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Why We Only Have Sex When Our Kids Aren't Home

Photograph by Twenty20

You know those kids who go to bed promptly on their own and don't emerge until breakfast? I have only read about them in books.

On a typical night, I lay with my toddler until she falls alseep, or until I fall asleep. If I do make it out awake, it's time to run the bedtime gauntlet with my second-grader, a champion staller who pops up to discuss weekend plans, scary shadows and/or the meaning of life a half dozen times before she succumbs.

My husband and I might have a few minutes alone until the toddler, awakened by a nightmare or sniffle, seeks comfort between us. The second-grader knocks a cup of water into her top bunk and it's easier to let her join us than to change her sheets. Overlapping diagonally in the king-sized bed, our sleeping family looks like a wood pile ready for s'mores.

This phase of life is not exactly conducive to sexy time. With about an 87 percent chance of being interrupted mid-coitus, it seems far more rewarding to just watch TV, which can be easily paused.

We have tried locking the door. We have tried doing it in the guest room, where the kids are less likely to find us, at least not as quickly. Neither one of us is a fan of shower sex.

I know all the articles say you have to get creative to keep the spark alive after having kids, but we are not horny teenagers—we are exhausted, middle-aged parents. We are not going to have a quickie in the closet. We are going to wait until we're alone in the damn house.

Occasionally, we have hired a babysitter to take the kids to the park on a Sunday afternoon while we get it on.

Grandparents have our kids at the movies? Rugrats invited to a drop-off play date? Light the candles and turn on the Barry White—it's go time. Occasionally, we have hired a babysitter to take the kids to the park on a Sunday afternoon while we get it on. The embarrassment of paying the babysitter with insane "I was on the bottom" sex hair is totally worth it.

One of my mom friends is a big believer in the sexual staycation. She will literally get an Airbnb 10 minutes away from her own house so she and the hubs can go bone in peace. The key, she tells me, is to always "F*ck First," before you can get too full at dinner or too tired from wine.

"FF" has become my secret motto, too. When my husband and I attended an out-of-town wedding sans kids, I had his clothes off 10 minutes after check-in. Trust me, that's the way to go.

As our kids get older and more self sufficient, I know it will get easier. When they're able to grab their own breakfast without dumping every last Cheerio onto the floor, I might actually be able to experience morning sex again. Until then, our sex life is at the mercy of our kids' social calendar. It's not ideal, but it's not the end of the world, either.

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