I really like Valentine’s Day. I know there are a lot of mixed opinions on the holiday. Some people think the whole thing was invented to make money and others say, if you are really in love, you don’t need a day to show how much you care. But I have always been one to make a big deal out of special days. On birthdays, I’m all about pancake breakfasts, sprinkles and all. And finding the perfect Christmas present for everyone I’m close to is pretty much my favorite thing.
Valentine’s Day has never been an exception. I like to find the perfect place to eat dinner, to dress up, to find the just the right gift for my husband.
But this year, I have a confession: I’m thinking about skipping Valentine’s Day altogether because, ever since I had kids, Valentine’s Day feels like way more effort than it is worth.
Of course, the most obvious problem we face each year is finding a babysitter. It is already hard enough to find childcare any other day of the year, but on Valentine’s Day it becomes approximately a million times more difficult expensive to find a teenager to put your kids to bed and then watch Netflix on your couch for two hours. There is also the whole breastfeeding thing. A night away means a lot of pumping before hand and a break in a bathroom somewhere to pump while we’re away. Not to mention getting dressed up and staying out late when I’m already sleep deprived isn’t at the top of my list right now.
So this year, we’re trying something different. We’re skipping Valentine’s Day. Well, we’re at least not celebrating it in the traditional sense. I’m sure we’ll get out of the house for a date some other time in February, maybe when our kids’ grandparents are available to babysit for few hours on a Friday night, but we’ll be spending Valentine’s Day at home with our kids.
We’ll probably eat dinner together as a family, give our kids a few small gifts and send them off to bed early. Maybe we’ll watch a movie or a glass of wine, but that will be the extent of our Valentine’s Day celebration
You know, a few years ago I may have felt guilty for skipping the holiday. I probably would have held onto a traditional Valentine’s Day date as proof that motherhood hadn’t changed my adventurous side. I may have worried I was sacrificing my marriage for my kids or not putting forth enough effort. But this year, I don’t feel bad about it or disappointed at all. I’m actually really looking forward to something low key, to avoiding the crowds and the pressure of finding the perfect gift.
I think, most of all, I feel grateful for how comfortable I feel in my marriage. It is definitely fun to make a big fuss sometimes and I’m sure there will be plenty of years for elaborate Valentine’s Day plans. But this year, I’m glad we’re in a spot where we are comfortable with the demands of parenthood and acknowledging just how consuming parenthood is for us. I’m happy to celebrate our steady, “boring” love from our dining room table, surrounded by our babies and the home we’ve built together.