We have four elementary-school-aged kids at home. It may be more challenging to keep things sexy with little ones around, but it is possible.
Remember back before children, when you could exchange a look with your partner and spontaneously start making out on the couch? Or on the kitchen counter? Or join them in the shower? Having kids around the house may cramp your style a bit, but it doesn’t have to mean you’ve signed a chastity agreement for the next 15-20 years.
Here are some ways to help keep the fires burning without scarring the kids for life.
Yes, I said locks. Plural. We switched out the master bedroom doorknob for one that locks, as well as added an interior door flip lock higher up the door. The peace of mind that comes with a back-up lock lets you immerse yourself more freely in the sexy times.
It won’t stop a kid from knocking on your door, but it will stop them from barging in. This at least gives you time to say “Just a moment” and switch gears back into parent-mode. We’ve discovered an unexpected bonus: these locks only get engaged when we’re in an amorous mood, so simply closing, then locking the door can be a turn-on.
Yes, we have them. Yes, we use them. Yes, even when the kids are around. (See previous tip about double locks on the door). There are some “only when the kids aren’t around” toys, but there are plenty we can use while they are home.
You may not be able to say things out loud with the kids around. Let your fingers do the talking. There have been many occasions when both my partner and I are on phones or laptops and I send a simple text: “Want.” I watch as my partner receives the message and that smile appears. He looks over at me with a “hell yeah” twinkle in his eye, and I get his text response: “mmmm.”
It may be a couple hours before we can finally be alone, but now that’s a couple hours of anticipation, which can be amazing foreplay. Messages can be sent any time. You’re home with the kids while your partner is grocery shopping? Send a quick message letting them know you can’t wait to get your hands on them later. Or maybe send a picture. Think of it as a teaser trailer for what is to come.
Our kids are now old enough to get themselves up and fix their own breakfast. We allow them to watch tv for the first hour or so, which gives us almost-guaranteed uninterrupted time on the weekends. I feel zero guilt for our kids having electronics time while my partner and I get some reconnect time.
As we get busier and feel less and less sexy, we may start to resent being touched, especially if we only get touched when it’s expected sex will be involved. It’s so important to touch your partner without it being a means to an end. Send the message that “I’m touching you because I love you, not because I want sex from you.” Hold hands. Come up behind your partner and plant a kiss on their neck. Massage your partner with that being it, nothing in return. Snuggle in bed without sex being involved. How about a playful ass grab?
I firmly believe it’s OK for our kids to see us being playful with each other. I’m not talking about motorboating your partner in front of the kids, but it’s OK for them to see their parents as loving, sexual beings. Normalize it from the beginning and it won’t only help you to keep things sexy, it will help them grow into sexually healthy adults.
All parents know best-laid plans can come to a screeching halt for any number of reasons. You might be in the middle of some of the best sex you’ve had or you may not have even gotten started when you hear a kid getting sick or crying from a nightmare.
It’s easy to feel like giving up and not even trying. While you may have to put things on hold while the flu rips through your house, try and refocus after you all resurface. Get your groove back again.
Can the kids go to their grandparents’ place overnight? Maybe they’re at the age where friend sleepovers can be coordinated and you end up with the house to yourself. Take advantage of an empty house. Forget the dishes and the things that “have to” get done. Have sex on the couch. Bend over the kitchen counter. Have a bath together. Do the things you used to do when you weren’t worried about wee ones hearing you or bursting into the room.
Last but not least, allow your relationship to have its ebbs and flows. I’ve found when it’s ebbing more than it’s flowing, it’s when I’ve stopped feeling guilty or worried about the ebb that things started flowing again. Make space for the sexy.
Little kids mean some adjustments, but sexy will fit in wherever you let it.
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