Can we talk about sex when you’re the parent of older kids?

by | May 28, 2018

My sex life has never been this hard, I swear. And I don’t mean that in a good way. There’s a lot of talk out there about the impossibility of having sex when the kids are young. You’re both too tired, the kids are demanding, yada, yada, yada.

But what about trying to have sex when the kids are older? I reckon that’s 10 times more not-going-to-happen. Here’s why:

1. Post-birds and bees talk, kids know. It’s absolutely stifling to realise that your kids know what sex is. When ours were little, they would (very) occasionally stumble in on “Mummy and Daddy hugging” and it was quickly brushed aside. We can’t risk that now.

2. They stay up so late. See above – in the interests of keeping your sex life on the lowdown, you wait until the kids are fast asleep. But they are never asleep. My eldest daughter is up until well past 11 pm most nights (please halt your judgement, we have tried to encourage her to go to sleep earlier, but she won’t).

3. They ask so many questions. Once you’ve had ‘the talk’, the tweens, who now think they are 21-years-old yet actually have the filter of a three-year-old, ask questions. While teens at least have the decency to pretend their parents had sex that one time to get pregnant with them (ignore any siblings, they are teens), tweens are suddenly very curious about every aspect of the deed and they don’t hesitate to quiz you. It puts you off having sex faster than an STI.

4. Younger kids are duly informed. My eldest two have drilled the nine-year-old in all things sex and she’s their sentry. That’s what it feels like anyway as she’s into our room complaining about ‘strange noises in the night’ the second the husband and I even think about a roll.

You might like this too: I’m fairly convinced that parenting gets easier
(Disclaimer: The author was clearly deluded when she wrote this.)


5. They are light sleepers. There is no happy moaning in our bed at night. My middle child is the lightest sleeper in the universe and I’m petrified of waking her up. Can you imagine the scenario with us going at it and the 12-year-old suddenly appearing, all eyes and horror. None of us would ever recover from that.

6. They are suspicious of everything. We tried to go away for a weekend without the kids and the teen made ‘eeeeuw’ noises so much that it put us right off. And I had a nap by myself the other weekend and my youngest kept knocking on the door asking where Dad was (not with me, as it happened). And don’t get me started on watching tele with my three know-it-alls who complain about disgusting sex every time a chaste kissing scene comes on. They’ve now got it so that every time I even peck my husband on the cheek, our youngest acts like we’re rooting in front of the family. No joke.

7. Tiredness does not end with the school years. I always thought that I’d be raring to go once I stumbled over the tiredness hurdle of the kids’ younger years. Not true. I reckon I’m tireder now than I’ve ever been. Exhaustion is a right passion-douser, isn’t it? Exhaustion for a decade kills it dead.

8. Older and flabbier. I’ve been a parent for 14 years and, believe me, the years have not been kind. You forget that when you have a newborn, you’ll never be that young again. You’re so busy focusing on the kids getting older that you forget you’re getting ancient yourself. The husband, on the other hand, has aged like a fine wine, bless him. I’m suddenly insecure about the stupid matching hypothesis for the first time in my life.

9. There is zero privacy. At least little kids don’t know what you’re talking about half the time and you can order them around somewhat. Not bigger kids – they are in on every conversation and think they own the house. There’s no opportunity to even talk about having sex, let alone actually get the deed done.

10. They have their own sex lives. I was whinging about all of the above to my mate the other day and she smashed me. She’s got older kids aged 16 through 20 years. “Ahem,” she said, shaking her head sadly. “Nothing kills your spirit for rumpy quite like knowing your kid is out there somewhere doing it too.” Spew.

How’s it (not) going for you?

Image by Michael Prewett 

Written by Bron Maxabella

Bron is the founder of Mumlyfe and is so happy to welcome you here. Bron has been writing in the Australian parenting space as Maxabella for more than seven years and is mum to three mostly happy kids and wife to one mostly happy husband. Mostly happy is a win, right?

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  1. Angela

    I married a man w 2 full time teenagers & my sex life has never been worse.

    Knowing there are teens who are awake & can hear you is a buzzkill for the ages.

    We’re close to being empty nesters and as much as I’ll miss them – I’m a little excited to know our sex life will hopefully improve. It’s been a major impediment to us having healthy intimacy.

  2. Eliza

    We’re not there yet but honestly I’ve worried about since they were toddlers. I get reminded of how gross i found /find my parents sex life and imagine that’s how they’re feeling. I wish I had some tips. Car shags? Park shags? Neither is appealing.

    • Maxabella

      Ugh, can you even imagine?



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