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Stay-At-Home Dad: ‘Genius’ floor plan provides good sound barrier

Updated: November 22, 2012 6:12AM



I’d like to thank whoever designed my house for the layout. The kitchen may be smaller than I’d like, and I’d prefer an open floor plan to our labyrinth of little rooms. But having the kids’ bedrooms upstairs is genius.

The Wife and I sleep downstairs. This means not having to tiptoe around the house after bedtime. It also means that she and I can have some fun in the downstairs bedroom without waking the kids or being interrupted.

Not everyone is so lucky. Many houses have the bedrooms grouped together upstairs. I know of one couple who installed thick, R-50 insulation to the interior walls of their bedroom during a recent renovation. This was solely intended to deaden the sound between their room and the adjacent kid’s room.

Another parent once lamented a remodeling project that transformed his master bedroom into a loft. Without walls, he and his wife could be heard throughout the house. The result was regular romps in the their minivan, home office and even hotels.

“I do more sneaking around now in my 40s than I ever did as a teenager,” he said.

But all that sneaking around is largely unnecessary, said Dr. Trina Read. The Canadian sexologist and author of “Till Sex Do Us Part: Make Your Married Sex Irresistible” said it’s OK for children to have an idea of what happens in their parents’ bedroom.

“Parents naturally assume that if their children learn they are sexual beings, they will be negatively affected by that, but that’s simply not the case,” Read said.

Now parents shouldn’t strut around in kinky lingerie or talk in graphic detail about sex around their children. But teaching kids to stay out of mom and dad’s bedroom before 7 a.m. on Saturday morning is perfectly acceptable. Even witnessing a
bit of innocent groping can be healthy, Read said.

“It’s important for kids to see that mom and dad are in love,” she said, adding kids who know their parents have sex grow up to have better sexual self-esteem.

But shouldn’t that squeaky mattress or loose headboard be replaced?

“It depends on the age of the kids. If they are young, they won’t understand. If they are teenagers, it depends on the parents’ comfort level. It comes back to the false perception that we harm our kids by letting them know we are sexual,” Read said.

Unfortunately, many couples stop simply having sex altogether for fear of being found out. This is a big mistake, as sex is an important part of staying connected to your partner, Read said.

For those worried about being overheard, she suggested placing a loud humidifier near the door or using a radio or television to mask any noise.

“I think this is really one of those times where parents need to stick together and be a team,” Read said.

Despite everything Read said, I’m content to keep my bedroom downstairs. Though, I’m beginning to question why my in-laws consistently travel with a white-noise machine.

Howard A. Ludwig is a former SouthtownStar business reporter who traded his reporter’s notepad for a diaper bag, becoming a stay-at-home dad.

He can be reached at howardaludwig@yahoo.com.



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