Are you trying to strike the ever-sensitive balance between living your own life without disrupting your child’s life? When you add sex to the mix, the challenges may grow. What’s the best way to handle your child’s prying questions? Have you ever called a condom a “balloon?”
Sometimes when you’re travelling with small children it may be hard to remember that you are husband and wife not just parents. How important do you think sex is in maintaining a healthy, happy relationship once you have children? A simple survey shows:
- I think it is probably the most important thing 5.9%
- I think it is an equal part of a number of important factors 75.6%
- Once you have children it is one of the less important factors 13.2%
- I think a good relationship after you have children can happily continue without sex 5.3%
Ok.. then we must work this one out! It takes commitment and creativity to keep sex and intimacy enjoyable while traveling and living with children, but it’s possible! You really only have two choices, either enforce a monastic life on your partner, or learn to deal with having the children nearby.
I have come up with some sure-fire sex tips for parents. Here are some things you can do to be a great parent… but also get some satisfaction in your life.
Hide your sexy stash from prying eyes:
Most parents may have condoms (and maybe even a board game, or a sex toy or two) to enhance the most intimate of moments. But unlike our childless friends, it’s more of a challenge to keep these odd-looking items out of the hands of a child who comes across them while taking a tour of your sock drawer. Treat yourself to a “Pleasure Chest” by investing in a box that locks where you can easily store all of your fun things.
Sex up your scenery:
All parents deserve to have a bedroom that sets the mood, but that’s hard to do if it’s littered with your children’s crayons or action figures. So, establish a rule with your children that your bedroom is a toy-free zone. And (this tip is going to break a few hearts), consider moving any framed photos of you, your children and their dad to a more neutral zone in your pad like the living room or kitchen. Think back to your high school days when you turned your bedroom into a den that met all of your social (and romantic) needs.
Now you will benefit from revisiting that design theme. This means making sure that your bed is sexy and appealing, that there’s a couch or chair in your room along with a CD player, television, DVD player and any other entertainment vehicles that usually are scattered throughout the house. The goal here is to make your bedroom the all-purpose room that has everything you need to entertain you both without waking up or involving the whole house.
Consider putting a lock on your door as well for those moments when you really don’t want anyone barging in, and don’t feel guilty about it, you are teaching your children how to set boundaries! You’re not shutting your children out; you’re just paving the way to become a happier parent.
Soundproof your inner sanctum
Is your child disturbed by outside sounds? Most passionate people like to be free to moan as much as they want to. Only how do you get to do this when the children are right next door? Have you ever been outside of your bedroom when your partner is expressing passionate sounds from within? (Chuckle…, I heard that answer!) Perhaps a role play, when the children are away, might surprise you as to just how soundproof your sanctum really is!
The answer for many couples is pillows, and a lot of them. They not only make your bed look voluptuous and inviting, but you can use them to fill the gap under the door and muffle any enthusiastic exclamations. Some couples have even wedged them between the bed and the wall to avoid hearing their headboard bump against the wall, which may scare the children and bring them running to your door.
Not just pillows in your room, but in your children’s room too! Lots of pillows on your child’s bed will help muffle sounds while creating comfort and security for your child. Also, the mattresses in most toddler beds may be cheaply made. Try lying on the child's bed. See if you are still comfortable in twenty minutes. In our youngest daughter's case, a new mattress made all the difference to her sleeping soundly.
If the children spent the afternoon watching television or sitting in their room playing with toys, you are probably not going to get them to stay in that bed. You have to do something to burn off their energy, give them their bath, have a little quiet time, and then send them to bed. “Make sure the kids play hard all day,” Julie says. “Give them a hot bath and a bottle, and they will sleep through anything!”
If the children are old enough to run around on their own outside (such as at a safe family-style campground where you may sometimes stay), shoo them outside and tell them Dad and Mum need to take a nap, and do not come back for a half hour unless it’s an emergency. Remember to say, “I will call you in half an hour.”
Some other ways to muffle sound include investing in a great music system for your room that can pump out the romantic music, or even move the action out of your bedroom to another room in the house more distant from the children’s quarters like the basement, den or bathroom (after all, taking a bath together can be very sensual!).
If possible, reallocate the rooms and soundproof them. It's worth the effort, because your child's sound sleep is the key to your hassle-free enjoyment of each other. Explore options with positioning rooms in the house so that, perhaps, a room such as the ensuite, a walk in robe, or a play room can be between your sanctum and theirs. Also consider the positioning of the beds so that bead-heads are not adjacent to a shared wall.
Others have found that the secret is to be quiet and go stealth; Children will sleep through more than you think! Do whatever you like, as often as you like, do it as freaky as you like … just do it quietly. Enhancing the scene with candles and soft lights will allow you to express your pleasure visually and let your wild side out! The bigger challenge is maintaining any spontaneity in your relationship.
Maybe you guys need a night out just the two of you… to rekindle, save up and look forward to it. Nights out without the children to have some time to appreciate each other may be few and far between. Make the most of them. How long has it been since you’ve dressed up, or worn sexy underwear?
Get help: there’s no shame in hiring help, especially if it means keeping your relationship healthy. Take turns with your friends looking after the children for a night each week, or utilise the grandparents and they will get some quality one-on-one time too.
Angie and her husband Todd have discovered the holy grail of family travel – they travel with their maid/babysitter/nanny who shares a bedroom with the children, leaving Angie and Todd with a room to themselves to do what they like, when they like. Of course travelling with an extra person comes at a cost.
Intimacy = in-to-me-see! Spend some time thinking about what it would take to make you feel more like a lover, more like yourself again rather than care giver to all. Some internal picking up on the sex drive never goes astray. Take a little time to yourself, even taking time to pamper yourself and remember that this is all part of it. Balance in life is a wise choice.
Which of these would you prefer?
- Uninterrupted sex with your partner 27.1%
- A good nights sleep 38.0%
- A box of chocolates 4.4%
- A cup of tea 1.2%
- A glass of your favourite tipple 2.8%
- A nice meal 14.7%
- A night out with the girls 11.7%
More Tips You Can Use:
- Act like teenagers: Enjoy the floor? The shower? The pool? Quietly on the bed? Standing up? There are no rules, but a playful attitude helps!
- Let the children indulge in TV or DVD on the laptop, and let them turn up the volume! Then, tell them that you’re taking a shower together to save water, and enjoy the bathroom as best as possible.
- Kids are sound sleepers. Enjoy the middle of the night together while they sleep through it.
How often have you been caught at it by your kids?
- No not yet/they're too young 81.8%
- Yes but they didn't know what we were doing 16.5%
- Yes and they knew exactly what we were doing! 1.7%
Sex isn’t always possible: Perhaps the main idea is to stay connected, wherever you are in the world.
What time of day do you like to have sex most? A simple survey shows:
- I'm a morning person 11.2%
- I'm more likely to be interested at night 41.2%
- My sex drive doesn't seem to be related to any particular time of day 24.2%
- These days, we take our chances whenever the kids allow 23.4%
Healthy intimate couple lives lead to a glow and a harmony that ripples through the whole family. Taking time to kindle your passion and connectedness is an important aspect of relationships. I hope you enjoyed this exploration of intimacy in relation to raising children, and that you also enjoy putting some of these ideas to the test. Find out what works best for you and your children.
For help and support with intimacy issues, and finding balance in your relationships, individually or as a couple, call Ron Cruickshank Relationship Counsellor Ph. 0400 606 321
We Give You More!
© Ronald Cruickshank 2012
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