Monday, July 24, 2006

How to have children and romance?

Please note the question mark since I am still trying to figure this out. My fifth wedding anniversary falls on the 27th, which is why (along with all of Catherine's excellent reasons) I am here and thrilled about it too! My husband and I just moved to North Carolina and I don't know anyone to watch my two boys, so I will have to be creative and maintain a sense of humor. Nothing can ruin a mood quite like the shriek of "Mom-meeee, you need to wipe my hinnie!"

In my book, Jackson Corners my heroine, Isabella Roberts is a single mother looking to start a new life with toddler in a remote area of upstate New York. Besides, falling for the Carpenter next door and evading a stalker, Isabella has to juggle her career and raising her daughter.

This is nothing original for most of us. Every woman I know is beyond swamped with responsibility. What I want to know are the survival stories. What have you had to endure from kids (your own or some you borrowed )to keep a love life thriving? Or what are some cool situations you have read about? Can't wait to hear from you!

Jenn
http://www.jenhart.org/

58 comments:

Dannyfiredragon said...

Okay I am not only single but I don't have kids, but I have something else to say about kids & romance. Do you know that I know many readers, who won't read a book if there are kids mentioned especially babies.They aren't romantic for them anymore. I am not one of those, but I "test-read" certain books for a friend

Julie in Ohio said...

LOL, Jenn. This is a topic near and dear to my heart. I have three beautiful young girls who have made "romantic" evenings few and far between. :o)
DH and I wait until they go to bed. That is the best suggestion I can give you.
Well that and don't forget to lock you door. *G*

dannyfiredragon-- I don't mind books with babies. I find a man holding a baby to be sexy. It shows a tender side that is most often hidden. :o)

Cherie Japp said...

I am the mother of a toddler and am pregnant with a baby girl that is due in October. I can relate to not having much time for romance. Hubby and I try to make time for it when we can. Once a year we travel to SW Florida in June during the week of our anniversary. We leave our son with my twin sister and mother so we can go away a few days to celebrate. We also trade babysitting with one of our neighbors so that we can go out once in awhile. As for kids and babies in books it can still be romantic depending on how it is done. For instance, a hero who becomes guardian to a child or children can be a heartwarming story.

Dannyfiredragon said...

Julie,

that's so true!

Jennifer L hart said...

dannyfiredragon-

I know the readers are out there who don't like kids. It is true what they say about not pleasing all of the people, all of the time, and I guess the most we can do as writers is tell our stories and hope for the best.

Julie- Thanks for the advice and I agree with you!

cherie japp- I agree about the how it is done method. Each writer is different and each reader will have her (or his) own opion about what is sexy and what isn't.

Jennifer L hart said...

dannyfiredragon- What you are saying makes sense. As a writer I know I can't please all of the people all of the time, so I try my best to tell my story and hope it appeals to readers.

Julie- Thanks for the tip and I agree with your view of a man holding a baby.

cherie japp- Congrats on your upcoming arrival. I too think a romantic story can be made or broken by how a child falls into the mix and the ability the author has to incorporate the child into the story.

Dannyfiredragon said...

Jennifer,

the good thing is that these readers are very few, but they exist. It's always a matter of taste. I am quite open for nearly everything

Jennifer L hart said...

dannyfiredragon- I hear you. My tenth grade english teached dubbed me as someone who would "read anything that moves." (I'm still trying to figure out what that means.) I read romance, sci fi, fantasy, mystery, paranormal and historical, and to me it's all about how the plot is spun.

Joyce said...

All I can say is bedtime and naps. I know that is how I kept my sanity.

Lucy Monroe said...

I had many "dates" with dh at night after the children had gone to bed. :) Still do...though teens are not nearly so cooperative about bedtime. LOL

My sisters and I traded nights out as well, but even an enthralling video and a locked door can make for some tension spiked private time. :)

kim said...

i am single and that is true danny.

readingissomuchfun said...

Hello Lucy & EveryOne,

Ok let me try this again. I had posted this before but I kept getting an error on page not being found *Sighs* I hope it goes through this time.

My fiance and I do not have kids right now or should I say *Yet* LoL. But I will be glad to take any advice's for now. I also agree with Julie. Wait till the kids are alseep *G*

Congrad's Cherie *It's A Girl*


HUGSSSS
Linda.H.

robynl said...

