I think it’s really important that couples celebrate something romantic together without their kids, but Valentine’s Day can be a family activity too! I personally feel the loss of my pre-baby identity very keenly, and have grappled with my new identity as a “mum” instead of a businesswoman, writer and traveler. It took me some time to piece things together and to fit motherhood into my feeling of self with all the other things that make me who I am. After all, we are a big collection of roles to many different people.
I try to remember that I am a wife and that my husband is my best friend too and sometimes it’s nice to just get away and enjoy a bit of peace, quiet and romance where snuggling can be uninterrupted. Since my son is still an infant, there’s really no way he could enjoy Valentine’s Day with us, but I do have fond school memories of writing out secret valentines day cards and baking sweet treats and I have some exciting plans for when he’s older. When I was little, Valentine’s Day wasn’t about romance (I was raised by my mum and grandmother) but just saying “I love you” to the people you care about.
Valentine’s Day isn’t about chocolate (honest!). It’s not about jewellery, or flowers, or a candlelit meal. It’s certainly not about buying an overpriced card from the supermarket. To me, Valentine’s Day is about love – the gift of time, compliments, appreciation and sharing. Oh, and a few cheeky snuggles too, of course. All these things can be shared with the whole family.
Share the Love with Everyone!
Let everyone you love know about it. Whether that’s friends, family, partner or kids. With children, seeing them smile can be the best feeling in the world. How about cutting some post-it notes into hearts and leaving them in places they might find them unexpectedly? Just simple expressions of love or powerful quotes. Pop them in their shoes, in the sock drawer, the wardrobe, their backpack and packed lunch. Leave them on the mirror in the bathroom – one addressed to each family member. Tell people that they’re precious to you and that you’re grateful to have them in your lives.
Give a Crafted or Personal Gift
I won’t say no to diamonds and roses, but do you know what says I love you to me? Something that has taken time (our most precious commodity with a baby in the house!), thought and care. Hand made cards, a massage or a foot rub, a letter of appreciation, a home cooked meal, breakfast in bed, a slow dance to music in the living room – these are gifts that we can all give to our loved ones and won’t break the bank either.
Time to join the Great British Bake Off
No, not really. Anyone who follows my posts knows I’m not a skilled cook, unless “burning things” is one of the judged categories. There are some fabulous Valentine’s Day treats you can make with your kids. I have a vivid memory of being six years old and making peppermint hearts with my grandmother so I know first hand how special those early experiences can be. If I could manage it when I was six, I’m sure I can do it again now!
Since I am a dunce in the kitchen, I’ve hooked you up with 7 links from my blogging friends for treats your whole family can make for Valentine’s Day:
- Someone’s Mum – Valentine’s Day Heart Cookies and Presentation Box
- Boo Roo and Tigger Too – Cupid Cupcakes
- The Bear & The Fox – Cherry Milk
- The Happy Weaner – Valentine’s Treats for Kids
- A Strong Coffee – Valentine’s Chocolate Bark
- Me and B Make Tea – “Bee Mine” Valentine’s Oreo Cookies
- Mummy Wishes – Fruit and Vegetable Gummy Bears
Of course at the end of the night, if you can get a babysitter then a night together with your partner means quality time but don’t feel pressured into having to do something because of what is essential, a made-up holiday. Valentine’s Day for me is just about spreading the love, so Valentine’s Day with kids is just as fun and filled with laughter and love!
If you want a romantic activity you can do with your partner whilst the kids are at school or in daycare, I can highly recommend Afternoon Tea and my recommendation for my local readers is The Deck, Cardiff.