By Lorilee Craker
Ahh … Valentine’s Day. What could be more romantic than a moonlit cruise on a gondola in Venice, with your hunk of burning love serenading you with a song he wrote himself? Hmmm … not happening, you say? Not even close, right? With one or more little offspring running or combat crawling around your casa, you and the big guy are lucky to sneak in a smooch before having to change a diaper or referee a squabble.
Girl, I’m here to tell you that romance is not dead, even though your expectations have taken a hit since you became a mom. There are ways to reclaim that cozy couplehood you two once had, and Valentine’s Day is an excellent excuse to get busy. Even if your main squeeze is one of those “I’m-not-celebrating-Valentine’s-Day-because-it’s-a-lame-greeting-card-holiday” types, you can still infuse your marriage with some va-va voom by implementing these tips for V-Day:
- Don’t get in a snit if you think he’s not going to get you a card or something. This year, get him a card — or more — and see what develops!
- Guys love it when they think we “get” them, especially when it comes to hobbies. Is your hub into fishing? Grab some fishing lures, a glossy fishing magazine and some of his favorite coffee and muffins and assemble a gift basket that will put a smile on his face. Is golf more his thing? Replaces lures with golf balls and a golf magazine and make his day. Guitars: picks and a CD … you get the picture.
- Plan a Valentine’s Day date entirely around him. Get a babysitter and make reservations — if needed — at his favorite restaurant, even if you’re sick of Famous Dave’s or Big Buck Steakhouse. Hit the movies and see the movie he’s been wanting to see.
- Shake it up with something all-new this Valentine’s Day by trying something neither of you has tried before, like ballroom dancing, cross-country skiing or karaoke.
- Burn your man a CD with tunes you know he’ll love (but you might not necessarily groove on). A custom CD is one of the most meaningful — and cheapest — gifts going.
- Photo op: Tell your kids that Daddy is your sweetheart, and have your oldest click a pic of you two hugging and mugging for the camera. (Bonus: The kids will love it that mommy and daddy are so into Valentine’s Day!)
- If you’ve just got a baby and no babysitter, plan to date in this year. Look up recipes online for romantic menus for two, and then whip up a special candlelit meal for just mom and dad alone after the baby goes to bed.
- Throw some of those candy hearts with grown up messages (“I Want U”) in his lunch, briefcase or the pockets of his work jacket. Include a note telling him how much he means to you and how much you appreciate him.
- Buy him some fun underwear this year! Nab a novelty pair of boxers with candy hearts on them, or a red pair of boxer-briefs. Silk is good and sends a message he will immediately comprehend.
- On the 14th, text your husband at work and tell him how sweet he is, and how cute he looks in his new hockey jersey. Everyone appreciates a loving message from the one they traded vows with, and hardly anyone gets enough of it.
This year, pluck an item off this list and really make an effort. If your guy sees how hard you tried to rev up the romance at home, he’ll probably reciprocate. True, Valentine’s Day may seem trivial and commercial, but like I said, it’s just one more excuse to heat things up around the home front, and to get in touch with your inner Red Hot Mama!