Motherhood Mondays: A Funny Tip About Sex…

My darlings, for this Motherhood Monday post, let’s talk about…sex! Recently I heard a genius tip about how to have a sexy date night with your husband. Want to hear?

Esther Perel, the author of the fascinating book Mating in Captivity, says that when you get home from a romantic night out, the key to having a sexy rest-of-the-night is simple: Let your husband pay the babysitter.


When the woman pays the babysitter, Perel says, she instantly switches back into “mom mode.” She hunts for the cash and adds up the hourly wages; she asks the babysitter how much milk the baby drank and how long it took for him to fall asleep; she asks about the babysitter’s weekend and confirms the next babysitting appointment. Having sex? Suddenly it’s the furthest thing from her mind. She’s back at work!

So, instead of paying the babysitter, says Perel, the woman should get home and head straight to the bedroom. That way, she can relax, maybe pour a glass of wine or light a candle, and keep feeling fun and flirty. Meanwhile, the husband pays the sitter, sends her on her way, and then joins his lovely date!

Isn’t that funny? It’s such a simple but great tip. (I just hope our babysitters don’t read this post, since after our next date night, I will be booking it to the bedroom:)

What do you think, mamas? Who normally pays the babysitter? What do you do on your date nights? What other little things do you do to keep the sparks in your relationship? I would LOVE to hear! xoxo

(Top photo via The Bean and the Bear; bottom photo of Alex and me by Christine. Also, thanks, Anna)

  1. Sex looking for advice: I hope that sex addiction was well known before about 20 years. by Mike GENUNG EXACTLY …. My 20 years of struggle, I have tried to sex addiction, a number of … Sex Tips

  2. Truly amazing the momentum women need to get to the point of wanting to have sex. And if that momentum is broken its incredible how insanely difficult to get it back.

  3. Anonymous says...

    I wouldn’t get too upset Maresa – I’m not married and I don’t feel alienated from this post :-)

  4. As a very experienced babysitter(more than 5 years), I have to add that when the parents come home from their date, if I don’t tell the mother how the evening went, or how the kids went to bed, I would feel so… unprofessionnal! I know this ruins the sexy mood, but from my point of view, if the mother is there then I have to keep her updated :)

    • Dlynne Prizzi says...

      Leave her a note to read later perhaps?

  5. Thank, It is a great advise. I didn’t expect that something like that It can turn things different.

  6. I fully tie in with everything you have printed.

  7. We don’t get many date nights, but the one date night we did have was sex before the movie. We decided to eat in so that we could make our own rules and then when the movie was over we could go home and crash and not feel guilty for being so tired. Gonna try that again definitely!

  8. My best sexy-dates are when we get a sitter to take the boys out to the park for a few hours in the morning. Then we head back to bed, chat a bit, nap, knock boots, set an alarm to be up, showered, dressed before the team returns. Cheaper and more satisfying than conventional dates, I find!
    Maresa: how about paying the sitter first, before you head out?

  9. Genius advice, wish I’d gotten it when my kids were a bit younger!

  10. I prefer to just put the baby to bed early, eat some yummy chocolate dessert, take a candle lit bubble bath, and let things heat up from there. :) We are on a strict budget right now, and baby sitters can be expensive!

  11. Here’s a little peek into what a not-so-spicy date night is like for us:

    And all you babysitters out there reading Cup of Jo… Help a sister out! Keep the lights low, the chitchat to a minimum, and make a quick exit!!! Boy, I wish I’d read this back in my babysitting days.

    I’m loving these Monday posts, Jo!

  12. Smart you! My kids are in college now, so I missed the boat on that wonderful “must”! Very intuitive though!

  13. SO SMART!!!

  14. Hahaha I love it! Alex can pay me anytime after date night. :)

  15. It’s always interesting how the simplest things make the biggest difference.

  16. Anonymous says...

    For me, date nights are an automatic turn on simply because we are in PUBLIC and having sex is not an option. All I have to do during the night is think about how much I want to jump my husbands bones (& tell him so!!)..and because we can’t until we get home, there is nothing that would stop us once we get in that door… TRY IT. And, once we had a little code…if someone touched the other’s elbow, that meant we were HORNY! uhhh…works like a charm. Trust me. All of a sudden I can’t wait to get home. Did I just say that? :)

  17. oh, my goodness. I am a baby-sitter for a family where the dad works in my building. He always pays me. Now you know what is going to be running through my head about them next time I baby-sit… I’m going to try not to think about it!

