Valentine’s Day after you’ve had kids is a totally different ballgame. Usually I’m too tired to even bother and end up just telling my husband, “Let’s just skip it this year” rather than try and figure out some gift that he may not even use and I get some piece of jewelry I won’t end up wearing.
Rather than focusing on our relationship for just one day, we’ve made the decision to go on a date once a week. Having no family around means this can get pretty expensive but we made cuts to other categories in our budget to make this happen. It’s what we need to be the best partner we can be to each other. So rather than put together a gift guide this Valentine’s Day, I wanted to share 5 ways we make “Date Night” feel a little sexier than the typical dinner and a movie.
1. Dress Up. I know it sounds obvious, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve rushed out of the door the second the babysitter arrives wearing the same thing I have been in all day. I mean, between getting dinner ready and prepping the kids for bed, who has time to get dressed? Lately though, I have been slowing down and taking advantage of having the babysitter there to entertain the kids while I throw on a simple black dress, a splash of red lipstick, a pair of heels, and voila! Suddenly I feel less like “Mommy” and more like “Ana.”
2. Try Something New. It is really easy to fall into the routine of grabbing dinner, especially somewhere we have already been. Think outside of the “dinner rut”. Check out your favorite band in concert, go to the museum, pick a new neighborhood to walk around and explore, pick up your food “to go” and have a picnic in the park, or go bowling. We recently went on a double date to a new shuffleboard club and had the best time!
3. Wear something “special”. My husband and I reserve a single perfume and cologne that we used to wear when we were first dating solely for date night. The smell brings back floods of memories of our kid-free days and I’m reminded of all the ways we fell in love.
4. Plan Ahead. Nothing is less sexy than having to figure out what kind of food I’m in the mood for, what restaurant we can get a seat at, what train delays are happening tonight, etc… I try and make sure we have reservations, know how we are getting there, and what is nearby in case we feel like keeping the date going after dinner.
5. But also, be spontaneous. Some of our best nights have been entirely planned but it doesn’t work out. For example, that adorable al fresco restaurant we had been dying to try wasn’t going to cut it when it was pouring rain outside. So, we improvised and quickly dipped into the closest movie theater, snuggled up and enjoyed popcorn and candy for dinner.
I hope that you each feel a little special today! What are you doing to celebrate Valentine’s Day? Do you have any traditions?
Photo by Julia Elizabeth for Lucky Penny.
(This article also appeared in Mother.ly. Click here to read the full story).