Have you ever noticed how sneaky parents can be when it comes to doing the deed that made them parents in the first place?
They wait until the kids are asleep and the house is all quiet or everyone’s away for the weekend. Whatever it takes to avoid suspicion that Mom and Dad do, in fact, still have a sex life.
That’s because none of us want what happened to Kelly Ripa last week to happen to us.
The popular talk show host was mortified when her adult daughter popped the bedroom door open early Sunday morning and found her parents celebrating Father’s Day a little early.
And this, despite the fact the family was entertaining houseguests at the time.
Some fans rolled their eyes and suggested Ripa and her husband should get a lock for their bedroom door — or at least make sure the lock they have is actually working.
While I agree that what happened was far from ideal, I still admire the intentionality with which Ripa was nurturing her marriage and commend her for prioritizing her husband in that way.
Having a child barge in during a time of intimacy is embarrassing. But it’s not the end of the world.
Put the Incident in Context
Which is worse? For a teen to glimpse proof that her parents still love each other? Or for her to grow up under the impression that being married means living a life of celibacy?
I can almost guarantee Ripa’s 18-year-old daughter has seen more flesh in movies and TV shows or on beaches and billboards than she spotted when she accidentally walked in on her parents, who were undoubtedly scrambling for cover the moment they heard the door crack.
As for locks preventing such embarrassing situations, I can attest from experience that locks sometimes fail. It’s rare, but it has been known to happen.
That was the case at our house a few years ago when our adult children came home for the holidays. My husband and I got up at 5 AM to do a little early morning celebrating ourselves on Christmas Eve.
Like Ripa’s family, we had a few houseguests at the time. But not a creature was stirring in those pre-dawn hours, so we thought we’d be in the clear.
No sooner had we gotten down to business than we heard a knock at our bedroom door. “Who is it?” my husband called in a whispered voice, a question our 23-year-old son mistook for “Come in.” So he did.
Doing What Married Couples are Meant to Do
As is our habit, we had flipped the trusty latch on our bedroom door beforehand. These flip-locks are the first things I install whenever we move to a new house. We like the fact we can tell from across the room whether the door is locked or not. The little brass hinges have served us well for over three decades now.
Unfortunately, the lack of light in our bedroom that morning kept us from noticing that the locking mechanism wasn’t properly engaged. So when our son leaned into the door, it immediately gave way.
My husband and I yelped in surprise when the door popped open and sought refuge beneath our quilts.
In the dim light, it’s unlikely our son spotted anything too disturbing. As a fourth-year medical student in the middle of his clinical rotations, he’d already examined far more naked bodies far more closely than he glimpsed ours in the 1.5 seconds we were exposed.
But it was embarrassing, nonetheless.
And the experience prompted me to tuck an extra gift into my husband’s Christmas stocking the following morning. An insurance policy of sorts.
In an effort to prevent any future interruptions, I painted a door hanger to forewarn potential intruders. It reads simply: “Please do not disturb. Mom & Dad are at it again.”
5 Advantages to Being Candid about Your Love Life
Perhaps you think it crass to let your children know what goes on behind closed doors. But consider the benefits we’ve enjoyed as a result of being more candid about such matters with ours:
It allows for greater spontaneity
No more sneaking around so nobody will know what you and your spouse are up to. With one of our handy signs, the two of you can retire to the privacy of your bedroom whenever the mood hits, and your children will know to leave you alone.
It nurtures marriage relationship
Don’t let your marriage languish from neglect. It requires time and intentionality to nourish your relationship to your spouse properly. A “Do Not Disturb” sign can help you carve out time to reconnect regularly.
It maximizes energy reserves
Lock that bedroom door while you still have the strength to do something behind it. Waiting for the kids to fall asleep is not a sustainable strategy. The older they get, the later they stay up. Even if you’re able to outlast them, once they finally do turn in, you’ll be too exhausted to do anything but go to sleep yourself.
It minimizes feelings of resentment
Never make your mate compete with your children for your affection. Focusing on your kids 100% of the time isn’t good for anybody. So hang a sign on your door, throw the latch, and give your spouse a daily dose of your undivided attention.
It encourages kids to wait for marriage
I want the kind of marriage that makes my children want to get married themselves. The kind of happy, loving, mutually supportive relationship that convinces them sex really is worth waiting for — because it is.
Study after study has shown that married, religiously devout couples have the most frequent and satisfying sex. That has certainly been true for us. Why would we hide that fact from our children?
So, parents, are your ready to stop being sneaky? One of the best things you can do for your children is to let them know how much you love them and love one another… then lock them out of the bedroom to prove it.
Would you like a “Do Not Disturb” sign to hang on your own door? We have ten different printable designs to choose from. Get yours FREE by clicking this link: