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Have Kids or Dogs?

Posted on August 20 2019

Five ways to reignite the spark in your relationship after having human children or fur children: 
It's difficult to maintain an active sex life, let alone keep sex interesting and exciting with the constant pitter patter of four paws or two feet around the house.  Aside from being exhausted, you are incredibly busy.  Who’s going to make dinner?  Who’s going to let the dogs out?  Who’s going to help Susie with her homework?  Between the kids constantly hanging around killing spontaneity, and Fido ruining the mood with his room-clearing farts, both pets and children can be a real sex buzzkill.  You don’t have to spend a week alone on a secluded island to reconnect with your partner, (although that sure does sound nice).  Just insert a few of these simple ideas into your daily routine and you’ll be back in the saddle in no time!
1)  Prioritize Sleep -  We understand this one is easier said than done, but it’s so incredibly important, we choose to list it as number one!  When we’re low on sleep, we are more irritable, quick-tempered, and hostile.  We are also more likely to be bothered and react harsher when something bad happens.  I totally get it, it’s difficult to leave a sink full of dishes, or a living room cluttered with toys, or paw prints smeared across your entryway floor.  But, sometimes it’s less stressful, and even more efficient to get some rest and leave the household work, personal problem, or doggie clean-up until the morning.  The bottom line:  Everything is more manageable, as well as more peaceful if you’re fully rested.
2)  Bring Back the PDA -  Research shows that public display of affection (PDA) does, in fact, make your relationship stronger.  Generally, we associate PDA and couples who can’t keep their hands off each other with new blossoming romance.  But there is no reason we can’t experience and embrace it within a long-term relationship despite the daily trials and tribulations of raising a family.  PDA shows your partner is fully committed, reinforces the bond, and represents a desire.  This often validates how important your partner is to you.  We understand, with little rug rats tugging at your pant legs and all too often, keeping your hands full, literally, opportunities to hand hold are rare.  This is all the more reason why, when they do arise, you take full advantage.  PDA doesn’t have to be a full blown make out session, but what’s important is the regular physical touch which allows partners to feel wanted and desired.
3)  Date Your Spouse -  When we think of “dating”, we usually think of the initial getting to know someone phase.  We think of butterflies in our stomachs, endless conversations and laughter, and elaborate, over-the-top bouquets of roses.  Unfortunately, as time goes on, and we get comfortable with our significant others, monotonous routines, parenting, and just “life” in general take precedence over our roles as romantic partners.  But who says just because we’re busy working, cleaning, feeding, or caring for our little ones, time spent as a couple has to be sacrificed?  Even with busy schedules, dating should still be a priority.  Schedule it.  Get a sitter.  Make a plan.  And go on a date!
4)  Talk About Your Fantasies -  Have a heart-to-heart with your significant other.  Women are more secure and feel less vulnerable with their partner when they feel understood.  The more relaxed they are in their relationship, the more open they will be to more unconventional or new things.  Men typically value physical connection, whereas women find emotional connection most significant.  Therefore, guys, talking and listening to your lady decreases her stress.  And great sex happens when women are not stressed.  Setting this foundation builds a stronger sense of connection, and is important when it comes to being comfortable sharing secret fantasies or fetishes.  And the more we think about or talk about sex, the more we want it.
5)  Plan in Advance (if all else fails) -  We schedule our kids’ playdates, our dogs’ vet appointments, household maintenance and repair dates, so why can’t we pencil in sex as well?  Schedule it.  Put it on the calendar.  Start with just one official night each week.  Don’t just carve out a block of time, plan all of the details beforehand.  A creative idea that we love is for couples to make sex menus and work together to select options based on interests.  Regardless of HOW you do it, meet in the bedroom after the kids and pups are asleep, even if you’re exhausted, even if you’re worn out or irritated, just do it.  Light a candle, turn on some music, get naked, and remind each other of why you got together in the first place.
Ultimately, having a sex life and being a parent (of children or dogs) are not mutually exclusive.  There should be no conflict of interest between motherhood and loverhood.  Keep your patience with each other during those early years, and don’t put undue pressure and expectations on each other that you will just feel bad about not meeting later.  And the most important detail to remember is that happy parents mean happy children and fur children, so taking a little time out for yourselves to reconnect benefits everyone.  How do you maintain your sex life when you have kids?