How to be intimate with your partner … without freaking out your kids

When I was growing up this was how we knew my parents were about to have sex:

The weekend would find us (my siblings, parents and me) all sitting in the living room. Apropos of nothing, dad would do a big stretch, yawn in exaggerated fashion, and announce to the room: ‘I am going to lie down’. And off he’d go. Five minutes later mum would quietly announce ‘I am going to lie down too’ and make her own graceful exit from the room. Then we’d hear the click of their bedroom door being locked.

What does this have to do with what I am talking about today? Very little but hopefully it’s caused any family members who might be reading to run screaming from this post, hands clapped over their ears singing la la la laaaaa.

The single thing I most disliked about my recent pregnancy was the way it interfered with intimacy.

And by intimacy I don’t just mean mummy and daddy’s special cuddles. I mean the simple act of touching the people I love.

(This is the point where my family (why are you still here?!) and friends may have a little laugh because I am famous for not being a big kisser/hugger/toucher. But I am very affectionate with the people that share a house with me.)

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During this last pregnancy I got big so early my only opportunity for intimacy soon became limited to sticking my finger into the plumber’s crack my hubby exhibited whenever he bent over. While there is immense satisfaction in watching a 200cm man perfectly execute a complex jump > pirouette > death stare combination in quick succession (high five honey!), it’s not really my idea of intimacy.

My giant belly meant that the simple pleasures of spooning on the couch which watching tv, or even just an honest to god hug, were denied to me.

And I found it so interesting to see how emotionally bereft I felt at the physical disconnection. And it wasn’t just from hubby either. Mr 3 loves hugs, sitting on my lap while I am on the computer and cuddles when he is upset.

I couldn’t do any of these things for the majority of my pregnancy and as the nine month mark approached I felt like I was imprisoned in a castle. That was surrounded by a moat. Patrolled by crocodiles.

Not cool at all.

So since Mia was born and the giant belly disappeared I have taken great delight at the re-introduction of intimacy into my life.

When Mia buries her head into my neck after a feed, the warmth of her breath on my skin is like silk and I glory in it.

When Jaden gets home from day-care he lets me squeeze him so tight he has cause to roll his eyes. I just adore it.

And of course I warmly welcome back both mummy and daddy’s special cuddles, and mummy and daddy’s special cuddles.

And I have cause to reflect on what a shame it is that before this last pregnancy I had no concept of how important intimacy and touch were to feeling truly connected to those I love. As is always the case with me, I had to learn the hard way.

But happily it’s a lesson I won’t need to be taught again.

Game to share? Tell us whether your mum and dad had a sex signal when you were growing up. (Ed's note: Mine always locked the door on Sunday mornings and we were under threat of death not to disturb them. Ahhhh, so that's why they sent us to Sunday school when they weren't religious ... )

Kelly Exeter  writes at kellyexeter.com.au. Are you tired of being stressed out and over-committed then join her in her quest for a life less frantic. You can subscribe to her blog posts here, follow her on facebook here, and of course there is always twitter.

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