- Do ‘date night’ your own way
Real talk: date night may look slightly different to how it did before you were parents. It doesn’t need to be a big blowout, ‘stumble home at silly o’clock’ session to live up to the pre-kids years. Date night is less about what you do, and more about getting into the right mindset. Think: finding dedicated time to be together, where you’re both emotionally present and focused on each other. It might mean a nice takeaway at the end of the week and sitting down to catch that new thriller on Netflix that you’ve been dying to see, or a snatched flat white without your phones on the walk back from the school run. You could even set yourself a challenge where you speak about anything but your little one/s for 30 minutes. Test yourselves…
- Focus on the little things
Parenting, despite our best intentions, can be sheer chaos day-to-day. Sometimes the sweet little things get lost in the whirlwind of nappy-changes, school runs and general child rearing. Make sure to take a mental note of the small gestures of appreciation from your partner, and reciprocate in kind. A cup of tea in bed or a few love heart emojis might feel inconsequential, but actually can build much-needed emotional security and bonding.
- Lighten the mental load
Sex doesn’t start when you kiss, it starts from the second you wake up. Mental load, or the invisible labour of managing a household and raising children, can be intense and without support, leave you too burnt out for intimacy. If that’s your partner, stepping up and supporting them with the practical requirements of housework and childcare, can help them both to re-engage with their sexual sense of self and your relationship. If that’s you, it’s time to have an honest, open conversation with your other half about your needs. Feeling valued and part of a mutually supportive partnership is key to enjoying intimacy.
- Take the pressure off pleasure
If it’s been a while since sex was on the table, it can feel a little intimidating or nerve-wracking to get started again. Full penetrative sex doesn’t, and shouldn’t, have to always be the end goal. In the postpartum stages especially, you might be feeling sore or uncomfortable to attempt penetrative sex just yet. Explore physical touch at varying levels and take your time. For instance, a make out session on the sofa without the pressure of impending full sex can help reawaken your desire, or try introducing a clitoral toy to ramp up the fun. As for a cheeky text? Well, rediscovering your inner flirt can help revive those inner butterflies…
- Communicate and be aware
Becoming parents can test even the most loving relationship. If you find yourself feeling disengaged from your partner, it’s time to talk. Communication really is the first step to a happy, healthy partnership, and being open and honest upfront can help navigate hurdles or disconnection. Women’s health champion Clio Wood knows firsthand how relationship issues can arise post-baby and set out to become an expert on postpartum intimacy and maternal health. Her book Get Your Mojo Back is an insightful guide for all new parents and can help you navigate some of the trickier aspects of balancing parenthood and nurturing the spark in your relationship.
HANX x PEACHIES
HANX and Peachies teamed up to champion loving thyself. Loving your pregnant body, postpartum body, dad bod. Loving your tired, reprogrammed brain. Loving charting new paths in your sexuality and intimacy. Loving discovering new things about yourself by accepting your past. Because from self love as parents and child carers we will be more healed, more patient, more joyful, more present. And from prioritising ourselves, good vibes flow to our little ones.
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