  18. I am not a mother as I’m still a 21-year-old student, but it sounds like an intriguing and useful tip. Who would of thought such a simple act can change perception of such things.

    The photo of you and your husband is gorgeous I would defintely frame it :)

    Great blog, I am now following, x

  19. oh, another thing that is a rule of mine….no kid art in the bedroom. we have it EVERYWHERE else in the house. fridge, walls, office, doors etc. my husband brings it in, i take it out. (without our daughter noticing) I cant go from betty crocker to jenna jameson with those adorable drawings in the room. just cant!

  20. such a great idea. will do that next time!

    recently I’ve taken to reading a book of Pablo Neruda love poems that’s in English and Spanish. I’m fluent in both languages so I read both versions to my husband. he only speaks english and finds it sexy for me to read to him in spanish. we’re trying to bring back a little romance and sexiness into our bed since our 3 year old always crawls into it at some point during the night.

  21. Love it! And I don’t care if it is old-fashioned, there is just something so sexy about just letting the man deal with money.

    I get that it’s wise to have the mom drive a babysitter home if she’s under driving age, but I can’t fathom hiring someone to care for my child that couldn’t drive, in case of an emergency!

  22. Love this tip and plan on having my hubby pay the babysitter for all future date nights (not sure when the next one will be, however). The topics of diapers and crying is a major sex kill.

  23. Anonymous says...

    After reading this I’m seeing that it’s EXACTLY the thing that happened to us Saturday on our date night. Brilliant tip! (I also hope our babysitter didn’t read this, because it’s my plan for all future date nights)
    -Hallie, with a 2 year old girl

  24. Alicia says...

    I LOVE it! I’m definitely going to pick up a copy of Esther Perel’s book. Thanks!

  25. jessie, no, not at all! moms are totally sexy, absolutely. i’m saying that when you, as the mom, get into the mindset of taking care of your baby, worrying about bedtimes, trying to get things done, etc., it kills the sexy mood for YOU. you just get into a work zone instead of a date zone. and i wasn’t at all saying that the husband delving into the cash is sexy — i was just saying someone needs to pay the sitter other than the mom!

  26. jessie says...

    This suggests that a mother cannot be both mom and sex goddess, and it underlines the age-old idea that a man delving out the cash is sexy…dislike.

  27. No kids, or boyfriend, but, NOTE TAKEN. Great tip!

  28. GREAT idea! thanks for sharing :)

  29. This is a great tip except that I don’t have kids, just a dog that likes to jump up on the bed and lick your elbow. Any tips for that mood killer?

  30. what a great little tip (and it totally makes sense)! i will keep this in mind for whenever i have kids :)

  31. Great tip indeed! Let them feel they have a little power in the house:) Cuteeeee pictures!

  32. With the two of us being young (25 and 29) but having our plate so full with 3 kids already, this is a big thing for us. In all honesty — when our third and youngest was too small for an over-nighter at the grandparents’ (the only thing that saves our love life nowadays :-P) we’d sneak off to park the car somewhere before heading back to pick them up… no shame here! Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do! (Not to mention, it’s a great way kick the intensity up a notch after having a couple of kids starts to take a toll on your mojo! lol)

  33. Anonymous says...

    Great tip. I will try it this weekend.

  34. i actually legitimately love talking to our sitters, they are all so fun/cool. but it definitely changes the vibe — going to keep the conversation to the beginning of the dates now :) xoxo

  35. aaahhh, so that is why i’m always getting paid for babysitting by the husband. tehe. i don’t really babysit that much anymore. i genuinely miss it.

  36. that is such a brilliant tip. we don’t have kids yet, but i plan on storing this useful bit of genius until the time when we do. :) xo!

  37. this is such a great tip! i actually hate the part where we come home from a great date night only to have to settle things with the sitter, do a little small talk and then send her on her way. it is a total buzz kill for me but never for my husband. i’m going to suggest he settle everything from now on as i politely say good night and make my way to the bedroom. i’m not sure why i didn’t think of it before. thanks for this!

  38. With a 9 month old, I’m definitely trying to figure this one out. We’ve only left him with my mother so far, but I think this idea is brilliant. And oh how I can’t wait to try it! ;)

  39. Sadly, I usually pass out while my husband drives the babysitter (aka my nephew!) home. *blush*

  40. ps. and it’s funny to hear so many comments about driving the babysitter home — i had forgotten about that, after living in NYC for 10 years!!

