Aug 29, 2019
It’s easy to forget Valentine’s Day when you’re married with kids, a job, chores, and an endless array of commitments and appointments filling up your schedules. We here at PeaceInYourHome.com encourage you all to take out your red pens and calendars right now and draw a big heart around February 14!
Don’t let it come and go without celebrating the romantic love you have with your partner!
We can hear the excuses now:
Well, get ready for Cupid to shoot heart-shaped holes right through all these flimsy excuses. This article is meant to show you why your romantic love matters for your children and will give you some easy ideas for how to inject some romance into your packed schedules.
At Peace in Your Home, we believe that self-care is a key ingredient to effective parenting, and a big part of self-care is nurturing your personal relationships. It’s no secret that happy parents have happy children. But many researchers would argue that the best gift you could give your children is the example of a happy, healthy marriage.
Yes, your children are the apples of our eyes, but they needn’t be your only focus! Be careful of losing sight of your partner and your relationship as a couple. Shifting your passion from your spouse to your children isn’t doing anyone any favors. By creating distance and tension with your partner, you will actually be projecting your distress onto your kids. This can lead to them acting out, withdrawing, and suffering from undue stress and anxiety.
By modeling a loving, healthy marriage, you are not only nurturing your relationship with your partner, but you are teaching your children by example how a successful intimate relationship works. Let them see you kiss, cuddle, and hold hands. Show your kids the bouquet of flowers you’re about to give or have received. They may pretend to think it’s all very icky and gross, but they don’t really. In a world of uncertainty, it’s comforting for them to see that their parents are a team bound tightly together by love. All those sweet gestures will show what it’s like to appreciate your partner and what it’s like to be appreciated in turn.
Think about the kind of relationship you want your children to have when they’re adults. Do you have that kind of relationship with your spouse now? Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to get closer to it!
Now let’s shoot down those excuses one by one.
Do you have time to take Billy to soccer practice? Were you able to fit in making cookies for Hailey’s bake sale? Yes? Then you have time to plan something with your partner for Valentine’s Day.
Somehow, we all manage to find time for the things we consider top priority. Make “alone time” with your significant other one of those top priorities. Get away from thinking that Date Night is indulgent and start thinking that Date Night is necessary. You need to reconnect with your spouse regularly. You need to be able to talk one on one without the distraction of kids. And sometimes you need to be reminded of why you two fell in love in the first place.
Remember, Valentine’s Day celebrations don’t have to take place on February 14. If you need to fit it in before or within a few weeks after, by all means do it. The important thing is that an effort is made in advance! Plus, it’s exciting to look forward to a romantic evening out.
So go book a sitter, arrange for the grandparents to watch the kids, or coordinate with a friend. Start making plans now. And if you’re still feeling guilty, read the previous section of this article again. Go celebrate Valentine’s Day, for the children’s sake!
Not everyone has access to affordable daycare. We understand. That just means sometimes we have to be extra creative about when and where to fit in romantic interludes with our partners.
Take a Saturday or Sunday to “sleep in” instead of springing out of bed to attend to the kids’ needs. Don’t worry; they’ll live if their breakfast is a little delayed.
Are your kids in school? Perfect. Take a long lunch and meet somewhere in the middle for a nice, romantic lunch date!
Here’s an idea for those who stay home with the kids during the day and can’t get away in the evening. The day of your big date, take your kids to the park to run around and play to their little hearts’ content. Keep them happy and active. (Read: Wear them out.) Feed them a filling dinner and send them off to bed early with a glass of milk and loads of hugs and kisses. One of you can go pick up take-out from your favorite restaurant (or better yet, have it delivered), turn down the lights, and have a lovely romantic, candle-lit dinner for two.
Naysayers will say, “This sounds perfect in theory, but things ALWAYS come up. You don’t know my kids.” Yes, it’s true– one of them might wake up with a nightmare, the other might need a glass of water. Really, if that’s the worst that can happen, you have to admit it’s worth the risk! Attend to their needs, and get right back to your romantic date. And if the kids are fussy and refuse to go back down, pull up another chair and make it a dinner for three or four. Steal loving glances at your partner when you can, laugh about it, and reflect on what a beautiful family you two have built together.
The important part is that you try.
Most women love expensive flowers, sparkling diamonds, and being wined and dined. Lots of men love pricey gadgets and gizmos. Parenthood, however, makes us far more “practical.” We don’t need expensive gifts to feel loved and validated. Especially in these economic times, a little goes a long way.
Here are some creative ways to express your love for your partner without breaking the bank.
In a Huffington Post article titled “Grow Old with Me, the Best Is Yet to Come,” columnist Jeanine Earnhart says this about marriage:
“Actually, the longer we’re married, the better it gets and I’d like to think that is a pattern that will continue. Whether you have been married a few years, 25 years or in the planning stages of your wedding, know that there is a future filled with rewards from the work you are putting into your relationship now. The “gold watch” or the “bonus” from years of marriage cannot be seen or worn or spent, but felt by an invisible connection between you and your partner. Sharing your house, your bed and your children is the surface part of a good marriage, sharing your thoughts and spirits are the best part. Knowing you will be with each other after the kids are raised, your friends have moved away and your parents have died, is a comfort like no other we know of.”
We know life is busy, unpredictable, and hectic, but our spouses are meant to be our partners for a lifetime. It’s a shame that we sometimes wait for February 14 to focus on the romantic love we have for our spouses. But as long as February 14 is just around the corner, let’s go ahead do just that. Your kids will thank you for it later.
Celebrate Valentine’s Day with your partners this February. It’s good for you, your spouse, and your children!
Wishing you peace, love, and romance in your home this Valentine’s Day!
by Pamela Laney
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