Now ordinarily a pre-child Valentine’s Day would have been dinner out with candles, fizz and a huge bouquet of red roses. Once parenthood hits you may get the odd date night out if it happens to fall near the weekend, otherwise you pretty much have to make do at home. All too often that means the night for romance gets shelved until a later date when you can afford to splurge a little and invariably it will still end up a family affair as no one is about to babysit for you. This means you need to employ new tactics for celebrating Valentine’s Day parent style!
This is pretty much how we roll for Valentine’s Day most years, even if it does fall on a weekend. Seven years in and we are still making the effort for each other over not just Valentine’s Day but every occasion and non-occasion. We aim for a date night out once a month but we also plan a date night in once a month too. And it is easier than you think to make the magic happen!
Search out who does the ‘two dine for’ deals to save on the hassle of cooking or prepare something quick that you both love like fajitas, chicken pie or anything that takes minimal effort! Great places for the ‘two dine for’ deals are M&S obviously bring out theirs in time for Valentine’s Day, but also check out Tesco, Waitrose and Asda. They often have some really great gastro-pub type options that make will make dinner a little special without the stress of cooking from scratch.
Make the Kids Your Allie
From when our girlie was 6 years old, and from when our son was born, we have explained in simple terms what date night is and why it is important. We make sure they have their favourite meal with a Valentine’s Day special twist in their pudding with plenty of hearts and all that good stuff. Then we send them to bed with cuddles and kisses. The older they are the easier it is for sure, but to be honest once they get used to happening regularly it becomes part of their routine. Our youngest is in bed by 7pm, the eldest gets tablet time till 9pm, so as far as they are concerned it’s a win/win scenario.
As a side note it is also a great way to teach your children the importance of nurturing relationships with their partners. Society nowadays is so focused on the wedding day that there is rarely mention of the ‘ever after’ and the effort it actually takes to make a marriage work.
Set the Scene
Yes it is cheesey and cliché to have a candlelit dinner for Valentine’s Day but if you can’t do it on the day of love when can you? Get the good plates and cutlery out, get a good bottle of fizz (doesn’t even need to be anything fancy or alcoholic), grab some wine glasses and most importantly …. switch off the tech!
I know the temptation to take the photo and quickly throw up a post is real, but for one night take the photo while he puts the kids to bed and be done with it.
I don’t mean the TV (which shouldn’t be on yet anyway), I mean press pause on all the other hats you spend most of your time juggling. Press pause on being parents and take a few minutes to look at each other, remind yourselves why this one person gives you butterflies and weak knees. Talk about the things that make you happy, talk about the food, talk about your dreams, make plans, anything other than the kids and work because they get enough air space already. I mean reconnect with your person, the one you used to stay up all night chatting and laughing with; I know you used to do that stuff! It may take a few awkward minutes but it’s like riding a bike, you’ll soon find your groove.
Plan to Repeat Regularly!
All too often I hear people say they don’t have the time or the money to go on date nights with their partners and I am calling total BS on that one! It costs nothing to set time aside for each other, one evening a month or week dependent on how busy your schedules are. With a little thought and planning you can create a cosy ‘couples only’ evening that slides into your diary regularly. Check out copious tips and ideas over on Pinterest for starters!
Set up a repeat on your digital calendar if that helps. We use Google Calendar to synchronise the majority of our busy schedules, it’s free to set up and you can colour code specific calendars for yourself, the other half and the kids. With most people having smart phones nowadays it also means you can set those reminders up too! No more excuses for missing birthdays, anniversaries, date nights and even Valentine’s Day.
So there you have it. Our ‘how to’ for a Valentine’s Day Parent Style, let me know if you decide to give it a go and how you got on!
Please note there are some links to external sites within this post, however none of them are affiliate. I have merely linked to things we have tried and loved.