With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, dinner reservations are being confirmed, romantic dates are being scheduled, and many are looking forward to the day of romance. Becoming a parent has completely changed how we plan time spent together as a couple, particularly romantic date nights without the little ones. This Valentine’s Day (my third as a mama), I’m using these 3 guidelines to ensure the day is as stress-free and romantic as possible.
1. Celebrate Valentine’s Day, but not on February 14th.
As a mama, before I could even think about a romantic date for Valentine’s Day, I knew I had to schedule a sitter because without someone to be with the little ones, we’re looking at dinner reservations and plans for four (nope, I’ll pass). Although we couldn’t secure a sitter for Valentine’s Day (which is Wednesday this year, which sucks because who wants date night on a Wednesday night?), we scheduled a sitter for during the day on the 14th and for the following Saturday. Ideally, I guess this isn’t romantic for some but for us it’s perfect; we get to avoid busy restaurants (and their inflated prices) on the 14th and enjoy our time together on the weekend without stressing to get home and prepare for work the following day.
2. Set realistic expectations for Valentine’s Day [as a parent].
I’ll admit that sometimes my expectations for how we spend alone time [without the little ones] is very unrealistic. We won’t be booking a last minute romantic weekend getaway in Miami as we would have pre-baby but I’m okay with that. Even when I meticulously plan every single detail of our [alone] time and try to prepare for any potential unforeseen circumstances, something almost always comes up with the little ones that requires Mama’s attention and inevitably alters our plans. I'm actually okay with them constantly changing our plans; I've grown to accept it. I’m just looking forward to enjoying some quality time with my love, reconnecting as a couple and celebrating the love that has brought us this far.
3. Creativity counts.
Get creative now that you're a parent (not that you have a choice, hah!). Consider hiring a private chef to prepare a romantic meal in your home. DinnerDate provides custom in-home dining experiences to create the perfect date night without ever leaving your warm and cozy house. If you can find a way to secure one of these highly coveted and expertly curated dinners, let us know how it was. This is at the top of my date night bucket list.
Make your home a luxury spa. Want to unwind with a world-class massage without ever leaving the comfort of your home? Try Soothe. It's like Uber for massages. You can download the app to your smartphone and book massages by certified masseuses who can be at your home in as little as one hour.
If you can’t ditch the little ones, include them. If making plans without the children isn’t feasible, incorporate them in cooking dinner or baking a sweet treat. Also consider visiting a local play space, public library or even have Tea with Mrs. B for some post-Valentine's Day fun. Even though this doesn’t compare to romantic dates pre-baby, nothing can compare to spending time with the ones you love on a holiday celebrating love. Let them stay up late or skip a nap so that bedtime is easy or perhaps they’ll even go to bed early. This should allow for some parental romance (wink wink).
Gymboree (NW DC) — Sweetheart party on Wednesday, February 14th from 4:30 to 6:30 pm. Call to reserve a spot for your little ones.
Georgetown Library (Georgetown, NW DC) — This neighborhood library is hosting a Valentine's Day party for the little readers of all ages on Tuesday, February 13th at 4:00 pm. Refreshments, story time, and Valentine's Day crafts.
Tea with Mrs. B (Falls Church, VA) — Sophisticated open play on Thursday, February 15th from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm. Both parent and child can sip tea (or lemonade), play dress-up, read stories, make crafts, and play games.
Nook — (Falls Church, VA) "All You Need is Love" Open Play & Story Time on Wednesday, February 14th. The open play pass grants access all day play in this space and to a very special Valentine's Day themed Nook Stories with Pajama Mama.
I hope you enjoy your Valentine’s Day in whatever way works for you and your family. Remember, all you need is love.