Taking a Rain Check on Valentine’s Day

Image via Flickr/ j0sh (www.pixael.com)

Last week, my husband asked me what I wanted to do for Valentine's Day, and I looked at him, my eyes full of need, and whispered, “Take a nap.” He laughed, I laughed, and together, we decided the only thing to do was cancel Valentine's Day.


Not forever, but possibly, at least until the youngest is potty trained and can sleep through the night. That's where people lose me when they tell me I have to keep the romance alive in my marriage after kids. Are you kidding? I'm working to keep myself alive and two tiny children who depend on me for everything. I don't have time to worry about keeping romance alive, too!

{ MORE: 3 Tips for Keeping the Romance Alive when that Baby Won’t Sleep! }

Romance to me is when my husband comes home from work and immediately grabs the baby off my hip while I'm cooking dinner. Or when he throws some shoes on the toddler and takes her to the park for half an hour while the baby naps so I can get the house (and myself) back in order.

Seriously, nothing turns me on more.

I can't think of anything worse than trying to dress myself up for a night out on Valentine's Day, a.k.a. the Longest Dinner Wait of the Year. Why on earth would I want to detangle myself from my baby, only to shove myself into control top pantyhose and an itchy push-up bra and stand in high heels for a 45-minute wait at Olive Garden with every other couple in town?

That's 45 minutes of missed sleep, my friends. Give me a box of macaroni and cheese, some boxed wine, and BAM! — a romantic pasta dinner. For a little touch of traditional Valentine's Day, I'll have the husband pick up a Hershey's bar at the gas station on his way home from work that day.

What I envision doing on that oh-so-important day is a family movie night, with each of us snuggling one of our babies. Once they have been safely tucked in their own beds, we can watch a few episodes of a show on Netflix, then crash in our clothes, hands intertwined, ready to take on the 6 a.m. toddler wake-up call together.

{ MORE: Parenthood: A Whole New Meaning to Valentine's Day }

I'm well aware that refusing to take time out for ourselves as a couple could lead to resentment and a break-down of communication –but only if we let it. A night out requires planning, asking family members to watch our kids well in advance of the date, and Valentine's Day is a very inconvenient day to ask for a babysitter. Our parents and siblings — our normal go-to babysitters — obviously all have plans themselves, as they are tiny-child free.

Valentine's Day is for the heinously young (enjoy sleeping in the next morning, twentysomethings!) and empty nesters. Parents living the glamorous life of diapers, baby food, and renditions of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” being sung at maximum volume in the bathtub don't have the luxury of time or opportunity to stop the world on Valentine's Day and create a Nicholas Sparks-inspired romantic evening.


Finding love in the smaller things — the less traditional displays of affection — is what keeps romance alive. He filled up my car for me because he noticed I was low, or I bought a special brand of coffee he hadn't tried before because I thought he would enjoy it. We revel in those actions and wait for the day when we can easily slip out to the car and head to Olive Garden, without worrying about a 6 a.m. wake-up call. Though, when we do, I'm sure we will be missing our chaotic family days at home, wishing we once again had little ones to worry about.

What do you think?

Taking a Rain Check on Valentine’s Day

Rachel is a stay-at-home-mom to her 4-year-old daughter, Sydney, and her 18-month-old son, Jackson. Her writing can be found all over the web, mostly detailing her own parenting struggles and triumphs, as well as her life as the military spouse of an active-duty airman. She also writes about her life as as a special needs parent on her blog, Tales From the Plastic Crib, and spends an unnecessary amount of time on Twitter. ... More

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1 comment

  1. shantal says:

    Im now going on 3 days with nothing but 2 hours of sleep under my belt, been at the hospital with the newest addition to my hubby and I’s growing family (Timmy-2/1/2015) for two weeks, pulled together planned and hosted a birthday party for our now 5 year old little girl this day, aND I even managed to squeeze in a shower this morning ! I didn’t even forget the holiday! My hubby and I ‘celebrated’ this valentine’s day by simply finding a 2 hour window (after conducting a b day party, nursing our sick lil birthday girl back to comfort, meeting with the newborns doctor, and breastfeeding. ..) in which we simply curled up in each other’s arms still covered in birthday cake and baby spit up, had Harry Potter playing on the boob tube, and caught some much needed shut eye. Before my sweetheart had to head out to get the daughter from grandma’s he not only changed the new sons diaper and soiled onesie, but also somehow dug up the umph to give this extremely exhausted momma a foot massage! ! These small gestures made my entire day! Always take time to enjoy and appreciate the little things. I fell in love with him all over again. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your article since I can totally relate. ♡♡♡♡


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