Of all the things I was “warned about” when it came to babies and motherhood and marriage, I was least prepared for how much I’d forget myself and forget my husband. Once you add a few babies to the mix, your days become a blur. There is no time left. There is no energy left. And it might seem like there’s no relationship left.
At least that’s what it was like for us. He went to work, and I stayed home wiping butts and squirting milk out of my boobs into tiny mouths. He walked in at dinnertime every night and was promptly handed a baby. We tag-teamed feeding and bathing and changing and singing and reading and soothing until they were all asleep. And we followed soon after.
And repeat. Day after day, week after week, year after year, as more babies arrived.
There was barely time or energy for a conversation about the electric bill, never mind romance. Sure, we did the obligatory “date night” now and then. (And had sex—we know where those babies kept coming from.) We dressed the part — me in straightened hair and makeup, him in a fitted t-shirt and jeans. Look at us, young and hip. Except not.
Because we probably looked like half-baked zombies at a downtown restaurant ordering a charcuterie board and cocktails, trying to be the fun couple of years past. Then we’d head home a couple hours later, pay the babysitter, and hear about how one kid spilled fruit punch on the rug and another ran into the coffee table and got a fat lip. And any chance of sexy time flew out the window. We checked on the babies, changed into our comfy pants, and fell asleep watching Netflix. Date night was over.
However, if you read this description and nod along sadly because you can relate, I have good news. Those babies are going to grow up. You’re going to come out of that fog. And maybe, some day down the line you’ll see them all zoned out on their iPads on a rainy Saturday afternoon and catch your partner’s eye. He’ll give a wink. You’ll give a nod.
And you’ll head upstairs.
The first time my husband and I had day sex with the kids in the house was weird—I’ll admit it. I had just finished a workout and hopped in the shower. Suddenly the door opened and he appeared, naked.
“Um, what are you doing?” I asked.
“Coming in there with you,” he casually replied, like this was NBD.
“Where are the kids?! What if they come in?!”
“They’re in the basement. I told them to stay down there for a bit.”
It was as simple as that. When given screen time and snacks, my kids listen.
And we had the best shower we’d had in a looooong time. It took me a minute or two to relax, shake off my mom skin, and remember the sexy girl I used to be. I’d occasionally glance at the door, expecting some small person to barge in, but no one did. It was like a rebirth of our marriage.
We now make morning sex or day sex a pretty regular thing. (When we can—some weekends we are at marathon long soccer games or the in-laws are in town. That’s not sexy time. AT ALL.) And here’s the awesome thing about day sex—you’re at your peak energy level. The coffee has kicked in, maybe you’ve had breakfast even. Ten hours from now, you’ll be limping to the finish line of the day, begging the last child for the love of God to please go to sleep. You’ll have read the books, signed the reading logs, made sure everyone bathed, picked out tomorrow’s outfits, packed lunches, cleaned the kitchen, folded laundry, and picked up the house strewn with everyone’s shit.
You’ll be so exhausted you can barely muster the strength to crack that beer or bottle of wine and flip on the remote before you start snoring on the couch.
But your marriage has already been recharged, because you fit in the sex hours ago. And not because it’s obligatory, but because it’s good for your relationship. It feels good for you and for your partner, and it rekindles that old spark that kids snuff out with their needs and wants and poop and pee and homework and fighting and whining about how one of them farted on their couch cushion.
Sneaking away from parenthood for a few minutes means you get to find yourselves again, together. Because in a few short years, guess what? Those whiny kids will be grown and off living their own lives, finding their own romance. So it’s time to rekindle yours. It’s time to bring your sexy back, so that when your house is quiet some day, for good, and you look at each other for the first time in years, you’ll remember what to do. You’ll remember how to be, when it’s just the two of you. You’ll remember why you love each other, and why you started out together on this wild thing called life all those years ago.
Sure, you’re different now. When you hop into the shower together for a quickie, you sure don’t look like 25-year old you. But neither does he. And that’s the beauty of finding your sexy again, after the baby fog lifts. You’ve just lived through a 10-year battle. You worked as a team, tossing each other provisions, supplies, a new stock of ammunition for your arsenal, and maybe updated your armor every few years.
You kept going, side-by-side, fighting the good fight, but you never had a chance to look at each other. The battle never ceased. Never a break, never a ceasefire. The kids kept coming with their diaper blow outs and scary fevers and Star-of-the-Week posters and kindergarten musicals that required a squirrel costume.
But now, suddenly, it’s a little quieter. They’re not climbing on you or sucking on you or pulling at you. They can get their own snacks. They wipe their own butts. And they gloriously sleep in sometimes.
This is your time. Appreciate all you’ve done, who you have become, and how good it feels to connect with each other NOW, at this age, at this point in life. So stuff jiggles a little more now, or sags a little lower to the floor. Whatever. You’re both still hot, so get your sexy on.
Day sex. Try it. (It’s often the best part of our Saturday.)