You wake up to the feeling of her fingers tantalizingly tracing your chest muscles, then your abs… then they’re moving lower. Even with your eyes closed, you can tell she’s ready to get something started, and you do not oppose. It’s been a long week, and you want nothing more than to start your Sunday morning the way God truly intended. She climbs atop of you and you look up into her eyes, the passion apparent. It’s about to go down! Then…

*knock knock* “MOMMMMMMMYYYYYY!!!!”

Through the closed bedroom door, you hear the demanding yell of a small child who wants his mother and some grits. You’re trying to get deep into Mommy, and he’s not interested in anything else but getting some grits and bacon deep in his stomach. In that split second, both of you try to remember if you locked the door. Upon realizing you didn’t, she’s grabbing sheets to cover herself and rolls off of you, leaving you alone pitching a tent just as the son you loved sooo much more 15 minutes ago turns the knob, runs into the room and jumps on the bed. You grab a pillow, accept defeat and look at the woman you love as she gets up and makes her way to the kitchen to make you both grits and turkey bacon. Damn.

Many parents can relate to the difficulty that comes with negotiating sex and early childhood. Parenthood is famously demanding of your time and energy. It can leave you feeling like you have nothing left to give to your lover after your child has drained you. Both men and women can become overwhelmed by the frustration that often comes with having small children in the home, and that can have a significant impact not just on your ability to have sex, but also on your overall desire to do so. Some parents even feel that they have to sacrifice the former for the latter, but that isn’t necessarily true. While tricky, you can still get it in when you have small children, whether married, in a long-term relationship, or as a single parent.

The Night Time Isn’t Always the Right Time

Until you’re able to get your children on a regular sleeping schedule, you’re going to keep odd hours yourself. If you’re used to having sex in the later evening hours, you might want to rethink that. Spontaneous sex can add excitement and keep the fire going, so don’t be afraid to capitalize on the free time you do have. Try setting the alarm 30 minutes earlier before you need to be up for the morning and squeeze in a morning quickie. Drop your child off to school or daycare and call in late to work or take the morning off. That will give you time to roll around in the bed without the fear of interruption. (It’s called “personal time” for a reason!)

Anytime, Anyplace

Who says sex only has to happen at home? Think outside of the box and the bedroom. You can find ways to be intimate in so many places that you haven’t even considered because you’re too focused on full-on intercourse. Janeesa* suggests focusing more on oral sex or using your hands to get your lover off. Both are easier and quicker and can be done in places like movie theaters or even in the car. Fooling around outside of the home is exciting and can feel like role-playing, which is also a fun way to keep things spicy between the two of you.

Darrin* has primary custody of his daughter, and has been dating his lady for almost a year. He says they work not far from each other, so they sometimes take longer lunch breaks and get a room at a nearby hotel. “We can pay by the hour, one of those places. It works though, because that adds to the [kinkiness] of it. We feel like we’re sneaking around, which adds a heightened level of excitement to the whole thing,” he says.

Distract, Then React

Ty says that he and his wife rely heavily on distracting their young son so they can have sexy time for themselves. “Sit him in his chair and give him a Kindle to watch his favorite shows, or turn on Nick Jr.,” he advises. Finding something to hold your child’s attention for just long enough to get that quickie in can work out well. He also suggests taking your children out and letting them exert enough energy that they just want to pass out when they get home. This provides a great opportunity for you to get it in, even if it’s early afternoon.

Mary* agrees. Her son is a bit older, so it’s easier to keep him distracted because his attention can be captivated for longer periods of time than a toddler’s. She says, “Distract him with something that will hold his attention and give him enough snacks and drinks to keep him satisfied.” She also reminds us to keep the noise to a minimum and lock the door.

The key thing to remember is that your sex life doesn’t have to end when you have children. Rely on family and friends to babysit and make sure you take time out for yourself. Teach your children to knock before entering, so you don’t end up in an embarrassing position fumbling for an explanation. Think beyond the “norm” and experiment with new ways in which you can nurture your sex life. It takes a bit of effort and even some occasional planning, but when your eyes roll back into your head one good time, you’ll agree it is totally worth it.

Feminista Jones is a sex-positive Black feminist, social worker and blogger from New York City. She writes about gender, race, politics, mental health and sexuality at Follow her on Twitter at @FeministaJones.