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A Starry Coverlet of Velvet Possibility

Someone suggested to me that I write this week on trying to have a sex life with my partner while raising a toddler. I think she thought this would be a hard thing to do. Not the writing about it, goodness knows I can write about sex as long as I have to, but the managing of said sex life with a toddler in the home.

I think toddlers get a bad rap. Oh yeah, sure, they’re into everything, and everything they’re into is dangerous. One moment you’re pulling them off the back of the couch as they’re about to fling themselves into a plate glass window, and the next minute they’re demonstrating a genetic link to mice as they squeeze more of their body than should be physically possible through the tiny crack allowed by the baby latch into the space under the kitchen sink to reach the caustic, skin-melting, cleaning chemicals of doom. And all this before you’ve even managed to eat the celery in your breakfast Bloody Mary. But they’re hell of a lot easier, in my opinion, than infants. You don’t have to carry them everywhere, you don’t have to feed them from breast or bottle every couple hours and, most importantly, you don’t have to get up with them 6 times in the night only to start your day at 6 AM.

So, yeah, there are a lot of things you can’t do with a toddler in the house (you can’t leave bras and shoes lying around, you can’t leave toilet paper unguarded, and you can’t leave large glasses of water sitting on the coffee table) but sex isn’t one of those things.

Now that we’re finally catching up on our sleep, and now that bed time for Julia is really bedtime (THANK THE GOOD LORD ABOVE!) Kristin and I are no longer forced to try and have sex in the snatched, golden, and all too few moments of time between us putting her down and her waking to realize that she has been abandoned. I don’t know about you, but if my lover is urging me “faster! faster!” I’m hoping that I’m on the giving end of things and that she’s really into it, and not that I’m on the receiving end and our super mommy ears just heard the ominous intake of breath that precedes a scream of infant outrage.

No, now that Julia’s a toddler, the whole night stretches before us like a starry coverlet of velvet possibility into which we eagerly roll ourselves and… most of the time, fall asleep. But we could be having sex, and that’s the important part. Also important to note: it’s only “most of the time” now and not all of the time, as it used to be not that many months ago.

I actually think this might be the easiest time for parents to have worry-free sex. The toddler’s in a crib and can’t get out unless we get her out. She can’t ask embarrassing questions, or repeat the equally embarrassing answers to whomever will listen to her. She can’t burst in on us, and she can’t know what those sounds are that are coming through the wall, the white noise machine, and a muffling hand.

But I could be wrong. What do you think? When did your sex life return, and at what ages did it get difficult again?


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  1. All I know is that I will NEVER, in good conscience, be able to let Charlie sleep on the bed that is currently in ‘his’ room. I don’t know what we’re gonna do with that bed, but my baby is not sleeping on it. Ever.

  2. Wait a second. HOLD EVERYTHING. What is this about not having to get up six times a night with a toddler? Really? Do tell.

  3. Oz, are you trying to imply that you DO get up 6 times a night with your toddler?

    Holy CRAP! If that’s true, then that means… that means…

    Julia is continuously no longer the Worst Sleeper Ever to Interrupt a Parent’s Sleep.

    She only just started sleeping through the night at the end of December, and here I thought all the other parents of Toddlers Born August 2005 had been enjoying months and months and months of sex uninterrupted sleep.

    Of course, with your iTwins, perhaps you have other things affecting yours and Ella’s sleep…

  4. Interestingly, my son is nearing 11 months old. Aside from finding TIME for sex, I still haven’t found the ENERGY.
    Our boy sleeps the night *knocks on wood*, but in all honesty? It’s taken me 10 months to even get a hint of my libido back.
    No one told me about that.
    I hope by the time H is a toddler, my mojo will be back.

  5. Pingback: Parenting and Maternity HQ » Blog Archive » Talking About Sex at Lesbian Family

  6. I’d say 3 times a night is the norm, but 6 times a night is (unfortunately) not unusual. The newest development is that now Ella also wants to nurse every hour on the hour all day long. My 18 month old newborn. Lucky me!

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