sex

Babies Are The Best Birth Control

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happy-couple-in-bed-with-babyEven the healthiest of sex lives isn’t immune to the shift that happens once a baby enters the home. Things change when you spend the majority of your time caring for a tiny, needy human, and though it definitely doesn’t mean you have to let sex fall by the wayside, there’s no escaping that things will be a little bit different.

I remember vividly the first time my husband and I tried to ease back into sex post-baby. It was dark, the baby was asleep in the next room, and we were making out like a couple of crazed teenagers, when suddenly: “Twinkle, twinkle little star…” 

I’d rolled over onto the Fisher-Price Soothe and Glow Seahorse. The batteries were almost dead, so instead of the usual, friendly-sounding song, we were hearing lullabies in the key of Satan. A slow, demonic wail emanated from the toy, filling the room completely, and we both erupted in loud peals of snort-laughter.

On the scale of sexual interruptions, it was pretty minor, but it stands out to me as the first time I realized post-baby sex would be less lingerie and wild nights and more dodging toys and trying to find ten minutes between chores. It turns out babies are the best form of birth control, not necessarily because they keep you from getting it on, but because they make it so much more difficult.

A Parenting.com survey of 1,000 men and women with kids revealed 45% of parents have sex about once a week, with the next largest group — 30% — clocking in at once or twice a month, and honestly? Those numbers seem pretty normal. Society likes to act like your relationship is disintegrating if you’re not getting your freak on at all hours of the day, but nobody with kids actually has time for that.

Even if you’ve been eyeing each other all afternoon, it’s hard to get a second alone and once the kids are in bed you’re probably going to be exhausted. You also have to contend with post-bedtime sleep refusal, night wakings, body image issues, leaky boobs (maybe), stress, not wanting to have one more freaking hand on you (I feel you on this), and a whole host of other parenting-related issues and concerns that might leave you feeling less than sexy-fied.

It’s okay. Really, it is. If you’re not sexing it up all the time, at least according to those survey results and me, you’re totally and completely average. The important thing is keeping the lines of communication open and making sure neither of you feels like your relationship is being neglected. Outside of that, sex is pretty much a special treat you enjoy occasionally while hiding in the laundry room so your kids can’t find you. It’s kind of like a Snickers, but with more effort. On second thought, I might just give you a rain check and eat the Snickers.

(Photo: Shutterstock)