  41. so fun to hear from all these babysitters!!! (kathrynoh, that is nuts!) i remember babysitting and the moms were always so chatty and warm and fun, and the dads were more like, ok, good night, see ya!

  42. Anonymous says...

    Both these pictures are so cute. Love your post.

  43. Anonymous says...

    got to read this book. Thanks.

  44. So interesting! I never would have thought of that, but it totally makes sense. Loved the photo. Too cute!

    Hope you have a wonderful day, Love.
    That Girl in Pearls

  45. I will totally keep this in mind if I ever get married and have kids. :D

  46. Sooo accurate!

  47. Anonymous says...

    I think this is a great tip. It is so hard to prioritize one’s husband after a baby – but he totally deserves it and so do we moms – wives.

  48. I would think a better tip is don’t let your husband drive the babysitter home. It’s been a long time since I was young enough to babysit but I used to have to fight off some very frisky husbands.

  49. Too funny! I’m not married or a mom, but I nannied all through college and usually the mom would chat with me for half an hour while the dad stood around awkwardly. But when the dad paid, the mom would totally disappear….makes so much sense now! :)

  50. Ha, good point! Another thing that helps is having a children’s log. That way, the babysitter can write down all the important stuff for you to read…in the morning. :)

    Both pictures are adorable. Thanks for sharing so openly and honestly.

  51. Sounds like a wonderful idea . . . and I do love the message it sends . . .

    but sadly someone has to drive the babysitter home and if the sitter is a young female it’s often the “Mom” who drives her because in todays society of sexual implications it makes more sense.

    Now . . he (romantic man that he is, smiles) could have a nice bath waiting for her when she gets back, and have lighted a few candles, a little foor rub, maybe with a glass of wine . . . there is a way around everything.

  52. CLF, i totally agree!!! i wish i could be more “all business” sometimes :)

  53. maresa, yes, that’s a really good point — sorry about that. hmmm, maybe you could take turns paying the sitter, or is one of you less emotionally tied up in the day-to-day of the baby? i know that my husband isn’t as affected by everything as much as i am — for example, he wouldn’t feel emotional if the babysitter told him that toby cried for a few minutes before falling asleep. so, if one of you is more practical about the baby, and the other is more emotional, have the more practical partner pay the sitter. i hope that helps! but i know that your real point was that not every new mom is in a heterosexual marriage–there are many types of families out there (gay partnerships, single moms, step families, etc), and i will acknowledge that more in future posts. thank you for the reminder!! xoxo

  54. ha! I love this!

  55. That top photo is so clever! Adore. And it’s amazing how complicated life gets when you’re a family of 3+. Excellent tip, but our babysitter is usually my mom. Hmmm. Ha!

  56. Ha! I posted about sex today, too. But about sex in a marriage, not necessarily with kids. This is a good tip, though. It’s also pretty true! When I used to babysit years ago, I remember that when the mom paid, she would always end up talking to me forever. When the dad paid, I was always ushered out or driven home quickly and that was that. Funny that I never put two and two together until this post!

  57. I love reading your blog, but I found today’s posting a bit alienating.

    What about those of us who are married with kids, but who don’t have husbands? My wife and I have a fantastic six month old son. Who would you suggest pay the babysitter?

    Just reminding you that not all of us married moms have husbands.

  58. Aw such a cute picture!!! And funny advice too :) I don’t have kids (not married either – only 20!) but I will remember that when things fall into place!!
    Star Hughes Living

  59. i’m far from motherhood but this is such good advice for when i have kids

  60. as a long-time babysitter (since age 12!) this finally explains why the mothers almost always had their husbands pay me/drive me home. i always thought it was weird since i knew the mothers better :D

  61. Great tip! I’ll remember that next time. It helps if I turn off the baby monitor. Maybe that sounds bad? We live in a small house, so if Finley started to really cry we would definitely hear her. Sometimes it’s nice to have it off for a few minutes, hearing her baby music playing as she sleeps is sweet, but it doesn’t really set the mood if you know what I mean.

  62. that is some of the best advice i’ve ever heard.

    so true. i always end up chit chatting with my babysitter for at least 20 minutes!

  63. haha- I will certainly use this one. We also have a “code” which gets us ready for a good night and reminds the other one to get to bed early. By either placing a small towel on the pillow or mentioning such an act the other one knows it is time to play. :)

  64. Okay…I’ve never commented on your blog before, but I just had to on this one. I just love that you posted about this! We don’t have children yet, but when we do I will remember this for sure! You and husband are absolutely adorable.

