Recently, My Family, Our Needs has talked about sex, STIs and young adults spending time together. But what about us parents? When you’re running around after your kids, the only kind of hot you fancy at the end of the day is a big mug of tea. On the sofa. In your comfy trousers.

When your children have greater needs than most, and your time is spent caring for them and little else, sex with your partner is bound to drop to the bottom of the list. Sometimes the reality is that the candles and the flowers have to go out the window and some real life tactics need to come into play. So grab your cuppa and have a read of our tips…

If you have to, plan it

Not spontaneous and definitely not romantic, but if planning it is the only way sex with your partner is going to happen, that’s just the way it is. The point is being together, not how you get there so don’t feel bad that it all seems a bit practical. The same goes for asking for what you want and not waiting for your partner to give it to you. Talking to your partner and telling them you miss having time with them may be the most communicating you’ve done all week. It breaks down barriers and makes you feel instantly closer.

Going from parent/carer one minute to lover the next is a lot of pressure to put on yourself. Stress or worry will affect your sex-drive, whether it’s your family, finances or work that are causing your anxiety. No-one could blame you for not being in the mood, but it doesn’t mean you can’t get in the mood if the opportunity presents itself.

There may be washing all over the floor and really bad underwear going on, but it doesn’t matter. Just do it, if you want to.

It doesn’t always have to be sex

There are lots of ways you and your partner can be intimate with each other. Kissing on the lips can be a forgotten art for couples who have been together for a while, so if you only have five minutes – kiss, cuddle or just be close to each other while you’re talking in the kitchen. Call each other in the day or send messages to each other that have nothing to do with the kids. It will help you remember why you liked each other in the first place.

Use nap-time the right way

If you have a baby or small child who still naps, makes the most of it. If it’s the weekend and your partner is home, don’t use it to clean the bathroom or do the online shop. Get in the bedroom and spend time with your partner.

Don’t do guilt

There are so many things to feel guilty about in this world; using the last tea bag at work and not replacing it, having a messy house, washing AND conditioning your hair…. the list is endless. Don’t let your own needs and spending quality time with your partner be one of them. Not having time to do something doesn’t mean it’s not important. You can still be a great parent/carer and feel like you need something from your partner too. It’s important for everybody in your family to have as happy and fulfilled a life as possible and, for adults, that includes sex.

Turn off the TV

We all do it, especially after a hard day. Sitting in front of the TV together doesn’t necessarily mean you’re spending time together, even if you’re just a few inches apart. You may not notice the other person is even there. Turning off the TV, putting on some music or just having a drink and chatting creates a closeness and intimacy. If you can avoid picking up your phone and scrolling through the latest updates on Brad and Angelina, that would be even better! Investing in yourself and your partner and nothing else – just for one night – will go a long way to making you both feel happier and more content.

Most parents find it difficult to spend quality time together, but if you have children with additional needs, it can feel even harder. Try not to put pressure on yourself or your partner and remember to keep talking to each other…. it may be the first time you actually agree on something!

How do you make time for your partner when life is so busy and complicated? We’d love to know, tweet us @weareMFON or let us know via our Facebook page.

Useful links:


Offers emotional and practical advice to empower families of babies born premature or sick, including relationship advice. 

Contact a Family

Advice and support for families with disabled children.

One Plus One

A free, web-based service which has been designed to help couples strengthen their relationship and includes articles to help couples who have a child with additional needs.


Offers advice, relationship counselling, sex therapy, workshops and mediation.