You're new parents, and you know Valentine’s day is coming. Do you just look at each other and shrug? Every minute of the day is accounted for when caring for this new person - sometimes even getting a shower can be tough. So how on earth can you fit in romance too?
It’s best to just give it a miss this year, right? One romantic night missed is no big deal.... Or is it?
More than anyone, parents of young children have a lot on their plate, so it’s easy to feel like teammates rather than lovers. Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to put passion and romance front and centre again, and to concentrate on yourselves, rather than your offspring.
Celebrating Valentine’s at home
We get it though. Sometimes all you want to do is flop in front of the TV and relax. So we've pulled together some of our favourite tips for having a simple, fuss-free, romantic Valentine's at home as new parents.
1. Prepare in advance
It doesn’t have to be too far in advance, but start talking about your date night before it happens. That way it gives you both a chance to decide what you want to do, make a list for the things you need and most importantly to get excited about the evening.
2. Turn off the TV
The cosy movie night in always sounds super romantic, but looking after a new born, or recovering from labour allows us ample time to binge watch our favourite TV shows guilt-free. To do more of the same with your partner doesn't feel so special.
It can be hard to find meaningful moments together in the whirlwind of newborn baby care. You probably have a lot to catch up on, so turning the TV (and phones!) off gives you an opportunity to check in on each other’s feelings and experiences. Not always easy when you're tired, but worth the effort.
3. Set up a Valentine’s camp
Create a soft, romantic space to relax together on the living room floor, on your balcony, or in your yard. Snuggle up together and relax with plush cushions, blankets, beanbags, or a tent (we borrowed the kids' play tent to make this romantic set-up!).
You can effortlessly create a magical atmosphere with a few candles, some mood music, and a picnic with your favourite foods. It won’t matter if your baby does interrupt your evening because you'll be able to tend to their needs and nestle them in between you both in your soft hideaway.
Plus it’s romantic enough that you won’t even have to get dressed up!
Sounds a bit obvious, but it's something that's easily forgotten as we get comfortable in our relationship. And with a new baby to care for sometimes it feels like there's never time to stop for more than a peck on the cheek.
A common tip that helps couples keep the spark in their relationships is to make time everyday for one kiss that lasts for at least 15 seconds. Maybe you could make Valentine’s day the day when you start this practise!
This is a new phase of life, a big change, and you don't want to assume anything about how your partner's feeling about it all. Feelings of insecurity can creep in when a baby arrives and we can be left finding it hard to adjust to our new role as a parent, whilst continuing to show love to our romantic partner.
You could even decide to each come prepared with a list of questions that you want to ask each other. Starting off with easy questions, and then leading into some deeper ones can help each other open up. Can't think of any questions? Use some of these!
6. Share Memories
One of the best things about Valentine's Day is that it gives you the opportunity to remember and celebrate your love. Curl-up together and take a look through old photos to remind yourself of happy times spent together. Got a wedding album? Old notes and letters you wrote to each other? Dig them out and relive the romance that brought you together.
Who would have thought that Valentine’s at home on the floor could be so romantic and so easy! With just a few floor cushions and a play tent you can create a magical, fun evening to remember, and most importantly, give yourselves time to reconnect and to keep the love alive.