It's your first Valentine's Day as parents and your annual tradition of getting all dolled up and hitting the town may not happen this year. And, that’s perfectly okay!
Valentine's day can be anything you want it to be, you're probably exhausted and the last thing on your mind after you've put your little one down is getting all done up for an evening out. All you can think about is having a shower and lying down. Well, whatever your feelings are about Valentine's day, it's there to remind us to focus on "the two of you", that doesn't have to mean big fancy presents and a swanky restaurant, it's about deepening that bond between you and your partner, and appreciating each other.
To celebrate the day as new parents, with a tiny baby, it's important, first of all, to set the expectations. You know your child best, and you know when they feed, or have a nap so you can chat with your partner beforehand about whether you'll celebrate and how you can show each other some love without causing any confusion, stress or tension between you.
So, what could Valentine's day look like with a newborn?
The key is to keep it simple but mix up the routine: it doesn't have to be big, or involve a lot of prep, or clearing up: A walk in the garden after you've put the baby to sleep, a quick picnic in the lounge, order a takeaway, have a bucks-fizz at breakfast or maybe just hold hands on the sofa.
Here are some of our fave picks, make of them what you will:
1. Cook a meal together
Do an online shop, plan out your favourite meal, and cook up a storm in the kitchen together. Use it as a time to talk to each other and share some memories together.
2. Help each other relax
After carrying and delivering a baby, it's likely that the only thing on your mind is SLEEP! So, we thought that there's no better way to celebrate Valentine's day than to organise a relaxation session for you and your partner - listen to some relaxing music, give each other a massage. This is perfect because it'll help relieve the stress of being actual parents now, as well as allowing you to spend some intimate time together (whether you feel like you're ready for sex or not).
3. Plan a film night at home
Sometimes simply making a plan to spend some special time with your loved one can make the evening special. Put down your phones and plan a movie night with your favourite film to watch when your LO is in bed. Stock up on popcorn and lots of snacks, then kick back together and enjoy.
4. Game night
Do you and your partner enjoy a bit of healthy competition? Dig out the board games, or play a video or card game. You could make it a little more interesting by choosing a prize for the winner. Good luck!
5. Make coupons to cash in at a later date
Even though we're trying to ramp up the romance here, the most important thing as new parents is to let each other know that you're still trying your best to make time for each other. A baby is a big adjustment for both of you. That being said, it may mean that you need to get a little creative with your dates - and not just focussing on V-day.
On the day, give your loved one some coupons they can cash in on a date that works better for both of you, use the ideas above, a 5 minute foot massage, or make them more personal to your relationship and the things you like to do together.
6. Book a micro-mini-break
Don't read this unless you have definite baby sitter on Valentine's day.
Why not jet off on a romantic city break? The new micro-mini-break trend is all about maximising on short stays, you'd jet off, explore and jet back in time to kiss your newborn goodnight. It's also a great budget option as you wouldn't need to book a hotel, AND you wouldn't be spending too much time away from your baby.
Before cementing your plans for the big day, communicate with your loved one, it will help to alleviate some of the pressures of the day and ensure you get the quality time together as new parents that you need, we've put some notes together on setting expectations for Valentine's day.
It's so important that you speak to each other in the week's running up to Valentine's day this means that you can plan around the day of romance accordingly, make sure you're both on the same page and then neither of you will be left disappointed.
Ask your partner:
- Are there any Valentine's day traditions you want to keep going?
- Will you do something on 14th February? Do you want to cancel celebrations this year? Or do you want to swap the day to one that works better (like the weekend)?
- Will you give each other a prezzie?
- Will you set aside some time to spend together, one-on-one? Do you need to find a baby-sitter?
- (Here's one you may feel a little uncomfortable about, but if you're a recent new mother, you'll get it) It may be worth having a little chat with your partner about whether there are any romantic sexual expectations.
Valentine’s Day can be as special or as low-key as you want it to be and we hope that we've given you some ideas on how you can bring a little intimacy back into your relationship after having a baby. The biggest mistake is to not acknowledge the day at all just because baby is here, it's a day to appreciate each other.
We hope you enjoy your first V-day as new parents! Good Luck!