Ah, Valentine’s Day. The one day a year that all of society is forced to express their undying love for others in the form of gifts.
What Moms Really Want (and Don't Want) for Valentine's Day
As kids, it’s an exciting day of exchanging Valentines, collecting candy, and icing heart shaped cookies. As teens, it’s a status symbol of how “serious” your relationship is. In college and beyond, it’s just another day for your partner to feel pressured to make the right selection to symbolize your love. Maybe it’s because I’ve been married over a dozen years, or maybe it’s because we have a pile of children….or really maybe it’s because no one has ever considered me the ‘romantic’ type. All I know is Valentine’s Day is THE WORST! So this year, I’m spelling it out to you – significant others. If your partner is a mom like me, here’s a list of ‘romantic’ gifts we want….or don’t.
Flowers/Plants - Don't.
Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, if you get me another plant, I might divorce you. Seriously, I can barely keep the kids alive. Don’t add anything else onto my plate. And flowers are great and all, but our counter is already cluttered enough.
Chocolates - Do...but Do it Right.
Chocolate. Oh my love. You’ve been there for me through it all. I love chocolate of all types….as long as it’s worth the calories. No I’m not one of those crazy calorie counters or shaming myself for eating things that aren’t made out of kale. I just prefer to actually enjoy the foods I eat. When it comes to chocolates, it’s definitely quality over quantity. If the box of chocolates you are considering costs $7 and has over 50 pieces in it…just do me a favor and throw it in the garbage on your way home. I’d rather one high quality chocolate bar than a bunch of cheap tasteless garbage I’ll politely nibble at, then leave in the cupboard to fossilize. Also, please don’t give this to me in front of the kids. I don’t want to share. Get them the cheap stuff, they don’t care.
Lingerie - Don't.
Yes, we all love feeling sexy from time to time. Here’s the deal, though. I’ve done the math, I’m more likely to get lucky in a ratty old tee shirt. Besides, my odds are already 100% that if/when I want it, I can get it (emphasis on the if…I’m tired!) Don’t get me wrong, I still like surprising my guy with a little number every now and then, but I know my body and I know what looks good. There’s nothing worse than getting something to make you feel sexy and empowered, and it crushes your self esteem resulting in a sausage casing replica. If you want me to feel sexy, tell me my 8 day unwashed hair looks nice.
Chocolate Covered Fruit - Do.
If there’s one thing the Netflix show ‘Atypical’ got right, it’s that chocolate covered strawberries are “sex fruits”. I don’t really think this needs much more explanation. Yes, please.
Money/Gift Cards - Do...but Do it Right.
I can’t be the only mom that’s guilty of this. Someone gets me a gift card to Target or Amazon with the intention that I get myself something. I always start off looking for an item for myself, but inevitably, I end up in the children’s section purchasing essentials for my kids or replacing the casserole dish that was broken the month before. While these things are great, they aren’t for me. I’m terrible at spending money on myself. So if you want to get your partner a gift that they will use FOR THEM, think outside the box. Get it for a massage or pedicure, or find that clothing store they really love that only sells clothes in their sizes.
Date Night - Do...But Do it Right.
A date night sounds amazing. I LOVE getting out and connecting with my husband without our chaos crew engaging in fight club in the middle of a restaurant. Here’s the thing, though. For me to go out on a date, I have to put A LOT of work into it. First I need to call multiple sitters and beg them to come watch my crew. Once that’s established, I have to frantically clean the house so said babysitter doesn’t judge me too harshly. Then I have to find something going on or make a dinner reservation. When the babysitter arrives, I spend 10 minutes walking her through the routine and apologizing preemptively for what my kids will surely do while I’m gone. While we’re on the date, I have to keep checking my phone to see if the babysitter needs anything (because she always does) and I don’t start to relax until I know all the kids are in bed asleep. If you want to take your partner out on a date, do the upfront work for us. Call the babysitter, make the reservation, clean up the house, give her YOUR number to text.
Hotel - Do.
Hotel night without kids. Is there anything better? Yes. Yes, there is. A hotel night alone. I’m not the only exhausted mom out there who fantasizes about a weekend away in total and utter silence. I’d love a night where I’m not wrangling the kids into bed, listening to the monitor, or being awoken because someone’s water bottle is the wrong color at 2am. Also, I truly can’t remember the last time I woke up unassisted. Maybe in 2012? The perfect night would be me alone, in a giant comfortable bed, eating takeout, watching anything but Nickelodeon/Disney, and going to bed whenever I feel like it. The thought of waking up and the time not mattering is borderline euphoric. Please. Treat your partner!
Chores - Do. PLEASE!
If you really want your partner to feel special on Valentine’s Day, do their chores. Nothing is better to me than coming downstairs in the morning to see that my husband emptied and refilled the dishwasher before he left for work. He’s always helpful around the house, but every household sort of has a list of chores that each partner takes on as a regular routine. If this holiday is about love, the best way to show someone you love and appreciate them is to help them out and lessen their burden. Best of all, it costs NOTHING! Make dinner, or do the dishes, or fold the pile clean of laundry we all have lurking somewhere in our house.
I think I can speak for all moms when I say the best thing you can give us for Valentine’s Day is just love. Whether it’s letting us choose the show we watch or giving us a long hug when you see us, we all want to feel appreciated. Sometimes as moms, it’s easy to feel alone and isolated as we tackle the house, raising the kids, and careers. Love and chocolate covered strawberries – sex fruit.