Modern marketing will make us believe Valentine's Day is about loving cards and lavish gifts, but really Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to make your relationship centre stage again.
While being a new parent will certainly add some tension to your relationship, Valentine's Day is the perfect excuse to take a step back, relax and enjoy one another (easier said than done!) Sure, with a newborn in the picture, romance can be a bit more elusive, but there are some simple ways to spice up your day and night. Here are some of our top tips on how to make your first Valentine's Day as parents memorable.
Some of my top tips…
Sure, surprises can be sweet — but when you're a parent with a hectic schedule, making plans in advance can guarantee you and your Valentine will slip away to do something unique. Think of activities that you and your partner will enjoy together, and then ask your partner to set aside some time.
Your main goal is to step away from the chaos of parenthood — even if it's only for an hour. Your partner will appreciate the efforts you have made to get him or her alone, as it will show you still want to spend romantic time together and it is something for you to look forward too.
1. Food Always Wins
Start Valentine’s right, by treating your loved one to breakfast in bed. Maybe even go the extra mile and make some heart-shaped pancakes, with their favourite toppings along with their favourite hot drink. If you are both working, make the effort to go out for dinner - or even make a romantic meal for two at home. There are so many options to choose from when it comes to food, and it will give you and your partner that much needed time together to relax and enjoy each other's company.
2. Be Creative
Instead of focusing on the ideal store-bought present, take the DIY route and do something meaningful for your partner. While a dozen roses, a box of chocolates and a fancy dinner out are all great ways to impress your partner, think about how to set the mood and show your love in other, simpler ways, maybe closer to home. A clean bedroom, a made bed, some candles and soft music are pretty romantic when you're used to covers, bottles, laundry piles and dirty dishes.
3. Give the Gift of Time
Think about what your partner would like to do, but hasn’t had the opportunity. Hire a babysitter for a couple of hours and allow your partner the freedom to enjoy the gym, meet friends or take a book in hand to the coffee shop. With me and Sam, we personally enjoy long beach walks and building sand castles with our three girls - it’s the small things!
4. Help your Partner Relax
Parenting is hard work so do what you can to help unwind your loved one. Think about ways to help your partner relax by letting them take a relaxing bath, give them a massage or let them relax while you cook dinner.
My top tip: Take it easy, go with the flow and enjoy yourself - with a newborn baby, life can be quite unpredictable and stressful, but make sure to take some time to relax and unwind.
5. Write a love note
Be a true romantic this Valentines, and write your loved one a love note - this can be on a piece of paper or a Valentine’s Day card - it is important to remind your loved one how much you appreciate them - and by reminding them through a note hid under the pillow, or in their jacket pocket, we guarantee it will make them smile.
6. Let your partner sleep in
With a newborn, sleep is hard to come by. It is predicted that new parents will get only four hours and 44 minutes of sleep a night, on average. Sam and I recently got two little puppies - between looking after the kids and letting the new pups out to the garden to do their business at night, sleep is definitely hard to come by! I would definitely recommend giving your loved one a nice lie in, because I know I would love one!
7. Share special memories
Make your first Valentines as parents special - by commemorating the day with a family photo or a keepsake of you, your partner and baby’s handprint or footprints. A fond memory I have of my girls growing up were the Valentine’s drawings I received after I picked them up from nursery - heart scribbles and plenty of glitter!
8. Hit The Lights
It may have been a while since you watched a full film, as with most new parents. As you know, sleep deprivation can affect concentration levels. End the perfect Valentines, by choosing a movie you both would like to watch (good luck), get under the duvets and grab some snacks from downstairs - you could even treat yourself to a glass of wine.
To conclude, Valentine’s Day can be as memorable or as low-key as you would like it to be - the biggest mistake is not to remember the day at all just because your baby is here. Valentine’s Day gives parents the perfect opportunity to remind one and other how much they love each other. However, as long as your partner spent the day realising how much you love and appreciate one and other, it is all worth it.