So it’s Valentine’s Day today and guess what I’m planning to wear for my ‘date night’ later – the comfiest jammies I can find in my closet! While most of you must have your pretty little red dresses all steamed up, and you’re geared up to clink your wine glasses with your better halves this evening, I plan to cook a simple dinner at home for my husband and 3-year old. Paints a pretty picture, doesn’t it? It does, minus the candle light, roses, and scanty outfit.
You must be wondering why I plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day in such a way. Well, apparently, this is pretty ‘standard’ for most parents. Firstly, if I want a date night with my hubby alone, I need to find someone to look after my toddler for a few hours. It being a special day for many – our parents, friends, relatives, neighbours, etc – it can be a challenge to get someone spending Valentine’s Day to look after a toddler.
So, next, I’m left with the option of bringing my kid along to celebrate this “day of love”. I mean, I have no issues with that, because Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate with your loved ones – including children, right? Knowing the significance the day symbolises, it’s a no brainer that restaurants, malls and public places will be packed with people. Not forgetting the over-priced brain-blasting menus prepared exclusively for today.
So the choice I’m left with is to spend the day with my loved ones in the comfort of my home, in the comfort of my clothes. Many think being parents changes the dynamic of how special days are celebrated – like today, being Valentine’s Day! That might be true, but guess what, there’s peace and bliss in that. Let me dive a little deeper.
You don’t get a break and that’s fine
It’s no cliché that once you have kids, your life changes forever. It’s goddamn reality and the sooner you accept it, the better it will be for your well-being. Be ready to do house and kids chores even on special occasions – your birthday, anniversary or Valentine’s Day. The grind doesn’t stop. I’m a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM), so there’s no escaping daily parental duties on any given day (except when they go to school or someone babysits them). For me, I’ve lowered my expectations on celebrating fancy occasions because, who am I kidding? Having expectations only leads to disappointment and resentment. Once you become a parent, you need to get your priorities right. Parental duties include sacrifice, disappointment, discontentment, and jealousy – tons of it! But you learn that the duty you’re entrusted with as a parent, to raise another being, is so special and dear, you’d ditch a one-night-fancy-dinner-date in a heartbeat. In the end, what matters is the happiness of your family and being together. So would I care if I’m unable to have a meal equivalent to my one month’s grocery, and instead spend it with my husband and kid at home? Nope, not at all.
Ditch the fancy, embrace the reality
The reality of motherhood on Valentine’s Day is seeing your toddler dancing weird just to make you laugh, kissing them like a 100 times just because you created something super cute and not worrying that anyone (your husband) would judge you having a bare face. Motherhood has become a place of comfort for me and honestly, dressing up for events, functions and special occasions makes me sigh – heavily. Because I’ve been in a place of comfort, fun and happiness, leaving it and affecting poise and charm can be chore. So if I need to skip this year’s fancy dinner date with my hubby and opt for a simpler celebration at home, by all means, I’m fine with that. The true reality of Valentine’s Day for me is having my boyfriend-turned-husband with me, giving me that charming genuine smile and kissing me sneakily somewhere in the house (so that our toddler doesn’t catch us sharing a romantic moment).
Coffee over wine
Our Valentine’s Day plan for today is – smiles over coffee. So, we plan to have a coffee date (with our toddler seeking our attention, of course) near our place to celebrate the day of love. Also, because it’s still a working day and there’s no discount on the routine, even on special days, you need to make the best of it. So it would only make sense to have a quick outing to avoid it clashing with the toddler’s schedule.
Celebrate love in scrappiness
You should have seen my house today. Toy blocks, toy cars, and other paraphernalia were giving my living room company. While I’ve partially lost the strength to ask my toddler to help bring the house to reset mode, I chose to live in harmony with it. Why? Because it makes my toddler happy having his toys everywhere, making it easy for him to play. Maybe he gets a special pass today from the nagging, but I guess it’s back to routine tomorrow!
Find happiness and comfort in the little things
So, I wished my husband Happy Valentine’s Day today by sending him an adorable picture of us. And the greeting went back and forth, with us exchanging pictures that we found cute or funny. You know what – that brought a smile to our faces. Since he’s working from home, we managed to exchange some cheeky looks, while I was cooking and he was taking a short break playing with our kid. That simple flirting and romance means a lot compared to a lavish event, cheeky gift or a video of our pictures together on social media to commemorate this special day. Happiness is having a home filled with people you love and care about. Being content with the little world you’ve built for yourself. Finding joy in the quick hug in between things, cracking a quick joke to break the tension after a protracted conference call, or a quick flirt while avoiding the little one is the true and ‘new’ meaning of Valentine’s Day for me.
Happy Valentine’s Day, peeps! <3
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