While expert advice is nice, sometimes you just need to hear honest advice from other moms about the challenges of parenthood–we’re here to help! For our new series, Ask a Real Mom, we’ll be gathering and sharing advice that will help moms in any stage of parenthood.
Our first question actually isn’t about kids; it’s about your partner. A baby adds a new dynamic to your relationship, and even the best marriages feel some strain once the baby arrives. So we’re asking our Real Moms: with Valentine’s Day approaching, what are some cute ways to keep the romance alive with a new baby?
With the help of our expert moms, I present to you:
A New Mom’s Guide to the Perfect Valentine’s Day!
Step 1: Build the Anticipation
You don’t have to wait until February 14th to let those loving feelings flow: get the romance started before the big day! A simple note, text, or display of affection goes a long way, and will help both of you feel noticed and loved.
“Who knew ‘thank you’ could be so romantic? I like to leave my husband little notes to say “thank you for working so hard,” or “thanks for taking the late night shift with the baby.” I put them in his lunch or by his toothbrush. A quick note of appreciation, or even a text, especially in a crazy busy time, really helps us stay connected.” -Carmen G.
My friend Julie writes a super encouraging blog called the Happy Home Fairy, and these 14 Ways to Love Your Husband are creative, quick, and best of all: free! Take a look at her list for simple ways to create a flirty and fun build-up to the big day!
Step 2: Plan a cozy at-home date night
Date nights are no longer as simple as asking, “Where should we go tonight?” If you’re craving a fun night out, you’re going to have to plan ahead! That means making room in the budget, hiring a babysitter, and making a reservation.
But most of the Real Moms we surveyed much prefer a cozy night into a fancy night out: it’s much simpler to put the baby to sleep and enjoy some quiet, relaxing time together at home!
But how can you make a date night at home different than every other night at home? The secret is planning ahead. Looking for ideas? We’ve got you covered:
- Get Dressed Up: Just because you’re staying home doesn’t mean you can’t get dolled up!
“Trade your yoga pants and nursing bra for a dress, heels, or anything else that makes you feel pretty. Don’t skip this step–it makes a huge psychological difference for me!”–Denise F.
- If you love to cook: Go all out and create a fancy meal!
Write up a menu as if you were in a restaurant and whip up your guy’s favorites. Yes, it takes time and planning to shop and cook an elaborate meal with a baby at home, but it’s totally worth it! –Rebecca H., RegistryFinder GiveIt blog contributor
- If you don’t love to cook: I’m right there with you! Here’s my advice: Order in from your favorite restaurant using a delivery service like UberEats or Grub Hub. Have it delivered once the kids are sleeping! Make a simple but fancy appetizer (like baked Brie) while you wait for dinner to arrive!
- If you’d rather let someone else do the planning: My friend Christie shares:
“We really enjoyed subscribing to Datebox! It’s a fun way to have at-home dates when you can’t get a sitter and the baby is sleeping. From what I remember they always included a game/craft, snack, and Spotify playlist. They were usually themed. You fill out a profile in the beginning so they have an idea of what you might enjoy.”
- If all else fails:
“Sometimes we’ll justopen a bottle of champagne! We will just chat and enjoy the quietness of the house when the girls are asleep. –Alyson R. I love the idea of raising a glass tosurviving another day of parenthood!
Step 3: Keep it Practical
Yes, flowers and chocolate and romance are totally fun for Valentine’s Day, but as a new mom, sometimes it’s the simple things that mean the most!
“Alternate who gets to sleep. Nothing is sexier than a man that watches the kids so you can nap.” –Beth P.
“Ummmm… is no one going to say doing the dishes and mopping the floors?!?! That’s my kind of romance!” –Alix M.
I think these ladies are onto something: speak up and ask your partner for practical help, letting them know that doing those tasks mean more to you right now than flowers and candy. Though, we’re sure you wouldn’t complain if you got it all!
So while this Valentine’s Day might look a little different than it did in your dating and pre-kids days, our expert moms prove it can be just as fun and memorable!
Got a question for the Real Moms? Let us know and we’ll cover it in the months ahead!
-Written by Christina Peterson, whose favorite romantic gesture is when her husband cooks dinner (and cleans the kitchen afterward!)