Celebrating Valentine’s Day When You Have Kids

Valentine’s Day is a day filled with love, romance, joy, chocolate and wine isn’t it? Well, er, nope, not when you have kids. I’ve got two active boys, a 7-year-old and a 5-year-old and I’ve been married 10 years in October – sheesh.

Last weekend my husband asked me if I would like to go for lunch with him this Valentine’s Day. I was really impressed he remembered. Since having kids, we don’t go out for dinner much. We have lunch dates. Then we can go while the kids are at school and we both get to enjoy a meaningful catch up without one of us falling asleep! On Monday though my husband realised he had actually got his days mixed up and thought Valentine’s Day was February the 12th! So it turns out he’s away for work anyway! Doh.

All those relationship gurus out there say that you should keep the romance alive when you are married, but it’s not easy to fit it in is it? During the week, it’s work work work and then at the weekend it’s kids, sport, housework, kids, diy, kids, family day out, kids, supermarket, kids. It takes effort to be sexy and romantic. You have to have that date in the bathroom first where you wax, shave and pluck yourself to perfection. Really, who can be arsed with that? Then you actually have to find something in your wardrobe that makes you feel sexy. Bleeuuggh.

If we go out for dinner we have to book it way in advance. Spontaneity is dead. We usually have to pay for a babysitter – so if we do go out together it has to be a really, really special occasion. Then we feel like we should fit 20 dates into one night, end up drinking waaaay too much and both collapse into bed. Only to enjoy being woken up by one of our little monkeys with a nosebleed at 1:00 am and then they are up raring to go at 6:00 am.

This Valentine’s Day my mum is visiting from the UK and Valentine’s Day is all about the kids. We have made a ‘Valentine’s Tree’.

Our Valentine’s Tree

I told the boys that Valentine’s Day was about telling people you love them and expressing your love for things. We cut lots of little red hearts out of red card and on each one, I asked the boys to write a message of love. Here are some of the things they wrote: ‘I love Mum’, ‘I love holidays’, ‘I love chocolate’, ‘I love pies’, ‘I love ice cream’…. And so on. They really got into it.

We found two metal coat hangers and put them together in a cross shape, and then put them upside down into a cardboard tube. The weight of the hangers made it stand tall and straight without tipping over. Then we tied the hearts onto the hangers with red cotton.

Attaching the leaves with Grandma

My 7-year-old went into the garden to collect some leaves and he sellotaped them on top of the coat hangers with some help from Grandma. Tada – a ‘Valentine’s Tree’. We were so engrossed we didn’t realise it was past dinner time. It was lovely to see the boys getting a little bit lovey-dovey for a change and I think Grandma enjoyed it too! Happy Valentine’s Day!

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