Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and this year, I’m not going to feel one tiny ounce of guilt when I leave my kids with a sitter. I won’t feel guilty when most of my thoughts on this day center around my husband and I ALONE, together, laughing, cuddling, and doing what we did to get these little life-consuming rugrats in the first place. Valentine’s Day is for us as a couple, not us as a family. And that does not make us selfish.
Since our kiddos were born, almost every single holiday has centered around them. Mom and dad have forgone Christmas gifts. We no longer bar-hop on Halloween – unless you count going door to door begging for candy which is sure to leave my kids much ‘drunker’ than I ever though about getting before they were born. We typically spend New Year’s in bed…asleep. Fourth of July is spent with the kids in a baby pool, fireworks, and sparklers. There’s rarely a romantic moment under the fireworks anymore. We certainly don’t get the stress free, mostly undressed vacations that we used to, if I’m being honest. I love my kids, I love the laughter, the light, the hope, and the pure craziness they have added to our lives. But Valentine’s Day? That’s the day my husband and I remember just why and how passionately we love each other. Our kids get every single other day of our lives, this is our day.
I spend a lot of time chatting with other moms. When you’re a stay-at-home-parent whose main job is the childcare of your children, it’s kind of what you end up doing to break up the day. Each year I’m saddened by how many moms say that Valentine’s Day is nothing special, that they won’t even celebrate. I ache for them, I truly do. Back when I was a ‘new’ mom, I was the same. We went from a married couple who celebrated Valentine’s Day with passion and abandon to a married couple with kids who had taken over our lives. Slowly last year, as I found myself again, we started getting back to who we were. There have been a few nights away and a commitment to spend more time with just each other. We are still parents, but we are again truly each others.
This year, I’m not quite content with dinner being brought home so we can stay with our kids. My kids have no real concept of what Valentine’s Day is. Sure, they tell us they love us and know we love them. We’ll do some crafts, stories, and I’ll get them a small gift. They’ll then be happy to have a sitter, time away from mom and dad to do all the things I tell them they can’t do. They still get their celebration and we get ours.
This Valentine’s Day I’ll wake up as his wife as I always do. I’ll wake up as their mother, and proudly so. I’ll spend the week doing motherly tasks and maintaining our home. But, then I’ll get to be his girlfriend again and feel all those pre-date butterflies and jitters. I’ll pick out an outfit that makes ME feel good because truly, that’s what counts. He already thinks I’m beautiful, it’s more about convincing myself these days. I’ll spend too long getting ready, making a mess of our bedroom and closet. We’ll go out together and not have a care in the world except each other. I’ll be lost in his eyes and he in mine. It won’t matter much what we do or where we go, as long as we’re together and it’s just us. Because the most important parts, the whispering chats and the breathy giggles that leave us both with longing looks, those are what matter. And those can happen anywhere…