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Has parenthood killed your sex life?

in bed_with_parents_31_07_12Bringing up a child, most parents will accredit, as being one of the most wonderful but challenging events in their lives. When the initial joys of a new baby begin to fade, couples need to decide how to rear their child (in a way in which they both agree with). And this, it appears, is often a source of much debate in family life…

With rumours that Hollywood couple Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise split partly due to their differences in opinion when it came to the upbringing of their six-year-old daughter, Suri, it arises it’s not only the stars that might fight over such matters. According to a survey carried out by parenting site, over a third of couples begin arguing more frequently after having children – 61% of these arguments revolving around parenting technique.

Other factors that sparked partner disputes included financial pressures, with 53% of parents arguing over money matters, and cleaning and tidying, which caused disagreements in 41% of couples. And whilst these may be seen as typical domestic arguments, the research reveals that parents rarely make time to be child-free: only one in ten parents including a weekly ‘date night’ in their schedules, 46% sneaking only one evening a month alone – and incredibly, 3% find time once a year!

It may not be surprising then to learn that the survey discovered that 63% of parents admitted their sex life had deteriorated since becoming ‘mum and dad’. A trend fuelled by an accompanied deterioration in attraction between partners: 27% revealing they were less attracted to their other half since having children.

Ways to minimise parenting disputes

Talk about it. Sit down and discuss your children, how you both wish to raise them and your hopes for the future. Naturally, there will be differences, but talking them through rather than ignoring them will minimise arguments bubbling under the surface for a long period of time.

Take time out. As delightful as parenthood can be, everybody needs a break from time to time. Make sure you arrange regular evenings together – whether this be watching a favourite film with a takeaway when the kids are sound asleep, or getting the help of a baby sitter, and enjoying a night out on the tiles.

Know it’s normal. This survey – and the reports around Tom and Katie – reveal that parenting disputes are common. Don’t feel that this is a failure on your part. Remember: you marriage is as important as your children, and you wouldn’t neglect your children…

If you’re looking for more helpful parenting advice, sign up for our newsletter in the top right-hand corner for our parenting issue with Super Nanny’s Jo Frost straight to your inbox very soon.

Picture credit: Shutterstock

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