A couple weeks ago I joined a club I had always hoped I would never join: parents whose children have caught them having sex. If I'm being honest, I guess my partner and I did have a pretty good run up until that fateful moment, considering my kids' propensity to wake up in the middle of the night and the size of our small apartment. Still, I was shocked and, in my state of shock, forced to send the texts every mom sends her best friend after her kid walks in on her having sex. I mean, if that doesn't solidify my club membership, I don't know what does.
Look, this is undoubtedly a super-awkward situation, but our friends have helped us out of some jams in the past, right? For example, personally speaking, my best friends knew me throughout my incredibly gawky stage that started around grade school and continued until sometime last year. So, I figured if my best friend could see me through that (among other things), my best friend could definitely handle my kid walking in on me doing the dirty. I mean, that's how friendship works, right?
Honestly, while there are so many wonderful aspects of motherhood, arguably one one of the best is the ability to share the ridiculousness of it all with your bestie. Sometimes, all you need is a good texting session (and a few solid laughs) to get through everything motherhood throws at you, even and especially when it's freakin' embarrassing. So, with that in mind, here are the texts I sent my bestie after my kid walked in on me and my partner having sex. Trust me, if you don't laugh, you'll just cry.
There Are No Words
Because there's nothing at all you can say to bring this up gracefully (and you are at a total loss), starting this necessary conversation with your bestie won't be, um, "normal." No, you'll start this awkward and hilarious conversation with a conglomeration of repeated letters, lots of exclamation points, and emojis. When your friend responds with "??" or a, "What's up?" then you'll have the focus you need to continue your story.
I Will Somehow Blame This On You Because That's What BFFs Are For
Bring it back to them. Remember, you can always blame your friends, especially if you bring it back to stuff that went down in college. Don't feel bad, they will certainly do the same to you at some point. That's friendship, you guys.
Realizing You've Been Living In Fear Of This Very Moment Since You Had Ambulatory Children
Everyone dreads it, but no one knows exactly how weird it'll be until you look over and there's your beloved child staring at you. Perhaps they're completely nonchalant; Perhaps they're curious; Perhaps they're horrified. There's really no reaction you hope for because you have spent all your mental energy just hoping this never, ever happens.
Even sex-positive parents don't want to expose their children to graphic sexual content at a young age. Especially when they themselves are the focal point of said graphic sexual content, because I don't care how open we are: some things are just private. Of course you'll inevitably worry that this odd introduction to "what sex looks like," is somehow damaging to their psyche. Of course, you'll unload said worry on your unsuspecting friend. (But honestly, don't worry, as you most certainly did have not traumatized your child.)
Knowing Exactly What Our Children Will Do With This
Because obviously this is ta sign that we had some karmic retribution coming our way and this embarrassing encounter isn't the end of it. Oh no. Because your kid is going to blab about this to daycare, school, and their friends. Will your child tell his teacher about the educational trip to the Natural History Museum you took, or the DIY science project you did as a family last weekend? No. He'll tell them all about you and your partner going at it. Your best friend will almost certainly find this hilarious, at which point I recommend going back to blaming them somehow.
This is some classic #ParentLife. Often, if not always, sex is a precious parenting commodity, so it would stand to reason that when you both do manage to swing it, you're going to be interrupted. If your friend is a parent, they will get it. If they aren't, again, they will probably think it's funny because #BestieLife
When kids are little, they might not be able to differentiate between cries of pleasure and pain. Add to that the fact that sex is physical in a way that may seem violent to them (they have nothing else to compare it to) and you might wind up with a child concerned for your welfare, which can be sad and scary for everyone involved. When your child thinks your partner is hurting you when you're having sex, reassure them that you are not hurt and you were not fighting and then, depending on their age, give supplemental information.
The Car Crash Effect
Kids are better at reading a room than many adults give them credit for. In other words, yes, they can read the burning embarrassment on your face and will want to know why it's even there. This irrepressible instinct to better understand social situations is extremely handy in enabling them to be emotionally literate humans, but it sucks when you just want to get them back into bed and put some damn pants on.
Your friend might have some good advice on this, but if they are at as much of a loss as you are, here's what experts recommend you do if your kids catch you in the act:
To start, realize that there's a pretty good chance your kid didn't see nearly as much as you fear they might have. So you might be able to just sort of hop off each other, address what they came into the room for and send them back off to wherever they came from. Maybe. If the child is confused, scared, or inquisitive (and any of those reactions is totally normal), honesty is the best policy. Now, that doesn't mean you need to give graphic, specific details of what was going on. First, ask them what they think they saw and use that to build upon what they might already know about sex, based on their age. Depending on your child and what they know about sex, there are probably several ways to approach how much you divulge or how specific you get (for example, describing what was going on as "sex" versus "special kind of cuddling"), but know that when it comes to explaining sex to your kids after they have walked in on you, sometimes, a little bit of information will hold them over for a long while.
Because What Are Friends For?
(Also, putting locks on all the doors is probably a great idea. I mean, no one wants to send this series of texts more than once.)