Valentine’s Day marching orders

Amazon: Ladies Diamond Heart WatchForget the candy and the jewelry. For Valentine's Day, give your partner the gift of time. Pure, unadulterated time. Send her/him (whoever's the primary caretaker of the kids) to a cafe for a couple hours with a book and ten bucks for a snack. Schedule a massage. Pass along the movie listings and scoot him/her out the door.

Meanwhile, you and the kids get to have a cozy day at home, or an outing of your own. The only catch: make sure the house is tidy when your partner returns, dinner (home-cooked or takeout) is on the table, maybe a few candles, and you have the countenance of a happy parent, not a martyr.

There's nothing more attractive than a partner who truly understands what the other one needs, and then gives it freely, with love.

More: Marriage and relationship hacks


  1. kittenpie says

    This is a good piece of advice – but I do wonder where the romance is in this?
    I’m hoping I can manage to get a few minutes alone with mine once baby goes to bed, and to that end bought a couple of nice CDs to relax to.
    A night out without the kids would be prime for most moms, too – maybe not even necessarily on the day, but the day before or after, when it is not so busy?

  2. says

    As a brand-new mother, I think this is a *fantastic* gift. Getting out of the house guiltlessly–with no errands to run? Returning home to a clean house? You better believe my husband will get rewarded when I return home. And there’s the romance part. :)

  3. Asha Dornfest says

    Allow me to be blunt. What I’ve outlined in this post is likely the most effective foreplay for many busy, tired moms. A friend recently told me that her partner’s empathy and understanding gets her in the mood faster than any mechanics or expectations.

    I know, kittenpie, you weren’t necessarily talking about sex in your comment. Romance is *so* important, especially for couples with kids. I see this as the perfect prelude to a romantic evening after the kids are asleep. Maybe just drinking a little wine while listening to music, maybe more, but, either way, an opportunity to remember that parents are also lovers.

  4. says

    Absolutely!!! This is so spot on, Asha! The only problem is that men wouldn’t understand why this would be so cool for us. Even if I forward this to the DH, he’s likely to think, “Nah, I’m sure she’d rather have chocolate.”