Let's get it on this Valentine's Day

National charity Parentline Plus is encouraging parents to dim the lights this Valentine's Day and put the romance back in their relationship.

The charity has found that 85.9 % of parents whether married, co-habiting or single had sex less frequently since having children and 72.4 % of all respondents stating that their sex life was not as good after children.

Key findings from Parentline Plus

  • 44.4% admitted to having had sex less than once a week
  • 41 % have been interrupted having sex by their children one or more times. 29.8 % of respondents explained their behaviour to their children “by pretending they were playing a game” whilst 27.7% simply hid under the duvet!
  • 26.5 % of parents blamed tiredness as the number one reason for not having sex more often
  • 23.2% of parents suggested that a possible improvement would be more time away from the children.

Suzie Hayman, Parentline Plus Trustee and Sexpert said:

“Parents need to put the romance back into their lives. Kids of every age can be exhausting and parents often feel it’s selfish to think of themselves. But we know that the best gift you can give your kids is for you to be happy and together – and the best way to ensure that is to continue to be lovers as well as parents. This Valentines Day, arrange care for your children so you can have a night out or send the kids to their friends or grandparents and have a night in together. If you can afford it, have a whole weekend away. Think back to what you used to do in the early days of your relationship, and treat each other to some sexy Valentine romance again!”

Parentline Plus today launches a series of top tips to help parents re-ignite the spark of romance. 

ROMANCE & RELATIONSHIP TOP TIPS - Suzie’s tips for great parent sex:

  • Don’t feel selfish to want a life of your own – or a love life – once a baby is on the scene.
  • Strengthening your relationship will benefit the whole family and your children – it’s not just for you. Children are happier when their parents have a strong physical and emotional relationship.
  • Be honest with each other about difficulties you are finding with the new baby or the children. Don’t feel you have to ‘know it all’.
  • Talking together and admitting what you are finding difficult eases resentment and will in turn directly benefit your sex life by improving your feelings for each other.
  • Think about sex in a different way: it doesn’t have to be penetrative sex. Try touching, cuddling, holding each other. It’s never too much effort to have a cuddle. When you are being tender with each other, sex is more likely to be on the agenda.
  • If tiredness is the problem, get a friend or relative to have the baby for a while so you can have some alone together – even if it’s only to have a cuddle in bed!
  • Whatever age your children, plan time in each week you can be alone together. Remember, in the early days, babies can accept other people looking after them without too much fuss.
  • It’s never too late to re-start your sex life. If you’ve got into the habit of not having sex because of resentments between you, it’s important to get these out into the open. You may find it helpful to talk to someone outside the family about these feelings. Remember, you can talk to Parentline Plus over the phone or its live online chat service www.parentlineplus.org.uk/livechat
  • Ban sex for a while: allow yourselves to hold hands, talk together, and cuddle. Gradually build up the intimacy but don’t go as far as full sex.
  • If you’re a single parent, don’t feel you have no right to a sex life because it’s more complicated to organize. While it’s true your children could be unsettled by meeting too many new partners, and it’s best to keep your sex life away from home at first, you can do this with the help of family or friends. Ask them to have your children while you establish your relationship away from home.
  • Parents of teenagers: your teens will probably be keeping longer hours than you and you may worry about never having privacy. If you have room, try to make your bedroom more of a sitting room – so you can have a ‘private space’ together.
  • Make it a priority in your life to think about time when you can be on your own.
  • Plan weekends when you can send them off to stay with family or friends – or plan a getaway of your own, maybe to stay with relatives if money is tight.