Yesterday afternoon, my work-at-home-husband sent me a text saying he had washed and changed the sheets on our bed -- and just like that, I wanted to rush home and jump him. It just sounded so sexy. There's something about clean sheets and being naked with the man I'm crazy about. He totally knows this, too, which is why he sent the text. He was flirting.
We believe kids need to see their parents being affectionate. It helps them feel secure, helps them identify appropriate physical expressions of affection and demonstrates that there is nothing shameful or gross about physical touch. It's not uncommon for one of our six daughters to comment that they've seen us kiss "like, a million times today" -- and not just quick, nearly platonic pecks, but deep, lingering kisses too. They tell us they like seeing that we're still in love. But there are healthy boundaries, too. Hand-holding, embracing, cuddles, kissing and that sort of thing are fine for kids to witness, but we draw the line there. We can grope each other in private. Providing we get some privacy. That can be the real trick.
Which means that with kids around, my husband and I have to get creative with how we flirt, communicate desire and find privacy. And it's amazing the things we now find to be quite flirtatious and sexy. My husband knows how to get me hot and bothered, and while some of the old favorites that worked before kids are still tantalizing, our flirting repertoire has expanded as our family has grown.
It turns out we're not alone. Last week, hanging out at a parenting conference in Denver, my husband and I did a talk on sex after baby and asked not only whether people's flirting changed after they had kids, but also what really helped them get in the mood now that they were parents. It was unanimous: Before having kids, there were some tried-and-true tactics for flirting and indicating desire. After having kids, "I did the dishes" was even better than any of those.
Before kids, couples find their own special sweet nothings to whisper into each other's ears, and play with innuendos or direct suggestions to get in the mood. It's fun, it's sweet, it's romantic and it's sexy. Add kids into the mix, and things change a bit; what used to be mundane, boring or average-sounding activities take on a whole new meaning. Sweet nothings turn into sweet somethings, and before you know it, your sexting looks more like this:
- I took a shower today, I'm all clean, feels so nice.
- I got dressed, like in real clothes.
- Shaved my legs finally, I feel like a woman again.
- The baby's asleep in the co-sleeper! Shall I meet you on the couch?
- Are the kids asleep? I just finished the dishes and the kitchen is clean.
- I washed the breast pump parts and put them away.
- So I figured out that the baby monitor will work in the minivan, want to test that theory with me?
- Quick, the kids are all in their own beds!
- I thought I would take the kids to the park so you could take a nap this afternoon.
- All done pumping, the boobs aren't going to leak anytime soon.
- Finally did the laundry, your pretty panties are clean.
- Stopped by the store and picked up some nipple cream for you.
- Why don't you get her to bed and I'll change into a spit-up free top?
- No yoga pants today; I'm all dressed up wearing a skirt.
- Why don't I put the kids to bed while you take a bath and have a glass of wine?
- The kids are all occupied with a movie, want to come find me for some "coffee"?
- My parents wanted to have the kids come sleep over this weekend.
- If you make dinner, I'll take a shower and do some grooming. *wink wink*
- I checked, we can just drop junior off for the birthday party, we don't have to stay.
- Costco had lube on sale.
- Good Night, Moon.
- Tonight I'll get up with the baby so you can sleep.
- I hid some chocolate in the pantry for you.
Attendees of our talk all agreed that while things changed, it wasn't necessarily for the worse. In fact, some found they enjoyed sex more after having children and found their partner even more attractive.
Even with the spit-up on their shoulder.