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Being a couple along with being parents, how?

(16 Posts)
wildlingtribe Tue 15-Nov-16 21:10:21

We're in a rut. We have four kids aged 6,4,2,7months. We have no time for ourselves let alone each other. Then intimacy is out the window.

What do you do to nurture your relationship? Make sure you're still a couple along with being parents?

We feel so out of balance.

He also feels the way in regards to intimacy more so, sex too. I'm so tired it's not even on my radar but he takes offence!

I think intimacy is more than that too, but time is short, we get stuck in a rut and it also puts the whole house off balance/ not as happy.


user1471950254 Wed 16-Nov-16 15:15:59

Do you have family/friends who could babysit for a night to give you a date night? Failing that can you hire a babysitter?

Dozer Wed 16-Nov-16 15:18:14

You have a lot on your plate.


Fair shares of domestic and parenting responsibilities.

Waiting for sleep to return. Reducing commitments to activities/family/friends to make time.

Highlove Wed 16-Nov-16 18:16:46

Watching with interest to see if anyone has any golden tips. Weve only got two - 2 year old and three month old - but even when we just had the one we struggled to find time for us. Our relationship has definitely suffered since the (desperately wanted) kids arrived. We don't have any local family and our eldest is and has always been a dreadful sleeper so we've not felt able to get sitters.

Anyway, don't know the answer but hoping someone comes along who does!

minipie Wed 16-Nov-16 21:32:21

Honestly? I think with 4 young children including a baby it's going to be difficult to have much in the way of couple time, energy or sex. (Unless you have a fair bit of childcare help from others). I think you'd be better off agreeing with your DH that these early years are going to be tough, there's probably not going to be much time or energy for either of you, and you just have to agree to weather the storm together and wait till you come out the other side when they are older. Basically have a mutual agreement to lower your expectations of each other for the next few years grin.

We had a conversation along these lines and it does take the pressure off which really helps. Obviously we still try to have couple time and sex when we can but we both know that's going to be rare for a while and that's ok. As long as we get it back some time!!

wildlingtribe Wed 16-Nov-16 22:50:48

Mini pie it's me who accepted.. he's the one saying he's finding it hard with me not having energy or us being a couple as such. I want to try, I'm just so tired!

Hellmouth Wed 16-Nov-16 22:54:19

We're having a similar issue and we have one 4 month old . . We're lucky that we have childcare options nearby ie my sister and my in laws.

No offence to your OH, but he might just have to grow up and live with it, unless you can afford childcare / extra childcare. Did he think looking after 4 kids would be easy. . . .

BackforGood Wed 16-Nov-16 23:29:04

Realistically - with 4 really young dc, including a baby, it is a case of just 'surviving' for a while.
Obviously, depending on finance - if you were super wealthy then you could pay someone else to do the cleaning, ironing, gardening, for a Mothers help, etc., and you would be less tired, but that's not real life for most of us.

Trying to get a sitter for a night out together occasionally would probably be good, but not so easy to find when you have a larger family and they are still so young.

kiki22 Thu 17-Nov-16 11:44:50

I make sure we have sex once a week even if its just a quick even if I cant be bothered I still make the effort, once we start I enjoy it anyway. Its sad to admit but a quick shag once a week keeps us from bickering and keeps us closer. Things like a snog in the kitchen when the kids aren't looking keep a bit of spark too.

My gran told me years ago at some point your kids will leave and it will be just to two of you make sure you remember that and I have as much as I'm tired and cant be bothered a little bit of effort keeps us close.

LittleBee23 Sat 19-Nov-16 00:29:08

I think it is so hard.
We don't get a babysitter very often as we rely on the grandparents for childcare during the week. We make a point of having a date night every Saturday night, no matter how tired we are.
We don't eat until the kids are in bed and I throw something easy in the slow cooker so it's ready as soon as the kids are asleep. We open a Boyle of wine and eat at the table and really talk the way we did when we first started going out. It's made such a difference to our relationship and if we have a week where we don't manage it due to having something else on then I really miss it and feel a bit distant from hubby. Sometimes it leads to sex but sometimes just company and I feel a lot more inclined to have sex when I feel intimacy on an emotional level.

