How to keep Valentine’s Day special when you’re a parent

Megan Kirby a Relationship Coach with 12+ years of experience as a Clinical Social Worker has some expert advice to help you keep the romance alive with your partner. As busy moms and dad's our children, our homes, work, and activities, it's easy to see why romance takes a backburner.

I contacted Megan, who created the Pause Method, and asked her for some tips on how to keep the romance alive as a parent.

Valentine’s Day is a holiday about loving on those that matter to you most. Whether that’s your spouse, your friends, your kids, etc, it’s a day for letting others know that they matter to you. So why not take the opportunity to remind your spouse/partner that they're important to you. But with less pressure of finding the perfect gift or having the perfect dinner. Perfect doesn't exist, especially in parenthood. how do we do that when we have kiddos running around, mouths to feed, laundry to do, dinner to cook, clients to answer, routines to follow, and just about everything else on our to-do lists??

Make it a priority

I’m here to tell you that one of the most important things you can do is

Start by making things that are important to you and your partner a priority.

Even if you think there are a million other things that need to be done, your marriage is more important. If it doesn't become a priority now, when will it?

Communication is key

If Valentine’s Day is important to you, let your spouse/partner know that it’s important to you (communicate this openly and honestly). Be open about what you want, you are WORTH it. For me personally, it’s not that important of a day, but for others it is. If Valentine’s Day is important to you, and you have certain expectations or thoughts on the holiday, start a conversation around what you’d like to do (Be clear about your expectations). Unspoken expectations are just thoughts we have in our minds. So to get on the same page, be honest and communicate about what you’d like. If you like flowers and your partner doesn’t usually get you flowers, it’s OK to ask for flowers. If you want to go to dinner and there needs to be a plan (make a plan) in place to go to dinner, have a conversation and troubleshoot about how you can make this a priority.

More on making a plan

Think through where you want to go, what time, do you need to get a sitter, what other obstacles could get in the way of it happening? Try troubleshooting before the night of so that you can avoid anything happening to throw the plan off track and keep to minimum frustration the night of…because we all know how that can happen and throw a date night completely off.

Maybe you don’t want to go out for a date and want to stay at home and keep it more of a chill night, stay up a little later to celebrate. There are LOTS of great ideas for date nights at home like picnics in your living room, sitting by the fireplace or fire pit, wine tasting, cooking a new meal, trying a delicious new dessert. How often do you get creative at home with your partner? Honestly, how much time have you and your partner spent watching Netflix or bingeing the next best show but then say you don’t have enough time to make your marriage a priority? I say this with love, there is time to make it a priority, you just have to choose to prioritize it more often.

It can be easy to fall into the same patterns and routines over the years because you're tired and you're comfortable with this person you chose to do life with, so it’s important to make sure you’re still adding some fun and excitement to your life, even if it’s from the comfort of your own home.

Adding in new things creates a sense of connection, love, intimacy, and fun in your relationship and that’s what it was like when you first met. It helps you remember why you fell in love in the first place. Creates connection amongst the chaos of raising a family.

*** (I have a list of 30+ at home date night ideas that I can include in this)***

Date Night at home ideas
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How do you both receive love best

Another great way to understand each other better is to know how you both receive love. If you haven’t figured out your love language and your partner's love language this can be really fun to know! You might be surprised by what you find out. For a long time, I thought my husband's love language was physical touch because, well you can probably guess. But to my surprise, his is actually quality time. It made so much sense, it drives him crazy when I’m on my phone around him, likes spending time together just talking, and always has. I didn’t realize how important this was to him and I shifted things when I found this out.

The 5 love languages are

1. acts of service

2. gifts

3. physical touch

4. quality time

5. words of affirmation