Getting on with Getting it On:
Sex when there's a kid in the house
by Katie Throckmorton
I took a lot of things for granted as a single gal. I only had to feed one person, and dinner could be as easy as chips and salsa, if I was in the mood. I was pretty lax about picking up after myself because, well, it was just me. And when I was in the mood, I could either whip out my trusty toy, or make a date with the man of the hour.
When I was first dating my fiancé, the only part of sex we had to think about was whether or not we cared if his roommates heard us. (Usually, no. Sorry, guys!) Things got serious pretty fast for us, and every time we went out or were together at night, it was pretty much a given that we’d be having sex later. We had a big comfy bed, no one to bother us, and all the time in the world.
Now, having a baby in the house, the priorities of home and family have taken over from late nights at the bar followed by marathon sheet sessions. Every aspect of the day requires more forethought and planning than I could ever have imagined – dinner is no longer, "Hmm, I’ll just munch on crackers and diet coke, maybe slice up some cheese…". Dinner now requires a meal enough to satisfy two adults (plus something well-rounded that the baby will actually eat), the time involved in grocery shopping and cooking, and who’s going to do the dishes after.
Plus, someone has to feed the baby, give her a bath, do bedtime routine, and get her to sleep. Then there are all the household chores; making sure there are enough clean clothes for two adults to go to work every day, picking up cat toys and baby toys, cleaning out bottles and scooping kitty poop. Throw in trying to plan a wedding, workout, or just relax with a magazine, and suddenly it’s time to either hit the hay or pay for it in the morning.
Yes, sex was missing from that to-do list.
Finding Time to Do It
Scheduling sex does not sound romantic. In all the bustle and stress and sleep-deprivation that went along with being pregnant and then having a newborn, it was easy to forget about romance. Domestic stuff took over, that routine way of going through the day, doing what needs to be done around the house without remembering that you two once used to tear each other’s clothes off.
It wasn’t until a day trip to the beach while I was still on maternity leave, the baby asleep in her car seat behind us, and me holding my honey’s hand as he drove, just like we used to, that I was suddenly struck by the need to make a point of doing these things; of having time to ourselves. Romance is important in a relationship, just as important as balancing household chores or taking care of the kids. We have to give it the attention it deserves.
After the baby goes to sleep, it’s all too easy to take a plate of dinner to opposite ends of the couch and waste 3 hours watching tv, not talking, and then falling into bed ourselves. Relaxing, yes. But it was doing nothing for our relationship, which was starting to feel more like roommates than mates. It’s hard to just flip a switch and get in the mood, though, so I’ve started “having sex” with my honey all day long.
The other night, I watched a certain racy video clip that totally did it for me. The following morning while I was at work, I texted my Mister and told him to watch it too, because I wanted THAT. A few minutes later, he texted back, “that was hot. Has bone.” We spent the rest of the afternoon texting back and forth about what we wanted to do to one another later that night, and once the baby had been shipped off to dreamland, we did every single one of those things.
The day-long build-up was incredible, the moment he touched me I was halfway there. Now, if video erotica isn’t your thing, that’s fine. Any kind of racy messages, leaving little notes, etc, to stoke that fire all day long, will do the trick; things to make you remember how you used to look at him or her, before all those little domestic duties elbowed all the romance out of the room.
Finding different places to do it
Speaking of rooms. Another new aspect to parenthood sex is that we no longer have the luxury of doing it in our own bedroom. We share a bedroom with the baby, so obviously having sex in there is out. Everyone’s situation is different of course, but having a mini person anywhere in your home is going to leave some areas off limits for grown-up playtime. This has actually turned out to be more of a stimulant than a deterrent – who wants to spend their whole sex life in the same bed? The fact that we do it now on the couch, or on the living room floor, heightens the appeal, maybe because it feels like we’re sneaking something. We do follow a few rules, though.
1. Make sure all your blinds and drapes are closed. No free shows.
2. Lay down a blanket – for cleanliness and comfort.
3. Store your accessories – condoms, lube, toys, etc – somewhere away from the sleeping baby. Nothing kills the mood like waking up Jr. in the process of getting the lube out of the bedside table.
4. Wash your hands when you’re done.
5. No screaming. See rule 3, regarding waking Jr.
More on this last – this might not be a problem for some, but, well, I occasionally experience some difficulty with volume (teehee). But I’ve discovered all kinds of sexy and, frankly, downright kinky alternatives for breaking the sound barrier. Biting his shoulder, or his silk tie, are both good ways to keep the noise down. And if you’ve never experimented with a little light bondage, this is a great time to introduce it with a scarf tied over the mouth.
Tools of the trade – lube, condoms, and toys
And speaking of new things, if you’ve never used or needed lube before, you’ll want to invest in some now, especially if you’re breastfeeding. Until your hormones get back under control you may have some trouble with being wet enough, and a good water-based lubricant will make things much more enjoyable. Try a warming variety, or warm it in your hands first, then spread a generous amount in yourself and on him, and repeat as necessary (like washing your hair, but much more fun).
Toys can be a great addition, too. It's a great way to encourage things along, especially if you’re trying to fit in a quickie while the baby is napping. You don’t even need anything fancy. A simple bullet-style toy is perfect for a little clitoral stimulation to help get, and keep, you wet and in the mood, and get you to the finish line in time.
Another consideration while you’re breastfeeding is birth control – my doctor advised me that I couldn’t go back on the pill while I was nursing the baby, since I could pass the hormones into her system. Which means condoms are a part of our toolkit again. And, again, lubricated condoms can come in handy if moisture is a problem.
Happily Ever After
Of course, we’ve had our share of intimate moments interrupted by a cranky baby, or sex that was less than enjoyable as we tried to figure out again what worked, and what didn’t. But the point of it all is to keep trying, to keep making that intimacy and romance an important part of our relationship when dirty diapers and dishwashing become the biggest part of our days.
Katie Throckmorton is an author and a romance consultant with Scarlet Girl,
living in the San Francisco Bay Area with her soon-to-be hubby Shawn, their daughter Violet, and two ridiculous cats. She writes
dark fiction and erotic fantasy, and dips into real-life tales of sexy for the lovely ladies as a pleasure consultant at her Scarlet Girl Pleasure Parties.