Keeping your sex life interesting while breast feeding and running after toddlers could be a challenge. But wait…wait until they are teenagers! It’s not a challenge, it’s a feat of human endurance.
This is the story of a Saturday night.
Before I had children, my friends warned me that once there were babies on the scene take your sex life as it is now and divide it by 20 and that’s what you can expect, if you are really lucky. I didn’t heed this warning because I’m the gal who will find any excuse for a shag. And I was right not to pay any attention to this advice.
It’s easy to have sex when there is a tiny sleeping baby in a cot. Yes, there may be coitus interruptus from time to time, and you may occasionally smell of breast milk, from swollen leaking breasts, but one makes sacrifices for the arrival of this bundle of joy.
I know some women complain about exhaustion, and being up all night cause little Johnny wouldn’t sleep, has colic and won’t feed. But let’s be fair, where there is a will there is a way. Parents of babies still manage to eat at least three meals a day…if there is time to eat, then there is time to have sex I say. And sure for some, there is post partum depression, the focus changes when you are caring for another little being totally reliant on you, and a myriad of other reasons why sex is removed off the table, or bed, or anywhere really, but when all is said and done, it’s possible to have sex with a baby in the house.
When they become toddlers, even if they are poor sleepers, they still eventually sleep, and if there is a cry in the night, you can quickly throw on a gown and go to their room. Again, not always ideal, but the occasional interruption is manageable.
In my experience, the easiest years are between 2 and 12, they are sort of miniature people who, while very exhausting, once they sleep, they sleep, and nights are your own. Even days can be a win if they are at crèche or school.
Then they become teenagers…
Teenagers walk freely, talk even more freely and never ever seem to sleep!
No one warned me about this phenomenon. Teenagers seem to believe that sleep is for when you are dead, and even if they have finally left the living area, the eating area, and the bathroom area and ‘gone to bed’…they are still awake!
It’s 11pm on a Saturday night; we are back from a gentle evening of dinner and a movie. We quietly pay the sitter; the rest of the evening is ours. I begin visualizing delicious images of long luxurious uninterrupted sex. We can pleasure each other, it’s going to be a mammoth session.
I pour two whiskeys, and move to the couch. Let’s start here, no need to rush to the bedroom.
‘Hey, you guys are home. How was the movie? I’m dying to see it, it’s an Oscar contender.’
To say my hearts sinks, just doesn’t give justice to what I am feeling.
I’ve got to keep calm even though we can’t ‘carry on’ as the saying goes.
‘Oh we loved it. Brilliant performances, so beautifully shot. But we can discuss it in the morning, it’s late, you need sleep.’
‘Apparently the movie took 7 years to complete.’
Who cares, just go to sleep. But instead I say, ‘ Interesting, continuity must have been a challenge.’
‘In an interview with blah blah….’ words, talking, driving me mad, going to scream.
Getting frustrated and shouting mostly doesn’t work, and what I’d like to say is ‘your parents would very much like to spend a glorious late evening of uninterrupted sex, now piss off, but of course that won’t do either.
‘You’ve just poured drinks, you gonna watch something on TV? Can I stay up and watch with you?’
My inside voice screams ‘We are going to watch porn… NOW GO TO BED.’
What comes out is ‘We aren’t staying up and neither are you. Goodnight, the end.’
‘So why have you got drinks, you just going to talk?’
I guess I should be relieved that at 14 years of age he hasn’t put two and two together, or maybe he has, but like most children, he doesn’t believe his parents have sex! Eeuw
We lock up, put the dog to bed, switch the dishwasher on, clean the linen cupboard, sort the sock drawer, do our tax returns and repaint the kitchen, while waiting for said teenager to sleep.
By this time even I am beginning to care less about a shag. Exhaustion has overcome us, and the most appealing thing right now is sleep.
We manage a short, exhausted shag, with promises of more in the morning, because that’s when the teenager does actually sleep. Sure it’s not the plan I had in mind, but I’ll take it.
Unfortunately the 10 year old doesn’t sleep all morning, so she comes bouncing through to our room bright as a button just before 8am.
‘What we doing today?’
We are shagging all morning and you and your brother are going to leave us alone, for so many hours.
Yeah right, sure, that’s what I said.
So, while I appreciate, although don’t fully understand, couples who say, sex with a new-born, or toddler is impossible, I want to say, wait, just wait. Heed my warning, cause nobody warned me!
And then of course there is COVID 19 lockdown… read my article on ‘Sex in the time of Covid.’