I have never been a fan of Valentine’s Day.
Regardless of whether I was happily single, bitterly single, happy in a relationship or miserable in one – it just wasn’t my thing.
To me, it is a contrived holiday where people feel pressured to buy expensive candy and flowers (at a 300% inflated price). Personally, I would much rather receive a Snickers bar than play a guessing game with a $20 heart-shaped box of mystery chocolates. You know what I’m talking about…we’ve all seen Forrest Gump.
Sure, it’s supposed to be a holiday dedicated to love, but I tell people I love them ALL THE TIME – my husband, my daughter, my mom, my friends…the drive-thru attendant at Chic-Fil-A who gives me extra dipping sauces. At the risk of sounding like a cliché and making you all vomit, EVERYDAY is Valentine’s Day at our house.
Go ahead, barf. I’ll wait.
Seriously though, it doesn’t have to be February 14th in order for us to get frisky and molest each other without consent.
However, if you ARE into celebrating V-Day, it can kind of suck when you become parents. That being said, I put together a survival guide. Whether this is your first one with a new babe (like myself) or if you are a seasoned veteran, here are SIX ways Valentine’s Day differs with kids and some ideas to make it (and any other day of the year that you want to get laid) successful:
Without Kids: Be as spontaneous as you want. Go to dinner at 11pm, stay out all night and then hop a plane to Chile (the country, not the restaurant) afterwards if you want. Doesn’t matter because you have FREEDOM.
With Kids: You need to plan in advance. Besides the fact that finding a babysitter on Valentine’s Day is almost as difficult as getting one on New Year’s Eve…it also usually comes at a premium. Unless you can find someone willing to give up a night of sucking face, you aren’t going anywhere.
Solution: Stay home with your kids on the actual holiday, dress them up as cupid and take loads of awkward pics to humiliate them with in the future – preferably on prom night. Book a babysitter for the weekend AFTER and save a chunk of cash. Then hop a plane to Vegas…it’s easier to escape on a domestic flight.
Without Kids: Go ahead, spend $500 on dinner and some roses. Who cares? It’s not like you have to save for anyone’s college tuition.
With Kids: “And though they be but little, they are expensive as f-ck.” – Me
Solution: Since it is virtually impossible to go out to dinner on Feb 14th without getting stuck with some pricey prix fixe 4 course menu, skip it. Grab a bottle (or four) of wine, pick out any flower other than roses and cook dinner at home with the family. Make a reservation for another night when you can actually order whatever you want off the menu instead of getting stuck with a modified “lover’s selection” and rejoice in the fact that you saved your wallet from assault by the restaurant industry.
Without Kids: The Best of Sade on your iTunes and lots of marathon love making by candlelight.
With Kids: Sex is what got you into this whole fiasco in the first place. Those tiny dictators that have taken over your home are a direct result of some hot coitus session between you and whoever was on the receiving end of your horniness. Keeping that in mind, it’s a little less romantic when the warm light of candles has been replaced by the creepy night vision glow on the baby monitor. Lucky for us, we know that our daughter is still immobile and cannot climb out of her crib so there is no risk of being physically interrupted (only audibly via screaming). However, God help our love life when she is capable of walking.
Solution: Ensure the lock on your bedroom door is secured/kid proofed or have a local hotel room on retainer.
Without Kids: Chocolate body paint? Check. Whipped cream in bed? Oh yeah. Sexy sprinkle fight? Bring it. There’s nothing Cosmopolitan can suggest that you won’t try.
With Kids: Have you been to a kid’s birthday party recently? If so, then you’ve probably seen all that shit smeared across every inch of a group of screaming toddlers. The thought probably doesn’t strike you as sexy anymore, right?
Solution: Finding food in bed (and everywhere else) is probably part of your daily routine now and kind of takes the appeal out of it. If you REALLY want to turn your partner on, offer to wash the sheets without being asked, rather than create another chore. And if you’re going to have a food fight in bed…save it for a hotel room where you won’t be the one cleaning up the mess.
Without Kids: Lingerie…lots of it. Last Valentine’s Day, my husband (even more than myself) was blissfully skipping through Victoria’s Secret all too eager to outfit my massive first trimester hooters. As he recalled the story of how he needed to ask a sales associate to find a 32D bra for his wife, I realized that I had never before seen him look more elated.
With Kids: Flannel pajamas and nursing bras. Not everyone may have beef with this one, but as far as I’m concerned, Victoria can take her voluptuous, taught and perky Secrets and shove them where the sun don’t shine. If you’re breast feeding, the thought of putting on a sexy lace bra may not work given the fact that your nipples resemble an 80’s sprinkler system these days. And if you are like me (stopped breastfeeding awhile ago), then you have already bid farewell to your bosom buddies. You now have an entire drawer of big girl bras that may as well be packed up and given away along with all the clothes your kids no longer fit into.
Solution: Confidently embrace everything you have. It doesn’t matter if everything you have fits into a pre-teen training bra or is enough to suffocate a bear…own it. Nobody is perfect. Models are air brushed. But hey, surgery is cool too…as long as it’s FOR YOU and nobody else.
Without Kids: A holiday centered on binge eating chocolate and nobody you have to share it with…awesome.
With Kids: A holiday centered on binge eating chocolate when you are still trying to fit into your non-maternity pants and your kids can’t wait to get jacked up on sugar….NOT awesome.
Solution: Screw it and eat the chocolate…before your kids can get to it.
Despite all of this, I still think Valentine’s Day can be a great opportunity to take a minute to tell ALL the special people in your life how much they mean to you. Just skip the gigantic teddy bears, Edible Arrangements, overpriced roses and try not to get too caught up in all the Hallmark hooplah. I guarantee that a thoughtful handwritten note will go a lot further….along with a free pass to watch The Notebook for the 8364794th time (for the women), a blowjob (for the men) and a Snickers (for both of you).