Hug at least once a day, tune in to a love meeting in the kitchen, look each other deep in the eyes and whisper beautiful words in your ear. An increased dose of sensualism is the best medicine for preventing divorces among new parents.
Tone Ahlborg, midwife, university teacher and author of the book Lust og samliv, says that she feels good in her relationship as a new parent.
The book is based on her dissertation where she, among other things, deeply interviewed new parents.
– It is important to see each other as love partners, to create a golden edge in existence and to make sure that gray everyday life does not take over.
Break in the sexual relationship
The first time as a new parent you have to be a full parent. For many, the sexual relationship takes a break, sometimes up to six months. But it is important to find each other back, to confirm each other as partners and not just as newly hatched parents.
– A partner I interviewed said that the relationship began to resemble a sibling or friend relationship. Tension in the relationship is required to keep it alive, ”says Tone Ahlborg.
Both are tired of waking nights and not getting as much time for themselves as before the baby arrived. The transition to becoming a parent and the demands you might feel are also taking on the power.
If you do not want sex, it is important that you can talk about it.
– It was worse for those I interviewed who didn’t talk to each other. One partner told me that he felt like a big black hole of desire. The important thing is to see each other and say that you may not be able to have sex but that you love each other anyway, says Tone Ahlborg.
Important to get started
So how do you manage to speed up cohabitation when your baby screams, diapers stink and the only thing you really want is to crawl under the blanket with a bag of candy and a comic book, or just sleep alone for several days?
– Usually you are tired during the toddler years, but then you can see sex as a healthy investment. Six gives energy, and you also sleep better afterwards, says Tone Ahlborg.
(Tired and messy nights? Read the article with questions and answers about young children’s sleep.)
Sensualism instead of sex
Her recipe for balancing the increasingly rare sex life with sensualism is not about luxurious holidays to the Maldives. It’s about small things in everyday life, a cup of coffee on the bed, a hug when you meet in the hall. As a toddler parent, one is often pressed for time, so it is important to adapt life to the short moments.
It is about bringing love to life, reminding each other of the love stage and pumping oxygen into a love fire that goes on a low flame. Sometimes it is not possible to wait for the desire to return. Active work is required. Lust is evoked by sensualism.
– Hugged and cuddled, not as friends, but as love partners. Steal your moments for love, says Tone Ahlborg.
Do things together
One way to get back to the desire is to do common things. It can be fixing things for the home, going and looking at furniture in some fun store, or renting a romantic video, lighting candles, swimming together. Or just sit next to each other and listen to music.
– The important thing is to do something together, without the child, says Tone Ahlborg.
Many of the couples she interviewed thought they were the only ones who were just arguing and never had sex.
– It turned out in the survey that included 820 parents that most only had six, sometimes twice a month six months after childbirth, says Tone Ahlborg.
The time of the bizarre
It is also important to remember that as the sex life looks during the toddler period, it does not always look like. There is plenty of time to develop the sex life then, when the kids are a bit bigger. It is also important to learn to see sex as a right, not as a duty.
– The toddler years are the fasters’ period, we hang on to the fasters, but there can be a change in it then, when the children get a little bigger, says Tone Ahlborg.
The couples who shared in the household work and responsibility for the child also felt better. Giving each other home time can be easier if both of them know what it’s like to be home with the child. Chances are increasing for both of them to have the energy to coexist.
Organize your homework, decide when and what to eat and when to shop so that it’s not just one partner’s responsibility.
The lack of sleep worsens
– Taking a sleeping morning was on weekends, getting to sleep once a week makes you feel like a whole new person. Because you are tired you get shorter stubs and bark more at each other, says Tone Ahlborg.
It is also important to be clear in their communication, to be concrete and to avoid generalizations and hopes.
– Don’t start by accusing and saying “you never say or do” but was concrete and clear, says Tone Ahlborg.
By being as concrete as possible, the risks of wounding each other are reduced. A good trick is to quietly count to ten when you feel the emotions are taking over. When the emotions have settled, you can talk in a constructive way.
– The important thing is that you really talk about what feels hard. It is awful to wake up in the middle of the night because you are thinking about the quarrel, or wake up in the morning the day after a quarrel, says Tone Ahlborg.
Turn off the TV
Setting aside one night a week for conversation is a great way to make time for each other. Turn off the phone, the TV and let it be your own time.
– TV is really sad for a relationship. Both computer and TV steal community. For many, the appliances are like a wall, instead of talking you watch TV, says Tone Ahlborg.
That evening will be an opportunity to record what happened during the week, an opportunity for both parties to say about what they feel is difficult. It can act as a valve in the relationship.
If you cannot speak properly, you must make sure that the problem is addressed as soon as possible. The problems do not disappear because they do not talk about them, to be quiet about them is a destructive behavior.
– Make sure not to fall asleep. That moment before falling asleep is sensitive. Make sure to give each other some nice words or a hug.
Tips for toddler parents
- Compensate lack of sexuality with sensuality. Give each other confirmation, appreciation and love.
- Hug at least once a day to confirm each other as partners, not just as parents.
- Feel free to chew effortlessly – it in itself arouses sexual desire!
- In case of problems in the relationship – do not wait too long to seek help. There is help to get, for example, family counseling, from a curator or psychologist in child health care.
- Think about what you want and need to feel good. Talk to your partner about your specific wishes, without accusing or generalizing.
- Feel free to start by saying, “I like…” or “What do you like…”
- Train yourself to become a good listener. Make sure to be present, do not interrupt, have eye contact.
- Try to resolve conflicts so that both feel they are winning.
- Compromise your way to common solutions in a constructive way.
- Turn off the TV when you have watched what you want. The computer and the TV are stealing from your community.
- Show respect, consideration, understanding. You both win it.
- If not, tell me what you want, for example “I would appreciate if you showed me some care now when I feel so tired and have a hard time”.
- Make sure you really get time together – it creates community.