and make sure you make time for each other. Plan a date night, put the children to bed or if they are grown up, send them to trusted friends or family for a night and spend time with each other. The most important thing is to have a sex life after being parents.
4. Dress up
Grooming is important to keep yourself feeling clean and fresh and when you feel good, you are attractive! This applies to men as much as it does for women. Most often parents are so caught up in the role of parenting, that they often forget to spend time on self-care, self-grooming and self-love. So, take time on self-grooming and self-care, and be sure to use that charm on your spouse.
5. Enjoy it
Yes, enjoy the intimacy, the closeness, the intercourse and the time spent together. Revive and relive your youth, cherish the time spent together. You have moved from one phase of your life to the next, but that does not mean that you forget what brought you together. So enjoy the time you have together, the child you made together, the home that binds you together. Work on having a good sex life after being parents.
Related Reading: 7 Ways To Get The Romance Back After Having A Baby
A Case study
To take the example of a case handled recently. A child of 4 years with behavioural issues was brought to me. After sitting with the mother, we scheduled a sitting with both the mother and father. That is when a startling problem was noted. The parents were forever arguing, angry with each other and fighting over petty issues. On further probing, what came through was that the couple were stressed due to lack of physical intimacy and connection. They lived in a joint family, so hardly had any privacy; plus, the mother was so caught up with the child’s well-being that she had no time for herself or her husband. The husband, in turn, was so frustrated at the non-responsive behaviour of his wife that he started staying at work and would come home late, leaving no time for the two to bond as a couple. This anger, frustration and lack of communication were getting diverted to the child unknowingly, resulting in the child’s behavioural issues. It was their sexless relationship after having the child, that was getting expressed in different ways.
So here the root cause of all trouble was the lack of intimacy and communication between the partners, the parents and the child was getting effected for no fault of his.
Parenting is all about being parents to a child, teaching good values and life skills; but it also means that you two are in this together. You need to nurture your life as individuals, as partners and then as parents.