I had been adequately warned: Kids and sex do not have a mutually beneficial relationship. Yes, sex causes kids, but kids certainly do not cause sex. Or so my friends told me.
But in my naïve pre-baby state I told them they were wrong. That I was going to be the exception. That I would bravely go where few women had gone before and master my saggy boobs and sleep-deprived state to have a hot sex life after my babies came along.
Here’s the kicker: For a while, my plan worked.
My firstborn son was one of those rare anomalies that slept through the night at 4 months. And my daughter that came right behind wasn’t quite as good of a sleeper, but once she was in her crib, she stayed in her crib. And, as I secretly chalked my sleep training success up to my incredibly astute parenting skills, I also spent quite a bit of time getting busy. Good mama, hot mama.
But getting busy produces… let’s call them unexpected results. And my third born son has succinctly and seemingly maliciously destroyed every notion I’ve ever had about parenting and marriage. (Oh, and those parenting skills I thought I had? Apparently it was beginners luck.)
My idea that I could relax with a glass of wine after the kids go to bed was quickly reconsidered when I caught my two-year-old walking down the street at 11 pm with a backpack “going to spend the night at Grandma’s.”
The crazy thought that I could put on a movie while I grabbed a shower worked great until I stepped out to find the kid slurping water out of the toilet with a swirly straw.
And that one day that I gave my husband that come-hither look locked the door for a quick tryst while they were all busily watching Frozen was destroyed when the little one came knocking. He wanted a snack.
Let’s just say I had to get very, very creative if I wanted to have any semblance of a hot marriage. And since I’m all about helping my friends to have hot marriages, I thought I’d share some of the tricks I’ve come up with. Just in case you have a kid who gets super thirsty the instant you put them to bed.
- One word: Nooner. If your kids have any sort of school or daycare, make sure to spend at least one lunch hour every week with your man. (Related: If your kids don’t have school or daycare, they probably have an afternoon nap, which ironically, can also lead to nooners.)
- Have a Playdate. My friend Rachel has this brilliant thing she does with her neighbors every Saturday: She takes her neighbor’s kids for a three hours in the morning so her neighbor can run errands and then her neighbor takes her kids in the afternoon so she can run errands. And, in case you aren’t getting my drift, it doesn’t always take Rachel three hours to run errands.
- Resort to Bribery. When it comes to keeping my marriage hot, I am never above bribery. So if that means paying my older kids in cupcakes to play Legos with their little brother for a half hour so mommy and daddy can have “an important discussion” behind locked doors, then so be it.
- Let Him Tuck the Kids In. One of the women I interviewed when we were writing our book Hot Mama told me that she gives her husband “bedtime duty” and then waits for him downstairs with a glass of wine. She said that her kids are less likely to come down for “just one more story” when he tucks them in (how come daddy can always master “that look”?) and she has some time to get into the mood.
- Get a Babysitter. I know, I know, you don’t have time or money and you can’t fit into your date night jeans anyway so why try. But let me give you a pep talk: Your marriage is worth it. And spending $50 bucks once or twice a month to bond with your man is well worth every penny. (Oh, and if you end up having sex in your driveway before you officially get home from your date night, well, let’s just say that your money was well spent.)
- Make a Quiet Time Rule. In our house, we frequently have ‘quiet time.’ During quiet time, everyone in the family is welcome to play quietly in their rooms, read books or rest, but there is one rule: They may not for any reason leave their bedroom. Oh, and it wouldn’t be fair if only the kids had to follow the quiet time rules so mommy and daddy have to follow them as well. And we do. To a T.
- 7. Use Grandma (or Great Aunt Doris) To Your Advantage. Now I’m not one to manipulate, but if I were to, say, call my mom and tell her that the kids have been dying to see the new mini golf exhibit and that the little one happened to mention that he had to see it first with Grandma, then perhaps I would get 4 hours on a Saturday afternoon to, well, be at home alone with my man while the kids were out playing mini-golf.
- Capitalize on Sleep Time. We have both an early riser and a night owl in our household, meaning the chances of us finding uninterrupted time for sex between 7 pm and 7 am is practically non-existent. But contrary to popular belief, all kids sleep sometime. And the second your kid dozes off—whether it’s at 11 am or 2 am—have sex. Then go take a nap.
How do you find time (and energy) for sex with little kids at home?