  65. Interesting tip! I’ll share with my mommy and daddy friends!

  66. After 10 years of marriage and a 9 month old my husband and I have to make the extra effort for “us” time. It is so true how it is SO hard to relax because as a working mom you’re just go-go-going ALL day long! My husband also works 2 jobs so it’s tough. We take advantage of nap-time!!! Heehee

  67. What do you suggest when it’s your in-laws that do the baby sitting? Our case ;p

  68. I totally want to try this. The only thing is usually our babysitters are family. So I feel back bailing on them. Maybe I can figure out how to do it in a slick and tricky way.

    The pictures are hilarious btw

    – Sarah

  69. That’s too funny! I’m still in the stage of life in which I am the babysitter, but I’m keeping this in mind for that next stage. :)

  70. This is great, I love this advice, tucking it away for the future! But I agree with some other commenters that it applies to us non-mamas as well. I definitely open the door of the apartment, turn on the lights, start picking things up around the place, turn on the computer or check the phone and then bam, romance is gone. Need to keep myself as single minded as my husband! :)

  71. My husband always pays the sitter (usually because the two sitters that watch our kids night/weekends are students of my professor-husband, so he knows them better than I do). I think one of them has a crush on my hubby, so I automatically stay in “sexy mode” to ensure my man doesn’t run off with a younger woman!! :-)

    These posts are great, Joanna, keep them coming!

  72. So cute, that’s such a great idea..

    I’ll have to remember this for when I have kids!

  73. Back in my day as a nanny, it was nearly always the mama chatting and paying. Hindsight now shows me the dads making friendly chitchat but looking somewhat dejected and pacing. I now know what was going on in the guy’s head, “Great. Mommy mode has kicked back in and now I’m not gettin’ any.”
    Yay for figuring out this very simple relationship puzzle. It didn’t dawn on me until this post! Enjoy your next date night!

  74. Anonymous says...

    Haha! This is so funny. Oh and I’m pretty sure your babysitter reads this site religiously, just like the rest of us!

    Marcella @

  75. So true about the quick switch to mommy mode! This is a great tip! I’ll be sure to use it the next time we have the sitter over.

  76. We don’t have any children yet, but I’ll keep this in mind for the future–totally makes sense!

  77. Great tip Joanna. This applies to me and my phone, once I get home if I look at my work email it’s all over. p.s. Now I’m going to have that song stuck in my head for days!

  78. When I used to babysit (before I had my own car as a young teen), sometimes one of the parents would have to drive me home!

    Now that we have our own daughter, she goes for a one night sleepover to her grandparents at least every second weekend in a month. We are so lucky! (Cheap, and we can sleep in the next day :)

  79. Anonymous says...

    That picture is too cute and says it all!!!! Pregnancy and a new baby can definitely play havoc with the sex life. Love the tip.

  80. I love that you inadvertently point out the fact that father’s are so different (simple) in the sense that they don’t go into “dad mode” from something like paying the babysitter–wish we mamas could keep things as simple as the men in our lives sometimes! ;) I could never see my husband asking about poops, feeds, and certainly not what the babysitter is going to do this weekend! They have no sense of duty–something I wish I could shut off, just sometimes! :) Maybe that’s why men are so “easy” in the bedroom! (not to be totally sexist here:)) Thanks for the great baby posts–I absolutely love them and look forward to them! XO

  81. Anonymous says...

    I think this is a wonderful idea!!!!!!!!! I love the idea of extending date night rather than ending it by getting back into the mommy “mode” right away. It would also be good to let the Dad handle this interaction, since (I think) many moms probably usually do and I totally believe in both parents enjoying and being responsible for child care tasks. Once your baby sleeps through the night and you are not over tired, how nice would it be to light a candle or two and lit on the bed to chat and after a great “date”! Lucky for me, my babes usually sleep all the way ’til morning.

  82. Such a good idea. When we get a babysitter (um, once every few months?) she usually just heads out pretty quickly on her own anyways. Other than that our family members always claim the little guy for sleepovers, so that makes everything really easy: nobody to pay and no kiddo for the whole night!

  83. I’ve been a date night (and daytime) baby-sitter for over ten years now… this will have wondering a bit when the husband is the one to pay and send me on my way!