1) lock bedroom door
2) lock computer room and have fun on dh's computer chair
3) go for a car ride
4) pretend something is needed at convenience store and go for a ride
* along with dh came 2 teenaged boys 13 and 15.

ShelMel said...

LOL - My husband and I are grateful for date nights when the boys are at their grandparents getting spoiled beyond belief. And all I can say is, "Thank God for bedroom door locks!"

Cherie Japp - Congratulations on your upcoming new addition. I'm due in Sept. but will probably have it earlier than that... long story.. :)

Dannyfiredragon said...

Jennifer, I am bookworm since the first moment that I learned to read. LOL. Beside of romance books I love Historical and Fantasy books

Julie in Ohio said...

I think there is a sense of danger when it comes to locked doors. :P

When you have kids around, you have to get your thrills where and when and how you can. :o)

Jennifer L hart said...

Thanks everyone! I guess I need to get my bedroom door to shut correctly asap!

By the way, I'm feeling a little dense today since I'm short on coffee so could someone define dh for me?

readingissomuchfun said...

LoL Robynl. Great Idea's *G*

I will keep those in mind when i do have kids of my own :-)


HUGSSSS
Linda.H.

bluecitybabe said...

Oh I definatley need a lock on the bedroom door.Lets just say that I forgot myself one night and my son came in moments later and wanted to know what was wrong.My DH said that I'd had a bad dream and was shouting out in my sleep!!

bluecitybabe said...

Jennifer, DH can be dear/darling husband.

Jennifer L hart said...

bluecitybabe- Thanks! Now I don't feel like such a spaz.

And I'm sorry about the yahoo promotions which piggybacked my emails.

Rachael said...

Well I don't have any kids with my fiance but here's a story about something that happened to us while babysitting for his cousin's kid.

My fiance's cousin and his wife went to a wedding in Virginia for the weekend, so we offered to babysit and house sit. Their kid is 5 yrs old and her name is Crystal.

My fiance can go a whole weekend when we're home without sex. BUT for some reason, while we are at someone else's house, he can't wait for sex.

So we put Crystal to bed, had some wine, put on some music, and took off our clothes. We were in the moment when I heard Crystal knocking at the door. My fiance gets dressed and goes out to see what's wrong.

Crystal wet the bed. It stunk so bad. Smelled like a man pee'd on it. I had to get up and clean up Crystal and change her clothes. My fiance changed the linens.

We go back in the room. We take off our clothes and go back to where we left off. Crystal knocks on the door. She wants water. I tell my fiance I think that's a bad idea. She will end up peeing the bed again. He disagrees and gives her the water. She goes back to bed.

We start arguing about whether it was right or wrong to give her water before going to bed. We never finish having sex. I get pissed off and go to sleep. The next morning, Crystal's bed was wet again. I told my fiance ''I told you so.''

bluecitybabe said...

Jennifer, you're not a spaz at all. do you know that only this week I plucked up the courage to ask what LOL and ROFLMAO were?

bluecitybabe said...

Rachael, do you think that your baby sitting experience will effect your choices about starting a family?

Maureen said...

An early bedtime and a good lock on your bedroom door should give you some time together.

Rachael said...

Well I want to have children, but I might wait a while longer now. Yeah the babysitting did effect me in a negative way. I've babysat for other people since, and I still haven't changed my mind. I love babies, I love holding them, taking care of them, but then I want to give them back to the mother. I don't want to hold the crying, screaming baby. I want to hold the cute, sweet, non pooping baby! LOL I will have kids one day. One day a long long long time from now! LOL

Jennifer L hart said...

Rachel- Excellent story thanks so much for sharing!

Just remember it is so different when it is your own children (although no less frustrating.)You'll know when the time is right for you and in the mean time enjoy leaving the bedroom door wide open!

bluecitybabe said...

Ah Rachael, that's the baby we all want!! My two are like the naughty twins from Desparate Housewives. I don't know where they came from!!Needless to say..there wont be any more coming to my house.good idea to wait.Enjoy your time together.ALONE.

Rachael said...

Hi Jennifer! Glad you liked my story. Well I hope when I have a child, that their pee won't reek like a man! I think that child needs to drink more water!

