15 Stages Of Trying (And Sometimes Failing) To Have Sex When You Have Kids

Sex. Sex is great. Fabulous, even! I’ve been a big fan since I was a teenager. Sometimes, when you have sex, you get pregnant, and often when you get pregnant, you wind up having kids, which is cool, except… remember all that fabulous sex you were having? Yeah, that’s going to start to be a bit of a challenge.

It’s a cliché, but it’s a cliché for a reason: Kids are totally bang-blockers. I don’t think they mean to be. Evolutionarily speaking, there’s probably a reason for it. Like, the kid is all, “They can’t have another baby! I need all their attention and resources. Hmmm… I know. If I prevent them from ever having sex ever again then I won’t have a sibling and if I don’t have a sibling I have no competition. Mwa ha ha ha ha.” It doesn't occur to the dumb, beautiful kid that maybe their parents don't even procreate via sex, so they are really just stopping everyone from having a good time. So while we get where kids might be subconsciously coming from is they are truly trying to keep us from having sex, this never worked out especially great for same-sex parents, and now straight couples have condoms, the pill, IUDs, vasectomies, and basically endless ways to prevent another baby from coming out of their copulation, so these days, kids are just being tiny, boner-killing jerks.

While most couples find creative solutions to this problem, figuring out clever ways to sneak in some boom-boom time, there is no universal advice to get everyone through this very real parenting challenge. Switching up times doesn’t really work. For example, morning sex is not an option in my house. Two kids waking up at completely unpredictable times + two non-morning people = less-than-ideal sex-nario. Afternoon sex is also out because even though our daughter naps, our son provides no such courtesy. “Couldn’t you just sit him down in front of an activity or movie?” you ask. Ha! Even in such a situation, he routinely checks in on what we are doing or asks for snacks, or whatever. It’s too risky.

Our oft-thwarted attempts tend to happen in very much the same way, and I know I’m not alone in this emotional rollercoaster.

Put Kids To Sleep

This stage can last anywhere from 10 minutes to the entire night. This may or may not be the first and last stage of your attempt to have sex. Assuming you get past it, proceed to step 2.

Decompress After A Long Day

Because you can’t just jump right to it. You need a few minutes to yourself. A few blissful moments where no one is touching you, or asking anything of you, or interacting with you in any way. You read a book, you check Facebook, you text a friend—all the stuff you couldn’t do all day because you were either at work or wrangling your children or a combination of the two.

Mention Sex In The Most Straightforward, Least Sexy Way Possible

OK, yes, sometimes there’s a build-up throughout the evening. They furtively grab your butt; you brush against in a coy but in a highly suggestive manner—that’s all nice. And sometimes there’s even a good, old-fashioned jumping, where one partner goes for it and the other enthusiastically and graciously consents. But a lot of the time, you have to make sure, in your exhaustion and busy-ness, that you’re on the same page. So most often it’ll look like this:

“I’d like to do it.”
“Yeah. Cool.”
“Just let me beat finish this one thing.”
“No rush. Me too.”

Besides, you’re also waiting for the inevitable...

Child #1 Wakes Up To Pee

It’s like clockwork, so it’s not actually a big deal to wait, except…

Wait Until You Are Sure Child #1 Is Asleep

It’s a little annoying, but it’ll only take a couple minutes.

OK, now you’re in business. Kids are sleeping, declarations of intent have been made, all of the child’s necessary body functions have been dealt with, now, on to your body functions… your sexual ones… that sounded less gross in my head. Anyway.

Tentatively Begin Making Out

Yeah, you're not going to get too into it yet, because you know...

Child #2’s Pacifier Fell Out, So You Have To Go Put That Back

As you knew it would. BUT IT’S STILL OKAY! This will only take a moment… just… wait until you’re sure she’s asleep. Again.

Get Back To It

This is it. You’re totally going to get to do the sex!

Child #2 Starts Crying Again For No Discernible Reason

At first, you both try to pretend it’s not happening, but there’s only so long you can ignore a kid shouting, “Mommyyyyyyyyyyy!”  

Rock Child #2 Back To Sleep

Try not to swear at them under your breath.

Hear Child #1 Having A Nightmare

Comfort Child #1

At this point, you’re basically dead on the inside.

Go Back To Bedroom, Where Partner Is Reading And Dressed

You Look At The Clock—It Is Midnight

You Pass Out Before You Can Even Take Your Pants Off

Or hey, maybe at some point, your kids actually stayed asleep and you got to have actual, honest-to-god sexual relations, in which case, I'm sorry your experience was not represented in this article but also, you got to have an orgasm, so I owe you nothing. Let the rest of us have this article. It's all we have. IT'S ALL WE HAVE.

Images: Apatow Productions/Universal; Giphy(15)