Roses and chocolates just won’t cut it anymore.
Becoming a parent just introduces this whole other level of logistics onto trying to craft spontaneous, sexy moments with your significant other. Because parents can’t jet off to Rome at a moment’s notice anymore (car pool tomorrow), and covering your bed in rose petals just feels like yet ANOTHER thing you have to clean up later. And you’re both just SO tired all the time.
How can you possibly bring your A-game to date night, if all you want to do in your hotel room is fall asleep as quickly as you can?
Cynics might try to use all that evidence to suggest that kids kill romance, but that simply isn’t true. Parents can be romantic as HELL. When you’ve gone through the trenches together — and I’m talking about the really nasty stuff like hosting a children’s birthday party together or dealing with a lice outbreak — it creates a bond that can be stronger than any form of vanilla childless-people love. It’s PARENT love. It’s weird and gross and it needs to schedule sex, but it’s there and it’s a POWERFUL connection.
Doesn’t that sound romantic?
So, no, romance does NOT die when you have kids. However, it does mean that TRADITIONAL romance doesn’t really work for parents anymore. Most parents have invented their own form of romance. New and strange things turn them on. Courting rituals that used to take weeks now take place in the 45 minutes before Kevin gets home from soccer.
If you’re a mom or dad looking to inject a little VOOM into your love life, here are 7 small, but significant gestures that should warm the heart (and raise the pulse) of any parent looking for a little romance. (People without kids — don’t judge us for our kinks.)
You handle getting up with the kids, making breakfast, everything. Want to make it even sexier? Let them sleep in on Sunday too. Want to guarantee that you’re going to get some good loving? Do it two weekends in a row, regardless of whether or not it’s your turn to sleep in. Is sleeping-in indulgent when you have kids? Hell yes, it is. But who cares? Your partner will pay back the favor ten times over when you finally get some alone-time.
Nothing is sexier than someone who’s got your back, particularly when they have your back when NO ONE else will. Yes, maybe they did promise the kids that they could watch a movie before bed, but that doesn’t matter. Why? Because, with kids, it’s always you against them and reminding your partner that you’re their trusted partner on the YOU team will only make them remember why they teamed up with you in the first place.
Sex with kids in the house is always a little risky. Locks only work so well. Walls are only so thick. So, if you really want your partner to let loose and enjoy the moment between the sheets, get the kids out of the house. Sure, you can always go to a hotel, but why not enjoy your own bed for a change? Set-up a spur-of-the-moment sleepover for the kids and your partner will definitely know what you have in mind for the night.
All too often, when parents finally get the chance to be romantic, they realize that they can’t turn their parent-brains off. They start obsessing about what needs to be done in the house, what they need from Target, etc. Cut that type-A behavior off at the pass and eliminate the distractions before you even make your “move” for the night. Empty the dishwasher, fold the laundry, pay the bills. Make sure that when you finally waggle your eyebrows that there is NOTHING else that your partner will be able to think about doing… aside from you.
Telling a loved one that they look amazing when they’re dressed up for a wedding or a fancy party means NOTHING. It’s table stakes. It’s completely expected. Instead, right when your partner is about to load the kids into the minivan for an average, ordinary school-day, stop them in their tracks and tell them, “DAMN, you look really beautiful (and/or handsome) today.” Give them some self-confidence when they’re least expecting it and they’ll love you forever.
Don’t get me wrong — kids can be assholes. But you and your partner DID decide to make them together, so, even if they’re awful, you both probably have more than a little bit of craftsman’s pride about your offspring. So, when the appropriate moment occurs, turn to your partner and say “Man, we made some pretty fantastic kids, didn’t we?” Yes, it’s sweet and nostalgic (and fairly cheesy), but showing that you have some respect for what you made together is endearing as hell and will definitely win you some brownie points.
Hide them from the kids. Keep them secret until the little ones go to bed and then bring them out as you both try to finally watch this week’s Game of Thrones before someone wakes up with a nightmare. It doesn’t even matter than chocolate is an aphrodisiac. The sheer forethought that went into you delivering secret, not-for-the-kids brownies to your partner is totally going to get you laid.