Once I got married, I kind of felt like Valentine’s day lost its shine. I just didn’t feel like I needed it anymore. Not to mention how nauseating it is to go out to eat with a million high school kids who have been dating for six months and have no mortgage, kids or responsibilities after you’ve been married 10 years. I’m just not in that stage of life. But at the same time, I felt left out for not participating.
There’s pretty much no other night I would rather not spend on a babysitter than Valentine’s. Every place is crowded and you know everything is going to take longer. Meanwhile, I have the babysitter meter running in my head ($12 an hour!) and all of this tends to make me not-so-nice dinner company. It’s more stressful, than fun, for me. So we try to do something fun or out of the ordinary on Valentine’s without going out.
Here are some Valentine’s date night at home ideas we return to year after year:
- Make/Buy a special dessert—and don’t share! Every mom knows the pain of having that fork up and ready to take a big bite of something amazing only to see the top of a tiny head out of the corner of your eye and hear the words, “Can I have a bite?” I would give any of my girls the last bite of whatever I have—gladly. But sometimes it’s nice not to have to share, or even be asked to! For this to happen at our house, it means hiding the Ben and Jerry’s/Chocolate covered strawberries/Cheesecake until the kids go to bed.
- Get a special treat to drink. We really enjoy craft beer, and there’s really nothing more relaxing than splitting one or two together after the kids are in bed and we know no one will be yelling for us for a little while. We get out the fancy beer glasses and enjoy tasting different kinds and styles. Make your own beer flight by getting 4-5 of one brewer and pouring 2-4 ounces of each beer to sip. Pair with cheeses or salty snacks when you get the munchies.
- Have a backyard picnic. Some areas are temperate enough to be able to go outside in February. If you can, put a fire in the firepit, spread out a blanket and grab the baby monitor, but turn it on low. Relax under the stars with no phones, TV or computer to distract you.
- Just do it already. Maybe it’s been a while. Well, you know what? It’s Valentine’s Day, the kids are asleep, and you have nowhere to be. Put your phones in another room and cuddle in bed until someone’s in the mood.