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How We Still Fit Sex Into Our Schedule, According to 10 Busy Parents

Parents who carve out time for sex amidst the chaos that is raising kids do two big things: they get intentional and they get creative.

Quickies. Joint showers. Putting sex on the calendar. Using the Nintendo Switch to keep kids occupied. Parents who carve out time for sex amidst the chaos that is parenthood do two big things: they get intentional and they get creative. At least that’s what we learned when we asked ten busy parents: how do you manage to make time for sex? Their answers all point to the same truth: intimacy — both physical and emotional — is a bedrock of a strong relationship and it’s important to find ways to make it work. Now, yes, every couple is different and various demands are at play. But having open discussions about intimacy, locating small moments of connection, and searching for ways to include more connection in your relationship should be prioritized. They don’t find the time; they make it. Here is how these busy couples do it. 

1. We use the day for foreplay

“My husband and I work long hours, so we can’t always devote a lot of time to sex. We’re either too busy, or too exhausted. So, when we do have sex, we usually have to plan or discuss it ahead of time. During those days, we tease each other with texts and pics. Sometimes we send voice messages. It’s basically our foreplay. Even though we work hard, we’re able to maintain the intimacy and connection throughout the day, and it really pays off when we get home. When we’re texting, we’ll talk about what we want to do to each other — or what we want to have done to us — and it’s like a playbook as soon as we hit the bedroom. Spontaneous sex is great, but I do love the all day build up as a distraction from our busy lives.” – Chris, 39, South Carolina   

2. We have a calendar

“A lot of people seem to think scheduling sex takes the fun and passion out of it. But, it’s the only way we can make time for it. It’s a commitment, right? So why not treat it like an appointment and devote specific time and energy to it? We keep a Google calendar between the two of us – so the kids can’t see it – and set up invitations and reminders and stuff. And then when it’s showtime, we’re both prepared and looking forward to it because we know that, unless there’s an emergency, that time is spoken for. Scheduling sex might not seem sexy, but it’s what you do with the time that counts. Even ten minutes can be satisfying.” – Lyndsey, 35, Ohio

3. We budget for a babysitter

“All it takes is $50 a week to hire a babysitter for a night. So, we decided to factor that into our budget and go out at least twice a month. The dates are nice, but it’s the fact that the kids are in bed by the time we get home that has improved our sex life. We come home feeling good, pay the babysitter, then head for the bedroom. The kids like the babysitter. We get to have ‘date nights’ again. And we’re back to having regular sex despite our jobs and other responsibilities. It’s been a smooth system so far, to say the least.” – Dan, 36, North Carolina 

4. We signed the kids up for summer camp

“Even before COVID, my husband and I worked from home. So, during the school year it was us at home without the kids most of the time, and we’d be able to sneak in sex pretty easily. Then summer would come and they’d be around all the time. Having sex got really, really tricky. So — light bulb — we signed them up for summer camp. They were thrilled and out of the house. We still had to work, of course, but we were back on track with sex. A bonus, too – sometimes the kids would come home so exhausted from camp that we’d be able to go twice in one day when they passed out. That only happened like three or four times, but it made us feel pretty good about ourselves.” – Jenn, 38, Florida  

5. We lock the bedroom door

“Our ideal sex time is before bed. Our kids go to bed around 8-8:30, and we follow at around 9:30. So, once or twice a week, we just lock the door for a half hour and go at it. Once we’re finished, we unlock the door, and we’re back open for business. Since we started doing it, we’ve never actually been interrupted. So it’s more of a safeguard just in case. Our kids share a room, so they’re usually pretty good at keeping each other busy until they fall asleep. The locked door adds a little to it, I think, though. It’s hardly whips and chains, but it definitely helps with the ‘naughty’ vibe.” – Dylan, 39, Michigan

6. We shower together

“My wife and I are both morning people, and we both have the same basic morning routine before work. So, while our kids are getting ready for school, we’re showering. At least once a week, we hop in the shower together and have sex. I hate to say it’s a two birds/one stone thing, because that makes it sound more functional than fun, but it’s really the perfect setup. And it’s a great way to start the morning. I honestly feel like I go into work more productive and focused after we have shower sex in the morning, so I’m not shy about suggesting it if I’ve got a big meeting or presentation that day.” – Jason, 40, Pennsylvania 

7. We ignore chores

“Sometimes. Obviously we can’t live in squalor all the time. But, if the house happens to be a bit messy, and there are chores to be done, we sort of all take a break and forget about them. It’s one of the life responsibilities we  — us and the kids, that is — can let go for a day or two. So, when I tell the kids they don’t have to worry about cleaning their rooms or doing housework and can go out and play, that’s husband/wife code for, ‘Screw this mess. Let’s screw each other.’ My husband and I have always both been neat freaks, too, so this has been a great way to stretch and loosen up in a lot of ways.” – Caroline, 37, California   

8. We “warm up”

“My husband and I have taken to masturbating before sex in order to fit it in to our busy schedules. Think of it like teams warming up before a game. I’ll shower with my vibrator while he plays around in the bedroom, or something like that, and then when we see each other it’s like a tractor beam of horniness. We just jump on each other, primed and ready to go. It’s not super romantic, but for physical satisfaction it does the trick. And it’s great for most times of day. The morning, before work. Right after work. Before bed. Practice makes perfect.” – Karly, 34, Ohio

9. We bought a Switch

“No shame here. We went with good, old-fashioned screen time to zone our kids out so we could have sex more often. I wish we had some more holistic approach, but it dawned on me that I couldn’t be bothered by anything when I was playing Nintendo as a kid, so why reinvent the wheel? So now, the kids go nuts on their islands or whatever in Animal Crossing, and we sneak away for a bit to go nuts on each other. Honestly, it’s been great. We limit the time they’re allowed to play — 45 minutes each night — and they’re pretty set in their routines. Come home, homework, dinner, then video games. It’s the perfect opportunity for Mommy and Daddy to go do ‘work’ before tucking them into bed.” – Jake, 38, Connecticut

10. We play “The Quiet Game”

“My wife and I both work busy jobs, so we just do it with our kids in the house, and try to be as quiet as possible. Not in front of them, obviously, but our kids are old enough that they can be left unsupervised for a while. We’ll usually wait until they’re distracted doing homework, or watching TV, then sneak up to our room. It’s not always a quickie, either. I think the record so far has been about half an hour. Foreplay and everything, just nice and quiet. It’s a lot of panting and breathing and, honestly, it’s kind of hot.” – Marty, 35, New York