I am having one of THOSE dreams. You know the kind…mind blowing sex with the sexiest man on the planet. Barry White is playing in the background and I am about to have the “O” to end all “O’s.” Then I wake up. Ugg. Hot and bothered, I decide to gently wake my husband to see if he is at all interested in a little middle of the night ron-de-vue. I roll over in a dreamy slumber and bump right into my toddler!
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE bed-sharing. I have been doing it since the day my daughter was born. I didn’t give it a second thought really. Who wouldn’t want to snuggle next to their cuddly bundle of joy and wake up to the sweet scent of milk breath? Fast forward 29 months and my sweet toddler is still the wonderful snugglebug she was in the early weeks. I can’t get enough of her cuddles (legs wrapped around mine, hand rubbing my belly for comfort). But mama needs some action and lord knows daddy does too. So how does one “get it on ‘till the break of dawn” when you have a baby in your bed? Especially when those middle of the night dreams inspire a little spontaneous action!
For my husband and I, sex and sexual activity was easier to “do” when my daughter was under 6 months of age. She slept a lot and she slept soundly. Even if she was awake, she wasn’t paying any attention to what mommy and daddy were doing. So it was all systems go with our little angel right there. Well, sort of. I had a hard time concentrating on the task at hand when there was a bundle of love that I could reach over and snuggle. Babies have a way of distracting their mommies just by existing. But my point is – sex on the bed with a baby right there is no big deal in those early months. So have at it. And don’t worry about it. Baby isn’t getting and mental issues from it. You can always go do it somewhere else while baby is sleeping if you are concerned about imprinting.
Things changed once my daughter developed more permanent sleep habits and routines. Naps and bedtime were in our bed. She turned into the lightest sleeper on the planet. She turned into the clingiest sleeper on the planet. Seriously – to this day, she has to touch me in order to get into a sound sleep. Yeah – that makes it tough to squeeze in any action with daddy! Sex on our bed or even in our room while my Tiny was sleeping was completely out of the question. Long, involved love making sessions were also out of the question since we never knew “how long we had” until Tiny figured out I wasn’t in bed with her. So, what have we done to keep the passion alive and to keep from going AWOL with sexual frustration?
Sex on the fly. Yep – quickies. When the mood strikes, we have both learned how to make 3 minutes COUNT! To hell with foreplay. Lube up and let the games begin. Hard and fast baby! Do I leave satisfied? Hell no! Does my husband? Yep. And that is what counts at this stage in the game. I don’t have to hear whining for a week after a quickie.
Scheduled sex. Yep – let’s put it on the calendar and have the grandparents babysit Tiny. This way, we can do more than the basic in and out! You know, we might actually get to spend some time on foreplay. Here is the funny thing though. We usually end up in quickie mode because there are a million other things we want to accomplish while Tiny is out of the house for an hour. Go figure.
Sex in other rooms. Duh. If you don’t want to wake the baby or child, then don’t have sex where he or she is sleeping. Go to the kitchen counter, the washer or dryer, the bathroom, a guest room, and obviously, the couch or any floor space available. Sex is not synonymous with the master bedroom.
There doesn’t always need to be penetration. If opportunities for sex are not presenting themselves often enough for either of your tastes, then squeeze in a little extra tonsil hockey, ass grabbing, hair pulling (I KNOW I am not the only one that gets turned on by that), and erogenous zone stroking throughout the week. This might be the little pick-me-up your sex drive needs to make it until the next full on romp in the sack.
Having given you my four little tips, I must admit that our sex life has definitely changed (ok…totally diminished) since Tiny was born but my husband and I both realize that this is temporary and that in the not so distant future, we will have a little more freedom to “have at it” when the mood strikes. Until then, we do what we can to keep the romance alive and keep the endgame in sight. It makes those moments are sexual tension more manageable.
Best of luck to all you bed sharing mamas,
Jennifer, author of Hybrid Rasta Mama, lives in the Sacramento, CA area with her husband and can be found blogging about breastfeeding (especially extended breastfeeding), bed-sharing, co-sleeping, attachment parenting, cloth diapering, green living, babywearing, peaceful parenting, a Waldorf approach to education and parenting, playful parenting, getting children outside, as well as cooking and eating Real/Traditional Foods. A life-long lover of reggae music, Jennifer takes a little of this and a little of that and blends it all together into something that works for her family.