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"If we didn’t have kids it would be very different. A hotel room, room service and lots of sexy time!”
Many couples tell themselves that nothing will change between them once a baby comes into the picture. They will still have date nights and intimate evenings together. They will still say, “I love you” before falling asleep every night and cuddle while catching up on The Good Doctor or The Handmaid’s Tale. They will still hold hands and make-out and make friends and family members wonder how the heck their “Honeymoon Stage” lasted so long.
For a rare few, this is reality; for most, this is near impossible to maintain.
Why is it near impossible to keep the spark going strong during parenthood, you may ask? Well, life changes. When major life changes occur, relationships and people change as well. Sometimes these changes are positive and at other times, they are just, well, different.
This isn’t to say that when a baby comes into the picture all love and lust disappears. Oh, no – that often is not the case. If that chemistry was there from the start, it takes a lot for it to completely disintegrate. When a baby comes into the picture, love and lust tend to be put on the back burner of the priority list. That baby becomes priority number one. You as a person become priority number two. Your relationship often becomes priority number three.
The Ideal Valentine’s Day Gift: Sleep
I’m a sleeper. If it were a profession, I would be the CEO. I will choose sleep over absolutely everything. Everything. If my girls are napping and I am done with housework, laundry, and I’ve hit practically everything on my to-do list, I will often give in and nap. I guess that’s one of the perks of being a work-from-home mom.
So, if my boyfriend gave me the option of a romantic night out or the chance to sleep in and not have to do the early-morning feeding, I would choose sleep without a thought.
If we are getting real here, intimacy is often put on the backburner. This isn’t just in my case, it is often the case for many. It doesn’t mean we don’t want it or think about it - it just isn’t a priority like it was during those feisty “honeymoon” days. Parenthood truly is a transition and priorities get adjusted then re-adjusted again. It is definitely important to focus on your relationship, but keeping your little one happy and healthy is what is most important.
Make Valentine’s Day Work Well for You
Since our Valentine’s Day looks a tad different now, we make sure we focus on our personal happiness as a couple. It may seem like such a simple thing to do, but when you’re a new mom and your priorities have gotten switched up a bit, it can be tough. You always want your baby to be happy that you sometimes forget about your relationship. Making sure your relationship is happy and healthy is important as well and finding unique ways to work on that is great.
Since babysitters are not always easy to come by on Valentine’s Day (especially when you’re financially cautious), planning a fun night-in can be just what is needed. After cooking a meal together, watching a movie or catching up on a show with a glass of wine or a cup of decaf coffee is a relaxing home-date to do together once the babies are down. Even buying your favorite ice cream or dessert can be the topping you need for a fun night-in. Depending on whether or not you make it through the second half of that in-home date, cuddling up close under the covers is an option.
Option number two is passing out early – which can be a wondrous cost-free gift both new parents will thoroughly enjoy.
Real Moms Talk About Their New Version of Valentine’s Day
“Getting food from a restaurant and playing donkey Kong on Wii.” – Stephanie Newman, mom of two
“We have to schedule sex since our kids are terrible sleepers. Also, we usually choose sleep. We MAY once in a while have sex on Valentine's Day. Usually though, it’s just another crazy beautiful day of parenthood for us.” – Nichole Bailey, mom of two
“Valentine's Day is just another day and it actually has always been this way. The day after I get two-times the chocolate for half off.” – Ellen Bates, mom of one
“Go away - let me sleep. I don’t do Valentine’s Day. All for the kids now.” – Renee Saraceni, mom of two
“After the kids are asleep, we try to squeeze in the sexy time but it usually results in watching a movie and falling asleep cuddling each other which is fine with the both of us. This year I asked my husband what we were going to do for v-day and he said dinner. Then I said, ‘Well I’m going to have to find a sitter like NOW’ and he said, “No, let’s bring the kids too!’ So, a family dinner is how we will celebrate v-day. If we didn’t have kids it would be very different. A hotel room, room service and lots of sexy time!” – Jessica Sugg, mom of three
Jennifer Aline is a coffee addict, mama of twins, and a passionate freelance writer and author. She writes for Moms.com on a regular basis and has had articles in publications such as the NY Daily News, NY Post, and In Good Health Newspaper. Aline received her Bachelor’s Degree in Child and Family Studies from Keuka College and worked in the Human Services field before her two little girls entered her life. Aline now focuses primarily on writing, teaching aerial arts classes in the evenings, and caring for her twin daughters – all while continuously chugging coffee, of course.
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