When you’re busy raising kids, having sex may not seem like a top priority. There’s so much to do, with working, running the house, taking care of kids, and just life that lovemaking might hardly be on the list.
Despite the realities of over-full lives, there are good reasons for keeping your love life on the agenda. It’s good for you—and it’s good for your kids.
The way you and your partner treat each other becomes your kids’ template for what couple relationships look like. That applies to the good, the bad, and the ugly of your life as a couple—so you want as much of it as possible to be good.
Show your kids that partners treat each other with caring, respect, attention, and affection. You’re probably affectionate with your kids; don’t leave your partner out of the mix.
Being affectionate with your significant other demonstrates that touch is part of a romantic relationship. When the two of you hold hands, hug goodbye, cuddle on the couch, or squeeze in a passionate kiss, you hint at what caring intimacy can look like—a much-needed offset to the aggressive and transactional message they receive about romantic relationships from a lot of popular media.
Modeling Privacy: “It’s a Grown-Up Thing”
I’m a huge fan of communicating with kids about sexuality. But I also believe that sex is private. The details of your sex life are no one else’s business—and certainly not your kids’ business. How do you strike a balance?
The key is giving kids lots of age-appropriate information about sex in general, but very little info about your sex life in particular. If they ask whether the two of you have sex, say Yes, with a smile. If they ask more, tell them “That’s private between Mommy/Daddy and me.”
That sets boundaries around your sex life. It makes it clear that the two of you are a couple, not just co-parents. Being a couple involves special kinds of communication and touch. There’s an implication, said or implied, that sex is special. (Which it is.)
Happy Couple, Happy Household
While sex may seem like something you do instead of things that directly benefit your kids, it’s actually a long-term investment in their happiness (as well as your own). That’s because you having a good sex life strengthens your relationship. The happier your relationship, the more stable it’ll be, and stable families make life easier for kids.
There are many ways to keep your relationship happy and healthy: daily check-ins, date nights, cuddling, shared activities, laughing together. But sex may be the very best way.
Sex is excellent couple “glue”—the pleasure, intimacy, and stress relief of love-making helps keep you connected. That happy connection provides emotional cushioning for the inevitable stressors and disagreements of life. You’ll be better able to cope with what life throws at you when the bond between the two is stocked with lots of good, loving, pleasurable experiences.
So if part of you feels guilty for spending one-on-one time with your partner rather than doing something with or for the kids, I hereby absolve you. 😊 In fact, making time for yourselves as a couple—not just as parents—is a wonderful gift for all of you.