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We’ve raised kids so we know sex is not always easy or convenient when you have small children. Bedtime with small children is often like the whack-a-mole game … as soon as you get one down another pops up. But there are things you can do to be proactive in your privacy while having small children. Here are a few things that might help.

1) PUT A LOCK ON YOUR DOOR: If the door is locked, you will feel far more relaxed and much less inhibited. Or for those with teens and not small children, just yawn and say, “We’re tired and headed to bed, don’t forget to turn off the TV when you go to bed,” and then lock the door behind you. (You might even need to put a noisy fan by the door.) What ever you choose to do, make privacy a priority.

2) DON’T LET YOUR CHILDREN ALWAYS SLEEP IN YOUR BED: If they show up at 3 a.m. because they’re scared, that’s one thing, but letting them start out in your bed every night isn’t healthy for your marriage or your love-life.

3) TRY SOMETHING NEW: We are creatures of habit, and once we find something we like, we return to it again and again … until we’re tired of it. So don’t always do everything the same way every time. Instead try something or some place new. Sometimes the same old routine can make it feel more like a chore than a pleasure. The word “boring” or “routine” should never be a part of your sex life. Make it fun.

4) SAY NO TO SOME OUTSIDE THINGS: If your daily schedule leaves you so exhausted that you collapse in bed every night with no time or energy for your spouse, then you SERIOUSLY need to re-prioritize your life. Say no to a few things if possible.

5) TURN IT OFF TO TURN IT ON: After you get the kids down, turn off all electronic devices—that includes the telephone, TV, video game, computer, cell phone, etc.

6) SCHEDULE INTIMACY: The reason we use a calendars is to carve out time for the things that matter, that should include time with your spouse. If the kids are at school, and you can workout scheduling a meeting at home, do it.

7) FLIRT VIA TEXT MESSAGE: Use your phone to tell flirt with your spouse. Tell them you can’t wait until you can be together. It builds anticipation.

8) DATE ONCE A WEEK: Line out a baby-sitter so you can get out there and have a little fun. If you can’t afford a childcare, ask another couple with kids to watch your kids one night so you can go out on a date, and then you watch their kids the next.

9) GIVE YOUR CHILDREN A ROUTINE BEDTIME: This is an important rule to have as a parent. Not only will it allow your child to get a good night sleep, but it will allow parents to enjoy alone time without children fighting for their attention.

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