couples

"Nap time" has a whole new meaning: How we maintain a sex life after kids.

The challenges of parenting a baby and a toddler can put the brakes on your sex life, but remaining physically close is still important for this long-term couple, Bronte and Rob*.

In the third and final part of Mamamia’s Intimacy Stories series, we chat to Bronte about how they maintain their connection, in spite of being busy parents.

Mamamia Confessions: The weirdest place I’ve had sex. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia

Bronte and Rob, together 12 years with two children.

Bronte and Rob have been friends since they were five years old.

“I got to know him well when we were teenagers. I loved his smile, his eyes and how kind he was. I still love all those things, but I also love him because he is such a supportive and brilliant dad to our girls.”

The couple don’t have as much time for each other now they have two young kids, but they try to make the little time they do have, count.

“At weekends when both kids nap, we head into the bedroom, even if it’s just for 10 minutes.

“We feel like getting alone time helps us to remember what it was like before children.”

Bronte says that while their sex life is not all that adventurous, at the moment ‘vanilla’ sex is quite enough.

“Maybe in another decade we’ll get more experimental but we are just happy to have some time together. It does occasionally feel like we have to schedule sex in. If a week has gone by and we haven’t had sex, one of us is always keen to intimate!

“I think knowing each other and what we do and don’t like in the bedroom doesn’t make it any less sexy. The passion and the sexual chemistry are still there for us and after having gone through some tough times together, our connection is deep.”

After they had their second daughter, Bronte admits it did affect how she felt about sex and it took some time to feel comfortable again.

“At my six-week appointment post-birth, my doctor said I was physically ready to have sex. But emotionally I wasn’t quite there. I had received stitches so I was worried it would be painful.

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“But we wanted to give it a try. At first, I felt very tense and it did hurt a little, but the next few times we attempted sex, it was much better.”

The couple try to get out for date nights when they can, where the simple act of hand-holding feels almost rebellious.

“We went out to see a show for our first date post our second daughter’s birth and I had this realisation about how nice it was just to walk along together, unencumbered by the kids.

They also make it a priority to focus on communication, says Bronte.

“We had pre-marriage counselling and it helped us to really identify our ‘love languages’ or the different ways we communicate.

“I come from a very talkative and expressive family who constantly hug and say how much we love each other. Rob’s family are much more practical and more likely to show their love by doing things for each other such as cooking a great meal.

“I used to get annoyed that Rob didn’t tell me he loved me much, but he explained he showed it to me in other ways.”

Listen to Mamamia’s parenting podcast, This Glorious Mess Little Kids. In this episode, Leigh and Tegan discuss how the hell you have sex after kids. Post continues below.

Psychologist and founding director of The Relationship Room in Sydney, Rachel Voysey, had this to say about couples who are trying to stay intimate with little kids at home:

Get a lock on your door!

You would be surprised at how something simple like a lock on the door to prevent the kids interrupting couple time, can make a difference. This is especially true for women who need to be in a relaxed headspace to feel aroused. Make nap time count!

Be playful.

Be cheeky, slap your partner on the bum and do some little things that will surprise them, like buying cute lingerie. Life with young kids can be a lot of work, so bringing a bit of playful cheekiness into the bedroom can help lighten and lift the mood.

Spend time together.

It doesn’t have to be weekends away, but like Bronte and Rob, you need time with each other to relax and reconnect and remember what life was like before kids.

Date nights with no distractions are great, or if you don’t have access to a babysitter then having a routine with the kids at bedtime will help you get some adults-only time after dinner.

*Names have been changed for privacy reasons.

Feature image: Getty.

Read part one and two of Mamamia’s Intimacy series here.

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