Rachael said...

Blue City Babe:
I will have the first baby ever that doesn't cry, scream and poop!

Kelley said...

My hubby and I spend time together once the little one goes to sleep. My sister has kept her over night once and she did great. I need to do it again soon. My hubby and I had such a great night. It was just like it had been before we got married, had a child, and piled up waaay too many bills.

Jennifer Y. said...

Danny: my mom is one of those that will only read a romance if there are kids, babies, or a pregnant heroine involved...not sure why. I always tell people that if they want my mom to buy their book, put a kid, pregnant woman, or baby on the cover.

I'll read pretty much anything.

readingissomuchfun said...

LoL Rachael goodluck on having a baby that doesn't cry, scream or poop. *G* I think we all would like a child like that LoL

HUGSSSS
Linda.H.

Jodi said...

Good topic. I need some more ideas. We try the door lock sometimes. My oldest daughter (age 4) still gets up in the middle of the night and crawls into our bed.
My DH won't let anyone babysit our kids except my parents! He's too protective of them and refuses to let them spend the night even!
I need help! Our life has definitely changed since having kids!

Jennifer Y. said...

Rachael: I think those type of children are called dolls...they don't cry, poop, or scream...LOL. Although, they are making some interesting dolls nowadays that can do those things.

I don't have any children, but I do have 5 nephews and nieces that I have watched. I have never seen kids with so much energy!

Jennifer L hart said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Julie in Ohio said...

ROFL, Jenn!
The answer to your question is hide the body...and I don't mean your body. :o)

Speaking from too much experience in this department...you duck down under the blankets and don't move a muscle. When the child comes close to the bed, you have significant other roll over and you hide behind him and let him handle child. The reason is the children are used to seeing a man without a shirt on but not mommy. :o)

My daughters (all three and my youngest is four years old) have learned to pick locks. When they come across a door that is locked, they have no problem picking it. Hence the reason behind waiting until said children are asleep. :o)

Rachael said...

I guess I will be buying a doll when I decide I want a baby. LOL

Julie in Ohio said...

That's not fair, Jenn.
I go to answer your question and you delete it.

BTW, the question was "what do your lovely child interrupts you and loved one?"

Jennifer L hart said...

Sorry everybody, I'm having some technical difficulties and I accidentally deleted that post. The pop quiz question was What do you do if a child walks in on you and you're honey?

Pam G said...

My children are 14 and 21, and the only time we were walked in on was when my son was sleep walking. He doesn't remember anything, thank goodness!

Just to irritate my 14 yr old dd, my dh and I will go into our bedroom, lock the door, start jumping up and down on the bed and make loud moaning noises. She can't stand that! She's very nosy and doesn't knock before entering, so we're trying to make her paranoid.

This isn't about sex, but it is funny.
My dh was keeping my dd while I was working one day. He is VERY modest, (wears underwear and short pants to bed in case of fire or such,) but was worried that she would hurt herself while he was using the bathroom. She was around 2 yrs. old. So, he's standing there, doing his business at the toilet, and all of the sudden her head pops up between his legs! She has one arm hooked around his leg, looks up at him and says, "What cha doin' Daddy?" He peed on the ceiling!

I thought I would die laughing when he told me. Needless to say, he never left the bathroom door unlocked after that.

A few nights later, when I was taking my shower, she came in the bathroom and said, "Mom, look at me!" I looked and she was standing at the toilet, peeing into it! "I can do it like Daddy!" And she didn't get any on the floor. I guess she had been practicing. She was just tall enough to make it.

Pam G

Jenn said...

My husband and I grab whatever time we can. I have three young children and my husband and I work opposite schedules most of the week. We make time for each other whenever we can.

Heather Harper said...

I have three young children.

The last time I tried to work on my WIP during the day, my two smallest ones found the scissors and cut each others hair.

At least they didn't cut each other and get hurt.

rachd said...

Ah, yes, romance and small children, LOL. You know, I have often said it is a wonder there are not more only children in this world...=)

We either ask the in-laws to keep the munchkins for an overnight, or just wait until they are in bed, sleeping (sleeping is the key here!).

bamabelle said...