We have a 4 year old and 1 year old and we started this when the youngest was about 8 months.

PeppaAteMySoul Sat 19-Nov-16 00:37:02

We only have one 3 year old so it's probably a lot easier for us but we still feel very coupley. We make sure at least one night a week we have a proper date night. This usually means when our son is in bed we cook a meal together / get a takeaway, eat at the table together with candles and music. Occasionally we watch a film. I think carving out time for each other is important. DS is in a good bed time routine and is asleep by 7:30 every night so it gives us plenty of "adult" time.
Baby number 2 is due any time now and I'm sure things will change/ we will be less lucky. We have talked about how we will weather the storm but still try our hardest to make time for one another. A quick snog/ dance in the kitchen/ chat over coffee really helps when we are running low on time as well.

wildlingtribe Sun 04-Dec-16 23:07:03

I just feel so tired, which makes me lack interest in sex. I'm not body confident either so that makes it worse, but after a week or so I'll get him saying that I'm not interested in him anymore etc.

I'm just so tired! And I know we need to make time, so take tonight... baby has only just gone back to sleep... how am I meant to feel up to it? And I just get a moody remark.


BigusBumus Sun 04-Dec-16 23:29:51

I'm way beyond the small children stage, but even so how long does sex take? Even if you're knackered, is it really that horrific to have sex for 5 minutes even if it's to please your husband? I often CBA but do it anyway and I have a hugely stressful business, 3 kids, 4 dogs and 2 horses. I don't feel traumatised by doing it as I do love and fAncy my husband. I see it as if he's happy I'm happy. We also have fab, much longer sex when I am in the mood for a more fulfilling thing that a quickie. It hey ho, it's give and take in a marriage isn't it?

Writerwannabe83 Sun 04-Dec-16 23:38:40


I would never, ever have sex "just to keep my husband happy" and you shouldn't either. My DH would be mortified if I did this!

Our DS is 2yrs and 8months and during that time me and DH have only been out together 3 or 4 times and our sex life is not the best as between working long hours and having a toddler who doesn't sleep we are both so tired all the time.

We probably have sex 1-2 times a month.

Don't ever feel like you have to have sex as though you owe it to your DH. It should be wanted equally by both partners or not done.

ThatsNotMyToddler Mon 05-Dec-16 08:04:00

wildling your DH really needs to grow up. I'm sure he's a good man and a loving husband (is he?) but if he can't understand that with four children, the youngest only 7 months, you're too tired for regular sex then he's really lacking some empathy. I would also question whether he's pulling his weight with things if he's not also too tired.

There is no way you should be feeling obliged to have sex ever at 11pm when you've only just got the baby to bed. Bigus gives terrible advice above. Never feel that your husband's 'needs' outweigh your own. He's a grown up. His wife is looking after 4 small children and is knackered. He can manage without sex for a while.

As context my husband and I have had sex about twice (?) since dc2 was born 11 months ago. I'm up
all hours with the baby, he's up
at stupid o'clock most mornings with dc1. Would we like to have more sex? Of course. Do either of us think it's worth sulking if we don't? No, of course not.

I agree that one day the children will leave and you'll be a couple again, but those days are a long way off at the moment. At the moment you're in the trenches of life with young children. It's testing, of course, it's really hard. And many relationships fail at this life stage. But if you love each other (actively, not just as something you say) - so you're kind to each other, and considerate, and don't get drawn into discussions about competitive tiredness, then you'll get through. These years are not so very long either. When you have the capacity you can give more. But for the moment it should be little things to keep the love alive. (For my DH that usually involves me buying him some biscuits!! grin)

minipie Mon 05-Dec-16 12:51:49

Sorry but your DH is being an arse for sulking about it. If he's not too tired and you are, that suggests he's not doing his fair share of night wakings etc. Make him do his fair share and he'll soon start prioritising sleep over sex too.

I don't agree with the suggestion of having sex when you don't feel like it. Why can't he just masturbate - a far better solution that you having unwanted sex.

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