As I glanced over at the side of the bed, I realized we weren’t alone. I slowly removed my feet from his shoulders, buried my head under the covers, and died.
Finding the time and opportunity for sexy time is one of the most complicated aspects of having kids, bar none. Gone are the days when you had to be in the mood. If the opportunity presents itself, you take it. No questions asked.
I fully believe children are equipped with sensors that alert them when something is happening that doesn’t involve them: sweets, important phone calls, paperwork, sheet work, etc. They know. Sometimes, it seems like they always know, knocking on the door at the absolute worst moments. It is a special skill they don’t even know they have.
It is challenging, and can have potentially devastating effects on your relationship. To combat this, I have comprised a list of a few ways to keep your relationship from becoming a victim of the tiny buzzkills:
1. Lower Your Expectations. I cannot even begin to stress this enough. My Granny, with Gramps for over 50 years, says the secret to a long and happy marriage is low expectations. She is absolutely right. No parent has the energy to go all out every time, especially after a long day of assisting tiny, helpless people with their endless needs. Crazy nekkidness and headboard banging are replaced by whispers, pillow muffling, and blanket coverings. Give that night an A+ if you both manage to get your underwear all the way off. Say goodbye to the regular red carpet treatment. Instead, watch him vacuum without being asked and make it work for you. (Someone please tell me I am not the only one who is turned on by unprompted housework!) Be ok with limited foreplay (occasionally). Be ok with quickies. Ignore the fact that your body misinterpreted your sexual arousal for a midnight snack and decided to drench you both in breast milk. Perhaps you can make that milky slip-n-slide work for you (Dinner and a show? badumching). Not a morning person? Become one. Do I like piña coladas? Yes. Getting caught in the rain? Sometimes. Making love after midnight? No, not really, but late night, half-awake nookie is better than no nookie at all. We may only get 5 hours of sleep if no one wakes up in the night. Totally worth it.
2. Location, Location, Location. We co slept for years: Four, sometimes five deep in our king-sized bed. Night-time privacy was almost nonexistent, so you learn to be creative. Adapt or die. Get some use out of the kids’ beds. They sure aren’t using them. A pile of clean laundry on the floor? Oh, yeah. Calling the twin in the office a guest bed is much more appropriate than the sex bed, but let’s be honest. Anyone with kids knows exactly why it’s there. Bathroom doors lock. Most closets lock. Go “Parking” in the garage. Have a camper? Bingo. This is the real reason why wireless baby monitors were invented: to make more babies… or at least get in some practice runs.
3. Learn to Multitask. Fully focusing on your nakedtivities could result in severe injury, escape, death, or at the very least mental scarring. This is why learning to mentally and physically multitask is of the utmost importance. Ears always listening for cries. One eye on the door, in case tiny silent ninjas decide to invade. I have forgotten to do this on multiple occasions. (Side note: If anyone knows a good child therapist, that information might come in handy later.) Then, there is co sleeping. Co sleeping takes sexual multitasking to level expert. Keep a hand on the toddler on the other side of the bed in case they move. Pretend you aren’t snuggled with an infant. You should, however, be aware that necessity multitasking does not come without risk. You can potentially become too focused on the minions and accidentally make another one. This may or may not be the reason why we have three kids.
4. Date Your Mate. Flirt. Hide in the laundry room for a few minutes. Slap dat asset when you walk by. Let your mate know that whatever they’re doing or wearing is working for you. Let’s be honest, finding the time for the deed AND the necessary foreplay is almost impossible. By creating an environment where subtle looks or whispers is the pregame, it saves time later. Do not hint. Speak your mind. No one has time or energy to pick up on your vague clues. If you are so blessed, find a babysitter that will watch the kids at their house. A quick run home after dinner is always worth the drive. Even if the kids are home waiting on you, having time to go out and recharge your parental batteries can make all the difference in your partnership.
5. Switch it Up. Let’s face it, after a while, sex can become routine. This is especially true after you have kids. You find something that accommodates your relationship as parents, and you do it until long after it quits working. Find something that also accommodates your relationship as people. Our son sleeps in a portable crib in our walk-in closet for this very reason. We had reached the point in our relationship where the kids were too central in our lives. They needed to get out of our room. Alas, not enough bedrooms for everyone, so the Man Cub got closeted. (Don’t feel too bad. He loves it in there.) But be spontaneous. If the kids are happy watching Frozen for the 20th time that day, “Don’t let them in, don’t let them see! [Don’t] be the good girl you always have to be.” If spontaneity doesn’t work, try scheduling. You may be surprised how sexy anticipation of a scheduled meeting can be. Additionally, if you know what the night holds, you can wear the kids out a little extra so they’re more likely to sleep for more than 45 minutes.
6. Lie to your Kids. “No, honey, it’s ok. Daddy was just… tickling Mommy. Go back to bed… No, don’t get in, no… Can you hand me my pants?”
“Nothing, just… Doing our taxes.”
“No, Daddy isn’t in the shower with Mommy. Maybe he’s outside on your swing set. You should go look.”
“Your sheets were… dusty. So I washed them for you. You’re welcome.”
“I don’t know why the baby lotion is in here. Maybe your sister moved it.”
“Obviously the monsters in the closet are just pretending to sound like Mommy. *pew pew* There. I killed them. Go back to sleep.”
7. The CTFO Method. Seriously. Chill the f out. Obsessing and stressing over sex is totally overrated. You had kids. Surprise, they changed your life. Get over it. Adapt. Be creative. Be spontaneous. Naked shuffle out of your comfort zone and figure it out. It’s ok to let the baby cry in the crib for a few minutes. CTFO about it. Cartoons are not the enemy. CTFO. Stick the kid in the closet and for the love of foreplay, CTFO. (In case you’re interested, there is a sister method for parenting called the CTFD method. It is Sassy Confessional approved.) Make it work. If it doesn’t work, CTFO and try again tomorrow… or some time in the middle of the night. Lower your expectations and, like Nike says, Just Do It.
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