It’s pretty common for both parents of very small children to feel like less than their sexiest selves. Ironically, the very activity that made you into a parent can become awkward or even uninteresting after little ones come along.

This can be particularly true if you are caring for two or more very small children at the same time. Being puked on, changing diapers and doing perpetual laundry is not exactly sexy. And when this is your 24/7, whether you’re a mother or a father, it can quickly make you feel like you’re in a deep, dark, unsexy rut.

We’ve been there. And we’re here to help. Below, five simple things you can do to bring the sexy back into your co-parenting (or single parenting) relationship:

1. Practice self care.

Start by giving each other a chance to rest and take care of yourselves. Schedule one night that is your self care night, and one that is your partner’s self care night. While one of you watches the kids, the other can do whatever he or she needs to feel healthy and rested – maybe it’s taking a bath, or seeing friends, or going to the gym. It’s up to you.

2. Start slowly.

When you’re not feeling the fire, sometimes it can be a bit daunting to think about doing the nasty, even with someone you’re very close to. Start with the simple things: a cuddle, a massage, making out on the couch… You get it. If it leads to more, great. But don’t think of it as a means to a happy ending. Enjoy it for what it is.

3. Do what makes you feel sexy.

Do it for you. Get your mojo back by doing the things that make you feel like a sex goddess or god. Wear lingerie or something sexy. Dance around to that Prince record (quietly… don’t wake the baby). Indulge your fantasies. If it involves your partner, great. But this is about you. Remember: sexy is as sexy does.

4. Bring each other small gifts.

Maybe life with small children makes it challenging for you to give to your partner. Giving can take many forms. Court one another with small, spontaneous gifts – just like you did when you were dating. Everything from flowers, to a loving phone call or email goes a long way toward making you and your partner feel close.

5. Book date nights.

We can’t emphasize too strongly the importance of scheduling nights that are just for the two of you. If you can find a babysitter, get out and do something fun. If a night out isn’t in the cards, put the kids to bed and act like you’re on a date (i.e. no housework, no discussing finances, etc.). Don’t think of it as a sex thing, more of a “getting back to being our adult selves” thing.

Having one or more little people in your daily life doesn’t mean the end of sex or romance (though it can certainly feel that way). It’s simply a shift in the way you used to do things. Remember that you and your partner are on the same team. That the three a.m. feedings, toddler freak-outs and sleep deprivation won’t last forever. Be allies. Work together on finding new ways to thrill and titillate each other. You may be surprised by what you discover.