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Valentine’s Day as a new mum

A day dedicated to love, showing love, being loved and expressing love.

Valentine’s Day’s history is thick and juicy, where some suggest that the day’s name came from St Valentine’s. Some believe that he became friendly with a jailer’s daughter and wrote her a love letter, signed “from your Valentine.” And there was the day’s name, but how the day became to be all about romance and the celebration of lovers is controversial. Regardless, the romantic meaning of the day has existed for a very long time and we tend to celebrate it on February 14th.

Cards expressing love, flowers typically roses, heart-shaped boxes of chocolates and sweet treats such as candy are the traditional gifts exchanged. There is lots of money to be spent around this calendar event, but as new parents, how does one afford these luxuries, let alone celebrate this event?

As a new mum, two years ago, my husband and I struggled to do anything to celebrate and as such, we did nothing. It was just too hard with a baby! We thought we wanted to go out for dinner, have a night off, buy each other fancy gifts and have a hot and steamy night, but the reality was, we had a little human to look after who needed us, to comfort him, and in all honesty, we were way too tired for any of that pleasure.

So, what do you do? Not celebrate? No. There are many things you can do. It has taken me over two years to realize this, and as we think about celebrating this day with our second baby boy, I wanted to share how you can celebrate Valentine’s Day as a new mum too.

With a newborn, some activities might not be able to happen, but here are some suggestions and tips to keep the spice in your relationship this year.

Think outside the box – while a romantic dinner, a dozen red roses and a box of delicious chocolates might be what you expected in the past from your loved one, this year, let’s think differently. Get creative and think about what truly matters at this stage and how you can show it. It doesn’t have to be a shiny store brought gift; it could be as simple as a love heart made out of rose petals on the floor surrounding a picture of the two (or three) of you. This is what I have done for my husband in the past. Or a homemade coupon book that gives your partner vouchers from you for example “one free neck massage.”

Give the gift of time – as new parents, time is not our friend. We struggle to be on time and long for more time. For Valentines Day, you could run the bath for yourself, your partner or both if your bathtub is big enough and have a bath with your bub nearby. How long has it been since you or your partner have had a bath? Having a little bit of me-time, time out or relax time, can be do-able.

Get writing – a love letter placed under his pillow would be a wonderfully romantic gift, I think. Putting pen to paper is not that common anymore in this digital age but taking the time to write your feelings down and sharing with your loved one, why you love them so, is the perfect way to rekindle the candle.

So, here are some ideas, mostly for your loved one, but what about you? As a new mum, you need to be celebrated just as much as a new dad.

My Memory Books

Create a memory – If you’re someone like me, I love creating memories and holding onto them. Discuss with your loved one what you would like to do and plan ahead. Create a day where you can include your baby and celebrate your love. A picnic in the park sounds like a wonderful idea, take a family photo and put it in a frame to display and keep. Creating a memory is the most precious gift you can give yourself when your baby is so little, as time will fly by way too quickly!

DIY keepsake – Getting crafty can be a mother’s outlet to show her creative and have time out too. You could gift yourself or ask your partner for a DIY breastmilk and DNA kit to make your own piece of keepsake jewellery or make up a salt dough to preserve your baby’s hand or footprint.

Take the stress away – As a new mum, I am sure you have stressed over every little thing that you’ve experienced so far. I have and I’ve searched pages and pages on Google to find answers to everything. So something that can take the stress away, would be the perfect gift for you. Talk to your loved one about something you may be stressed out about. For example, if you feel that your bub is not getting enough breastmilk from you, or if you think your supply is low, a gift of lactation cookie may help relieve some of the stress and give you a little peace of mind. Or maybe you need one of the coupon vouchers for a massage too. You deserve it!

Get your baby involved – just because you are a new mum doesn’t mean you need time away from your baby on any occasion like this. Getting your baby involved could be the best thing for all of you. You don’t stress about how the baby is doing if someone else is looking after them, and you’re not trying to impress your partner by dressing up, putting a full face of makeup on, finding that perfect outfit all for just for one night. Staying at home and hanging out as a family might be the answer to the best Valentines Day ever. Put some music on and dance with your partner and your baby, take cute photos kissing your baby and partner, play a game of cards with your partner while bub sits beside you. Do something together that you normally don’t do because of the everyday things you need to do like the washing. Boo! I can’t remember the last time I danced with my husband. Spending quality time together is the greatest gift.

I have googled lots of terms around this day and being a mum, to seek ideas and tips on what to do for Valentine’s Day and have been overwhelmed with so many sites listing all these products to buy. And don’t get me wrong, I love presents, but as a mum, I want more. I want time, peace of mind, keepsakes, homemade gestures but most of all, I want memories. Memories that I can hold onto for a lifetime.

So however you choose to spend your Valentine’s Day, whether it be low key at home with the family or going out, acknowledge that you have a baby, saviour this moment and show your love and appreciation for your loved ones just the way, as you would like it back. And let’s face it, your partner might not come up with the idea to treat you on Valentine’s Day, I know my husband needs a little help with suggestions, so I encourage you to breathe, suggest what will make you happy, go with the flow and deepen your relationships with each other and your baby.

 

Rebecca Warr

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