​Having sex as parents could be the biggest joke ever but don’t you think it’s so for a reason? Sex in a house full of kids is a whole new ball game and since sex is a vital part of your relationship, you need to find other ways to connect and make up for the reduced sex life.

So how do couples go about their sex lives with kids in the middle and still have a wonderful relationship?

Jennifer S. White of Huffington Post lists a few suggestions for couples who want to get along well, so that they still want to have sex:

1. Talk. I will not play the gender card here either. Some people are more verbal and others are not, and I don’t believe this is a man or woman thing. Instead, it’s a hodgepodge of how willing we are to share, if words are the way that we show love, and likely, too, of how our families expressed themselves, etc, etc. Yet, don’t misinterpret that we do need to talk through things. No — we need to talk through everything. Get used to it. If words are not your best form of expression, then consider writing down what you need to say. More, if you — like I — am an extremely… passionate (read: hot-tempered) individual, then consider occasionally sending an email that gets ideas across better than can sometimes be conveyed through conversation.

2. Hugs. Hugging is hugely underrated. It helps forge a feeling of closeness and it also cuts through life’s tension that gets in the way of how we feel about our partners, if we could stop time and co-exist outside of work and child-rearing. Raising children isn’t the only reason a relationship might go through a sexless or less-sex period. Illness and long distance are other possibilities — and my relationship has gone through all of these reasons. I’ll never forget seeing my husband, then boyfriend, as I got off the plane to visit him across the country in New Mexico. I can still feel the sensations of his strong arms as they completely enveloped me, standing in front of him. That hug meant and said more to me about his love than any words could have. His hugs still make me feel wonderful. In other words, hug it out.

3. Listen. Speaking of hugs being underrated, talking is also over-rated — listening is the new best thing. Honestly, listening involves stopping our own thought processes and authentically being present with our partner, and truly hearing and taking in their experiences of both life and our relationship through life together. This is worthy of an article by itself. Regardless, let’s all put on our listening ears.

4. Stay present. I’ve been with my husband since we were 14 years old. In other words, it’s easy to re-hash the past. Don’t. Stay here. Stay current. Trust me, I’m horrible at this. I have an elephant’s memory and a sensitive heart, and it’s taken me years and years–echo after me : years and years — to learn, and repetitively understand, that while yesterday’s problem might still be today’s, it’s crucial to discuss what is happening now. This is easier said than done, both externally and internally, so my suggestion (aside from professional help for recurring problems) is to:

5. Walk away. Walk away. When we cannot move mentally past a conflict or regroup ourselves for our best dialogue, then we need to walk away, cool down, internally reconfigure our feelings and then express them at another moment. In short: Walk. Away. So, in closing, parenthood is glorious.