So here we are: Valentine weekend. What are your plans? Big romantic trip somewhere exotic? Fancy-shmancy dinner at a dark, kid-free restaurant? Right. If your life is anything remotely resembling mine, I’d guess you are laughing your ass off right now while your kids are whining in the background.
Most of us know who Valentine’s Day is geared toward: the unmarried couples & kids.
Look, I love Valentine’s Day — I like to refer to it as Love Day, myself. I enjoy celebrating love, I really do. Maybe I’m a sucker for it, but I don’t care… we should all take some time to cherish the ones we love in a sweet way every day, but especially on Valentine’s Day, at least in my humble opinion. Last year, we did a fancy brunch (Love Day was on a Sunday) with the girls, and it was such a fun & special day. But it wasn’t romantic.
Even my daughter’s school knows that most parents won’t be making any big plans this weekend. First of all, we will get the joy of helping our daughter prepare 16 Valentines for her classmates and create a mailbox with her name on it for all of her Valentines to go into. It always sounds like fun to get crafty with your kids, but when it comes to these big projects, let’s face it, I’m going to end up doing most of the work. Plus, her school always schedules their big auction over Valentine’s weekend — which we will be attending tonight. There’s an open bar. Yup. I said Open. Bar. At a school function. It is a pretty fun event. But it’s not romantic. And who can afford a babysitter + whatever you spend at the auction + an extra night out for Valentine’s day + another sitter a day or two apart? We considered doing this… but now our sitter has mono. Even if she didn’t get mono, I think we would’ve ended up cancelling on Monday because it’s too spendy, well… ok, the biggest reason is that we’d probably be too tired to go out.
There, I said it. I’m tired! But, I’m such a sucker for romance that the right romantic gesture could possibly convince me to skip putting on my comfy pants at 7pm. But I’m not holding my breath. I guess I’ve simply accepted the fact that Valentine’s Day is something fun for our kids to celebrate. Something fun for the couples without kids to enjoy.
Eh… screw that!
What about us?! The parents who actually need and deserve the romantic weekend, or at least night. Hell, I’d take a few hours of something just for US… or, damn it — ME. Sure, the hubs & I do have a monthly date night, but we’re too giddy & focused on having fun without the kids to consider a romantic night. I don’t even know if I’d recognize a romantic night if I had one. We kinda had one for New Year’s Eve. We dressed like it… and I suppose it was sort of romantic… but what I’m talking about is a big surprising gesture. I have to plan every.fucking.thing… I’m the one trying to create the romance, but anything resembling romance kinda looses it’s luster when you have to plan it all yourself. I don’t really want roses or jewelery… I’d take them, but to me, that’s still not romance. Those are gifts. And, fairly generic gifts if you ask me. Anyone can send a dozen roses.
These days, romance would = the hubs kicking me for a few hours — not to run errands — but to get coffee or a beer alone or with a friend while he takes care of the kids, cleans the house and puts them to bed before I get home to a candlelit dinner for 2 waiting for me. Am I asking too much? He does kick me out on occasion, but let’s face it, even he doesn’t come home to a clean house most evenings. Or, heck, if the hubs actually surprised me by scheduling a sitter on his own and made… wait for it… dinner reservations… wow. Now that would make me feel swept up off my feet for sure! But like I said, I’m not holding my breath for any of that. And that is ok. I guess. We are comfortable… and we are definitely best friends first & foremost. We have fun together with & without the kids, and have a healthy sex life… what the hell am I complaining about?!
I do have to ask though, how do we resuscitate our wimpy/non-existent romantic gestures? Seriously, I’m looking for ideas here. What do you do to keep the romance alive in your partnerships?