  84. Okay…I just have to add that I am so glad I am not the only one who has to try and pretend to not be tipsy when I pay the babysitter…I am sure it is evident by the handwriting on my checks…
    And Joann…I am SURE we gave those teenagers something new to learn…sheesh.

  85. This makes sense! We always send the kiddo to her grandparents for an overnite stay on date nites.

  86. That makes complete sense to me. I don’t have kids, but I think the reasoning holds true even when it’s just you and your husband. When we get home from dinner or a date night, I fall right into cleaning up the kitchen, putting things away, folding that last load of laundry. From now on I’m going to focus on ignoring those pesky chores and focus on keeping the mood going!

  87. making out in the car!! haha, i love it!! :) we used to go “parking” in high school in michigan :) omg, what a flashback.

  88. Aw, yay! I remember when I took that adorable photo! So cute. :)



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  89. I love this! Hysterical!

  90. Genius!

  91. LOL, Ryan and I always FORGET to pay the babysitter. Babysitters dont take visa debit, duh.

  92. Hahaha, especially the “hunting around for cash”!! Right on! This is sooooooo true! (Unless I’m drunk while trying to speak to/pay the babysitter, in which case I’m just trying to pretend I’m not drunk and hoping I get the math right. ; ))

  93. hilarious. oddly enough, i used to always get paid by the dads. you moms are smart.

  94. “awkwardly booking it to the bedroom” — that’s funny.

  95. LOL Tina! ^

    I am also too tired after dinner and a movie. So we have to split it up. Some date nights are for going out, and some (when the kids are being watched at someone else’s house) are for sex!

    -Tired mama of FOUR!

  96. though the youngest of my 3 children is 11 (yikes!)…this is such a wonderful new feature of your blog! in fact, it has inspired my own Marketwatch Mondays on my real estate blog.:)

  97. I love this tip! Next date night I’m running up the stairs! xxx

  98. That’s hilarious, I never thought of it that way, but what a grand idea!! Hubby will def be paying the bill next time.
    If you get a chance, I’d love for you to check out my beauty blog,, and leave a comment on how you handle your hectic days as a mom and blogger. I truly respect your opinions! Take care and keep up the great posts.

  99. ha, ha…too funny. My hubby does pay the babysitter, but to be honest I’m not sure how people have 3 or more kids :) I’d love to read more tips on not letting day to day and pure exhaustion get in the way of that fun – it was fun, right?
    Great pic!

  100. OH, I adore this post. Because I ADORE date night. They are set in ADVANCE a month ahead. I don’t mess around with date nights. They are a must do!
    While I love this advice, I have to say, my strategy is a bit…well…off the rocker? By the time we go out and have a movie or catch a show or hang out with friends? I am tired. I am too tired to even think about my mojo. My strategy is twofold…either we take advantage of nap time the day of date night and spend the rest of the evening flirting in our post-glow bliss or…(hanging head in shame) we make use of the car. I KNOW! It’s awful right? But nothing makes you feel like you are on a hot date than makin’ out with your boyfriend (read: husband) in the car with your knickers thrown about. Until you get caught by a car of teenagers in the back parking lot of the movie theater. THAT was not so hot. Maybe I am not the best with giving this advice. Go with the professional who wrote the book. LOL!

  101. haha! last time my husband DID pay the bbsitter…but my problem is that i am sooo overtired and i just want to sleep. maybe a quick energy drink ;)

  102. Anonymous says...

    I would also recommend a baby or toddler who sleeps through the night and a non-bf’ing mama. 28 months on, and neither is the case for me. Sex, needless to say, does not happen. at. all. Too stressed and exhausted to even think about it!

    But yeah, having the papa pay the babysitter is a very good idea!

  103. it’s so funny how true it rings for me — it’s like once you hear that your baby cried for 5 minutes before falling asleep, or that he took a giant poop, you just aren’t in the mood anymore, haha! this is the smartest and easiest tip ever :)

  104. this is so fascinating! we don’t have children yet but it sounds like something that will ring true to so many mommas. even without children, i can see how paying the sitter will just get you back into mom mode. i bet it will be hard for some women to NOT get into mom mode once they are home, see the baby, etc.

    i love these motherhood posts, joanna.

  105. I don’t have kids yet, but that makes a whole lot of sense to me. Also, that first picture is brilliant!

  106. I never thought of it that way, its funny how you can trick yourself isn’t staying relaxed. Love the kissing pic! SOOO cute! I think its time for another little one!