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Everybody knows that once you and your spouse have kids, sex becomes a challenge. There’s no time, you’re exhausted, and demanding little people keep barging in on you. Sex seems impossible.
Now imagine trying to have sex with someone who isn’t your husband.
My husband and I split in 2007 after more than 10 years of being together. My oldest daughter was 6 and my twins were 3.
I met my now boyfriend of 8 years — Scott — shortly thereafter, on JDate.
For three months, we did nothing more than chat online, until we finally met for coffee. We didn’t date, but we did become great friends. He gave me dating advice (the rare times I needed it) and we talked about our writing and bad dates.
Then one day he caught me by surprise — and kissed me. The next thing I knew, we were making out on someone’s lawn till 3 a.m.
You’d have thought I hadn’t been kissed in decades it was so good. And it occurred to me. I really hadn’t.
We went on like this for months.
He had roommates so we didn’t go to his place very often. And of course, I had roommates too. Only mine were shorter, and far less understanding.
We made out in parking garages, restaurant bathrooms and the back of my car. Once we were in the back of my car for so long, my battery died. Fortunately, one of the perks of having a sex life as a grown woman is having a spacious SUV and AAA.
After about six months of this, I finally introduced him to my children. Not as my boyfriend. Just as a friend. And they bought it.
Now that we were able to hang out at the house we had a new home base. The kids were young and went to bed early. We snuck down to my basement where we’d be alerted to any child’s oncoming presence by the creaky wooden stairs.
After a year or so, Scott and I told my children, “We have decided to be boyfriend and girlfriend!” And they were happy. Thankfully. They adored him, which was good. Because so did I. But we did not want them to see us sleeping together.
The maneuverings that went down in my house in the name of sex would impress James Bond. There were so many potential landmines:
First, the middle-of-the-night intrusions: “I need water,” “I don’t feel well,” or just “my blanket fell off my bed.” (The irony that they would get out of bed to walk to my room to alert me to this was not lost on me.)
Each intrusion would be preceded by an oncoming thumping down the hallway followed by a burst through my unlocked bedroom door — causing Scott to perform a drop and roll under the bed in the dark.
Then there was the Mommy Express: A morning ritual my kids routinely performed marching in a line toward my bedroom shouting, “Here comes the Mommy Express!” as they burst through my door. Thankfully, the loud thumping of the kids jolted us awake and gave Scott time to hide in my closet.
Scott spent more time in the closet than anyone else in L.A., which is saying a lot.
At Scott’s urging I eventually installed a lock on my bedroom door so they couldn’t bust in on us.
This perplexed and irritated my kids.
So now when they wanted me in the middle of the night there’d be a persistent knocking at the door interspersed with “Mom!” Knock, Knock, Knock. “MOM!” Knock, Knock, Knock. “MOOOOOOOMMMM!!!” Until I got out of bed and let them in — giving Scott time to get to his hiding spot behind my wrap dresses.
Mornings were trickier. I would have to distract the kids in the kitchen so Scott could sneak down the stairs and go outside, where he would turn around and ring the bell. The kids would be so happy to see him, they wouldn't notice he was wearing the same outfit as the day before.
“Scott! What are you doing here!”
“I just couldn’t wait to see you guys!” he would say. Ben and Livi would dance around with joy and invite him in for Cheerios.
One morning, Scott and I must have been a little too loud because we didn’t hear the feet padding across the hallway to my door:
Knock, knock, knock.
Ben: “Scott??? Are you in there??”
Scott: (both of us wide-eyed!) “I’m downstairs Ben!” There was a beat or two, but sure enough, we could hear little feet headed downstairs and Ben’s retreating voice calling “SCOoooooooooottt?”
Thank God little kids are stupid.
After six years together, Scott, the kids and I officially moved in together and all of the machinations came to an end.
Scott and I have been together now for almost eight years and the kids are old enough to understand all of the ways he is a part of our lives. They know he’s my boyfriend, my best friend, and their best friend too. There’s no more need for intrigue. And it’s a huge relief.
I feel lucky.
But, speaking of lucky, that’s why we keep an industrial strength bolt on our bedroom door.
Sarah Maizes is a mom of three and author of "On My Way to the Bath," and a comedian, blogger, and parenting humorist. You can find her procrastinating on Facebook or subscribe to her blog www.SarahMaizes.com.