Ah, Valentine’s Day! A holiday to celebrate the love you and your partner have for one another. A day spent looking into each other’s eyes, eating at a nice restaurant, and spending time together, just the two of you…
And then you had kids.
You love the crap out of them, but they have a knack for killing the romance. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane, and look at Valentine’s Day before kids versus after kids.
You wake up to the smell of coffee and pancakes. You head to the kitchen and your husband greets you with a smile, tells you you’re beautiful, and dishes you up a plate of steaming hot food.
You two have a lovely meal together and talk about all the little things. You bask in each other’s company. You’re rested, fed, and connected to your partner.
You two lovebirds even indulge in a pre-work quickie. Afterwards, you both shower and continue your day.
You wake up with a child’s hand in your mouth. Not near your mouth. Wrist deep inside your mouth. You choke and gently push your kid off of you. The bed next to you is empty, but that’s because your hubby is at work–not slaving away in the kitchen, making you a lavish breakfast.
Kids are expensive, your hubby puts in extra hours to provide for your family.
For a moment, you aren’t sure what day of the week it is. Your sleep-deprived brain struggles to fully wake up. Your little one wakes up because you breathed funny. And so it begins.
Breakfast is a disaster of food thrown about the kitchen. You eat a Poptart. Your child wants to play a game with you, so you have zero downtime to enjoy a cup of coffee. And a shower? Forget about it.
Valentine’s Day… Day?
Your husband is at work, but checks in periodically to send a sweet text or just see how you’re doing. You’re spending the day relaxing. Reading a book, curled up in the comfiest chair in the house. Then you decide to go for a walk. As simple as that. No corralling children, no making sure everyone has layers on. It’s not an event. (Don’t you kind of want to scream at your past self and tell her to appreciate these things more?)
After the walk, you binge-watch some mindless drama on Netflix. You make yourself popcorn. No one is there to fight over what to watch, or steal your popcorn, or talk through the entire episode, or lose interest five seconds after you’ve turned it on…
Your day continues like this. Peacefully.
The only contact you have with your hubby is to frantically beg him to pick up some Goldfish on his way home and warn him that the whole house smells like fecal matter because of your child’s massive blowout.
You spend the day catering to your child’s every need. You play games, build towers, and eventually pop in a movie so that you can get a second to yourself.
Your kid is content for about fifteen minutes which is a new record. You were able to pee and comb your hair.
So you make you two some snacks and try to get her interest focused back on the TV. Your kid is on to your tricks, it doesn’t work.
You contemplate going for a walk, but the amount of work involved tires you out just thinking about it. Is it nap time yet?
Valentine’s Day Evening
When your husband gets off work, you’re ready to go. You’ve had hours to do your hair and makeup. You’re wearing a dress (that isn’t covered in food stains) and heels. Your husband’s jaw drops as he exclaims how lovely you look.
He rushes to get changed, and just like that, you’re out the door. You’ve got reservations to your favorite place.
When your husband gets off work, the house looks like a war zone and you’re still in your pajamas. He looks drained from work, but his face lights up when he sees his child.
You excuse yourself while he takes over. You get ready at lightning speed. Brush your teeth, apply lipstick and mascara, and then stare into your closet.
Most of your clothes are piled in the laundry room and it’s anyone’s guess as to whether they’re clean or dirty. You dig through your closet trying to find something that will fit. You poke your “mummy tummy” in dismay.
You settle on a dress that mostly fits and slide into a pair of flats. You’re not sure if you even own heels anymore.
Valentine’s Day Date Night
You arrive at the restaurant on time and are seated quickly. You order whatever you want. You eat slowly, taking your time and enjoying one another’s company. You laugh, talk about your days, and stare into each other’s eyes like a bunch of lovesick puppies.
You order dessert, indulge in one-too-many glasses of wine, and overall have a lovely time. Your husband gives you a little box, even though you both agreed to not do gifts this year. You give him the gift you bought, too. You’re both awful about spoiling one another.
He got you a necklace, you got him a bottle of cologne. You’re both so happy and obviously in love.
You head home, where you’ll get a little hanky panky before falling asleep.
You are kept waiting by the babysitter, who finally calls just to say she can’t make it. You’re ready to give up, but your husband insists that you just bring your kiddo along. After twenty minutes of getting her coat, shoes, and hat on, you think you’re ready to go.
You get that nagging feeling that you’re forgetting something, but that’s pretty much a constant these days.
When you arrive at the restaurant (extremely late, and with an additional member) they’ve given your table away. So you sit and wait for another table to become available.
By the time you’re seated, your kid is already antsy and no one has even taken your order yet.
You realize you forgot her bag of activities that you always bring when braving a restaurant. Oops.
Your conversation with your husband is periodically broken off by your child interrupting. You talk about your day which essentially means talking about your child some more.
The food comes and of course, your kid realizes now that she actually didn’t want the thing she ordered. She eats bits of your food instead.
You feel like the whole thing is a disaster. Your husband pulls out a surprise box. You two swore you wouldn’t do presents this year. You smile and pull out your own surprise.
He got you cheap earrings, you hand him a craft you and your child made together today. You’re both so happy and obviously in love.
You head home, and if you’re extremely lucky (and quiet) maybe you’ll get some hanky panky, too.
Valentine’s Day After Kids
I won’t lie to you, sometimes I miss the bliss of being able to leave the house whenever I wanted. I never had to worry about a tiny human being fed or being home in time for nap time. I miss spending time with my husband, staying up late watching movies. I miss that.
But, life and romance don’t end after starting a family. They just… change. Every choice you make needs to be carefully considered. You have a little person who depends on you. You have less time and energy to devote to your partner. A huge chunk of your life is dedicated to your littlest family member.
But, that’s okay. You’ll find your new normal. You’ll learn how to nurture your marriage by doing little things. That extra kiss before one of you leaves. Picking up his favorite snack, just because. Asking him to be your Valentine. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll get some hanky panky, too. 😉
Has your Valentine’s Day changed since having kids? If you enjoyed this, be sure to share it!
Wanna write your hubby a sweet V-Day letter? Why not use some one-of-a-kind stationery!?