Babyproof Your Sex Life
Date night: Just do it
How many times have you heard this advice? How often do you actually do it? You gotta do it! Couples who reported higher satisfaction with their postbaby sex lives were unanimous in their opinion that regular date nights kept them connected in an intimate, adult way more than anything else they did. As one mom told us: "The point is not which movie you see or where you go to eat. All that matters is that you have some 'alone time' together." If sitters are too expensive, alternate nights with some friends who can watch your kids. We even heard of date nights that have occurred in the couple's own home. Two candles, one table cloth, one bottle of wine, zero electronic gadgets turned on, and zero children awake officially add up to a date night. (Note: Dinner itself can be takeout.)
Escape when you can
The greater the physical and mental distance between you and the kids, the better the sex. Getting away is not always easy, but it's worth the effort. Take a couple of vacations a year alone together. Get a hotel room just for the night every once in a while. It's the best way for a woman to get out of Mommy Mode and remember her other self. It's also the only way to avoid the "ick" factor of motherhood. Women are, for most of the years that our children are small, awash in a sea of bodily fluids and slimy baby food. We're exposed, daily, to the full battery of nature's most disgusting gross-out tricks that would give any good horror flick a run for its money: vomit, drool, poop, breast milk, snot, pee, you name it. God forbid you also own a pet.
After dealing with all that slop, we usually want to avoid the general messiness of sex. But away from the kids and the dog and all their bodily fluids, we may not mind getting a little dirty with him.
Put it in your planner
Let's face it: The days of spontaneous "take me now on the kitchen table" sex are over. Those carefree Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon sessions are a thing of the past. If you want to have quality sex (i.e., where both people are in the mood and in the right place at the same time) you have to plan for it. After all, there's nothing worse than that unexpected 10 p.m. shoulder tap from your husband when you're just about to drift off into sleep.
Cathy has been scheduling "spontaneous" sex with her husband for the last year and a half. He thinks it's a spur of the moment thing (well, he did up until now) when in fact it's a carefully timed affair. Other women we talked to have had luck with the same strategy, whether they plan it in secret or in cahoots with their hubbies. "I've finally started planning sex. It's not particularly exciting, but it's better than the alternative, which is not having it at all," says Joanne, married for six years with two kids. "What guys don't understand is that when a woman has sex, she's inviting someone into her body. We like having time to get ready, just like we would if we were having someone over for dinner."
It's true. It's nice for us girls to have a little time to get ourselves "in the zone." We can plan to give the kids leftovers so we won't have to cook dinner. And, guys, you can plan to get home a little early to help get the kids to bed and allow us some time to take a shower.