I have two children ages 6 and 4, and also care for my Grandma who has Alzheimer's disease. Needless to say, my husband and I do not get too many romantic nights out on the town. We did have date nights up until my Grandma came to live with us, but that is harder now. I'm glad that we made the decision for her to live with us, but it is rough at times. Yesterday, we actually had a day out with the kids. We were at an IMAX theatre and the movie had gotten very loud. My four year old was trying to tell me something, but I could not hear him. About the time the movie turned quieter, he yelled that he really had to go poopy. Everyone in the movie heard and laughed. I laughed too, because what else is there to do lol?

Jennifer L hart said...

Bamabelle, I have a story which will mortify my husband but I'm going to tell it anyway.

When Scott my DH was about four his family took him to Christmas Mass. The Church was all quite and as the priest ask for everyone to pray, little Scotti shouted out "Is that God up there?"

Veronica said...

I do not have any children of my own. Though from family and friends I have learned that you have to take time for each other. Do something special for your spouse or significant other every once in a while. Set aside a night even if it is just once a month to go out and be alone.

Jennifer L hart said...

It looks like babysitting is my best option. I guess I need to get my pasty self out from behind the computer and meet some people in the neighborhood, since my nearest realitives are over 300 miles away!
If you don't hear from me it means I went outside and instantly crumbled into dust! ;)

Becky said...

I am single and too young for kids. lol I don't even want to think about kids at 19. Anyways, I usually bypass books that have kids in them because the romance between the man and woman just isn't the same if there is a child in the picture. On the reare occasion that I have read a book with a child in it the parents would sometimes go on a holiday and have a relative take care of the baby for a few day or wait until the kids go to sleep and then have some fun. lol

Chantal said...

Ohh, I love books that have kids or babies in them. Maybe cause I have 3 kids?!
Our kids are 8, 3 and 6 months. When we need time alone to do what adults do we tell the kids that we are wrapping birthday/Christmas presents so they should go watch TV. Then we have sex with the pillow over my head so they don;t hear anything and start knocking on the door, lol.
Luckily my kids are in bed at 8 every night, and they all sleep through the night..it gives DH and I plenty of time for ourselves.

mammakim said...

Well I have three kids. I have been married for 17 years. We still have the romance but... Nothing ruins it more than a sleepwalking kid. LOL Yeah and no lock as my house was built in 1918. Not that he saw anything but now there is that paranoia every time we go in the bedroom. We push the dresser in front of the door.. haha sad but ... I gues you do what you gotta do.

Brandy said...

I agree with the door locking issue! Be really tricky and unlock the door afterward though, saves those nosey questions!

Cryna said...

When my son and daughter were little, I remember one time when my husband and I were getting romantic in our room. We had not shut the door and at a crucial moment, our son who was then maybe 3 came into the room, climbed up on the bed and asked if he could play too. My husband bless his heart just calmly said no son not tonight, but lets get you a drink and then it is back to bed for you. I am sure he never saw anything, but talk about a killer of romance. We shut the door after than..............

bluecitybabe said...

I remember when I was about 8 or 9 I went round to see my friend one morning.but she wasn't home so I went back to my home and couldn't get in.I knocked on the front door and eventually my Dad came down.I couldn't for the life of me understand why they had gone back to bed in the middle of the day.When I think about it now I can't believe that I was so innocent!!

Tee said...

I only have one child and still find it hard for romance. We cannot plan anything also. I find surprising DH during the weekend is great. I have gone as far as to have a meal ready to be re heated and had a candle light dinner at two in the morning. We might be really tired the next day but neither of us are complaining. Good Luck and Happy Anniversary!

Louise Kovacs said...

Isn't this a contradiction in terms - lol

Amy said...

I don't have children but I started reading Harlequin Romances as a child of 11. I got my love of reading from my mom but she is more of a steven king and dean koontz fan. I have been reading romance books for 25 years now and I have loved every minute of it. I love all kind's of story line's and to me the one's with children just add more to the story.

Meg Allison said...

Oh, I'm LOL at some of these stories! (GGG)

We have five children, ages 6-15. My dh's favorite saying: "Children are the best birth-control." ;)

But seriously, a good lock on the bedroom door and some creative thinking & planning goes a long way to keeping the romance alive.