As I write it’s Valentine’s Day. Since about five years ago my husband and I don’t observe this day. That would have bothered me once, but now it doesn’t at all. The reason we don’t is basically because I know our marriage is pretty resilient, and I don’t feel the need for us to earmark a special day in the year to shout about it. So, instead of writing about romance (because clearly that part of me died around the same time as my last full night’s sleep), I thought I’d talk about something a bit more…realistic: how often should new parents have sex.

I promise I’m not one of those women who will say I don’t expect a card or flowers on February 14th in some kind of impossible-to-pass test, daring their partner to take them at face value. I just don’t buy into it – more shallow consumerism. I’ve quite recently become hyper aware of the environment too, and I’m trying to be more green. So yeah, I’ve not bought my husband a card and likewise, he won’t have one for me either. Neither do we do gifts. We think it’s funny; we’re actually smug about it in a reverse-having-something-to-prove way. Part of the reason is that we make an effort to be thoughtful of each other year-round:

Being nice should be the rule, not the exception.

How often should parents have sex? Is it normal for it to change post-baby? #sex #relationships

But what about, um, you know…the other thing. The thing nobody talks about. *whispers* I’m talking about ‘sexy time’. This is a subject I’ve been wanting to discuss for a while, but I’ve never quite been bold enough to do so because I’m intensely private. Guess what? That ain’t about to change today! But speaking in general terms – that I should be able to do.

 

How Often Should New Parents Have Sex?

A couple of days ago I read a fantastic post written by Holly. It was clearly deeply personal and I found it incredibly brave and moving. It was so well-thought-out and actually, quite lovely. It raised some extraordinarily good points, and I suspect a lot of people will have related and been left feeling vindicated in what many of us secretly question – but never openly: how often should new parents have sex?

Here’s the thing – if you’re anything like me, the day I said ‘I do’ is the day I closed ranks with my husband and stopped putting our relationship up as a subject for discussion with our peers. Whereas there may once have been jokes about how we couldn’t keep our hands off of each other, that part of our relationship (along with everything else) became sacred and was no longer a topic for public consumption.

Kate Tunstall

I think that’s right and proper and it’s how I want it to remain for us. But it does leave us in a bit of a quandary…

After we’ve had our babies and our relationships adapt in order to accommodate that drastic change, we’re often left wondering whether our new ‘normal’ is normal at all – there’s no benchmark, is there? We’ve no yardstick by which to measure our success or failure, normalcy or – eek – abnormality. Because we don’t talk about it.

What Holly’s post drew out from the few (equally brave) commenters, was that post-children a dramatic shift in this particular area of a relationship is common and therefore – dare I say it – completely normal. As Holly so beautifully put it: ‘to exist in harmony, despite different ideologies or interests’ is actually quite positive – and something to celebrate.

Besides which, relationships ebb and flow – and thank God for that!

So, this Valentine’s, while I celebrate with my legs akimbo for a smear test (yes really – and by the way, why must it have such a grim name?), I urge you to celebrate your own, unique, normal harmony. Whatever that means to you as a couple, and however you wish to do so.

How often should new parents have sex? As often as they want to – and can – because sadly those two variables don’t always marry up… Never mind, they won’t be babies forever. 😉

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An award-nominated blogger and author, Kate is an experienced breastfeeding advocate, and expert baby sleep chaser. Her writing has appeared on Mothercare, Huff Post, and BritMums.

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