I have had a lot of people ask me the personal question, “How do you have sex with teenagers in the house?” I really don’t mind the question and it always brings a smile to my face. It warms my heart that others see my husband David and I as a couple that is still intimate. And with your teens, I think that is where it begins: the appearance of intimacy.
David and I hold hands everywhere we go. We sit on the couch together, right next to each other. We turn on a favorite song and slow dance or take advantage of a melody Lilly plays on the piano. We spontaneously kiss as I do the dishes or David is doing a project. We whisper sweet nothings in each other’s ears and giggle, loudly sometimes. We let the children know it is okay for us to have inside jokes. We spend time each day after David has greeted the family, just the two of us chatting, letting the children know our relationship is important. We aren’t trying to gross them out, but we are okay with them understanding, we are attracted to one another and we were made to be sexual human beings. We both grew up with parents modeling they were in love which has helped us immensely with our own family.
In our house, with the ages of our children living at home ranging from 4-23, there is almost always someone up until the wee hours of the morning and then again at the crack of dawn-usually different children-but they are always up! So waiting to spend time with my husband until everyone is tucked in bed is not an option.
If you read my earlier post on special dates ( http://lifefullyloaded.com/2013/05/21/make-it-special/ ) then you already know we spend a weekend discussing sexuality with our children when they turn 13. So opening the door to healthy dialogue and questions, along with an understanding that we view sex as a very good thing- HELPS! An experience happened about four years ago that paved the way for a more relaxed approach to intimacy in our house.
All of our children were home, including our now daughter-in-law. The littles were in bed and all of the older children, ages 14 and up, were waiting to watch a movie. I said I was going to go “tuck their Dad in bed [I am a night owl, he is not] and visit with him a little and maybe join them later.” David and I were “visiting” and Lilly came to see if we had the VCR remote. She didn’t knock and even though the door was locked, her forceful knock and push of the knob elicited a loud and forceful shriek with a “Don’t come in here!” A bit later in the evening I decided to venture downstairs and join them. They were well into their movie and as I snuggled down in my chair, fits and starts of giggles erupted. “What? What’s so funny?” I inquired. Giggle, giggle, laughter everywhere, followed in unison by simultaneous mockery from various children. “What? What? ‘Oh, oh, don’t come in here. Step away from the door. Don’t come in here.’ We know what you were doing.” Ha ha ha ha ha! Or at least they were amused! 😊
So we decided to just go with it. Laughter seemed to be good medicine for the situation. We sleep with our door open, so now if one of my big kids is moseying by our room and the door is shut, they know not to knock unless there is trauma or fire. They understand if the door is shut, we are having private time. It doesn’t necessarily mean we are being intimate, but it does mean we are carving out our alone time.
Some of you may be thinking, oh, but I would still be too self-conscious. Turn on Pandora, a CD, the radio, a white noise machine. If it is getting late, I also am not afraid to say to my older children, Dad and I could really use some alone time, stay off the second floor (we have a three story house and the big kids’ rooms are not on our floor) for the next hour. I think establishing you are a couple and your relationship has important needs that require attention is vital in the life of a family.
Now, we do get a chuckle because sometimes when we are already in bed, reading and chatting, occasionally one of the bigger kids will walk by and say, “Would you like me to shut the door for you?” 😜
Note: This was written almost three years ago and never posted. The children are now almost 7-28. We are in a different house now with the sleeping quarters all on the same level, but it still has three floors. I would say I still find this post to be true, but I would add one other “suggestion”. Take advantage of teenage or adult drivers. Recently when Grace was home for a visit and almost everyone else was at their Saturday morning martial arts class, we spontaneously arranged an early lunch date for Grace and her youngest sister Lydia. Grace didn’t mind and I figure we will readily be babysitting her future little bambinos some day. And when that day comes, we don’t need to know whether they are doing their taxes or taking quality time for one another- though I recommend the latter 😉