A letter to all the moms who want to stay home this Valentine's Day.

8:22 AM

Dear New Mom (Who Loves her Husband but Doesn't Want to Go out this Weekend),
I get it.

   It's that Valentine-y time of the year again, and you're feeling the pressure.  Whoever thought that only guys felt the pressure of Valentines Day obviously never took a survey of any new moms.

  You know you should be wanting to go on that date.  Wanting an excuse to dig those heels out of the closet and head out for a night on the town.  But all you really, truly want to do is throw on a pair of sweats and shoo all of the kids into bed so you can sit down on the couch with some chocolate and watch an overly-emotional Parenthood finale re-run.

I get it because I was there.  Not all that long ago.

   I was in the thick of nursing and newborns and getting-up-every-few-hours and diapers and laundry and messes that seemed to reproduce at night, and going on a fancy date seemed as appealing as scratching my eyeballs out with steel wool.

It just felt like I was never going to want to date again.

  But before the kids and the strollers and the nighttime feedings.....things were different.  Before we ever walked down that aisle on that beautiful April day, said our vows and began procreating, I loved dating.

   My husband was definitely "one of those guys".  Always coming up with the most creative, romantic, unique, fun, amazing dates.  We went on scavenger hunts, hikes, bike rides and walks along the beach.  We enjoyed plays and comedians and picnics by waterfalls.  We drank coffee and browsed bookstores and ate at lovely restaurants that made me feel much classier than I actually am.  He surprised me endlessly with flowers and chocolates and special little gifts and everything felt a little bit like a fairytale.

   And getting ready was one of the best parts.  The evening never seemed to arrive fast enough as I deliberated over outfits spread all over my room.  I fussed with my hair and makeup, spraying perfume and trying on shoes and hoping to get everything just right.  And then....that giddy little feeling when you see his car pull into the drive!  He was here! And you were going out! And all was right with the world.

   Don't get me wrong, it's not that after marrying him and bearing him children that I loved him any less.  In fact, I'm more and more certain with each passing year that I love him MORE.

   But there is still no way around the fact that when you have been wiping spit up off of your shoulder and vacuuming up Cheerios and stumbling around in your sleep-deprived, zombie-like state all day.....dating loses some of its appeal.

    Suddenly a "night-in" doesn't sound anything remotely like "giving up" like I used to think it meant.  It just sounds like a divine appointment with your over-sized sweat shirt and yoga pants and a sexy back massage.  Which to a postpartum woman is pretty much as fancy as you would ever want to get anyway.

And so I guess I say all this to say.......take it easy on yourself.

   If you choose to stay home?  You're not a failure.  Your marriage isn't doomed.  You're not becoming "one of those moms" you never said you would become.  It's OK.  It's a fleeting stage, and it will pass. I know because it changed for me.  And dates sound wonderful and delightful and enticing again, and I even like wearing heels!  So those days will come sooner than you think.  This time of newborns?  Of feeling like a milk machine and auto-pilot robot?  It won't last forever.  And so cut yourself some slack, and stay home if you have to.  You will look forward to dating again, I promise.

   And if you choose to go out?  Good for you! Bravo.  You've done yourself a favor, even if it doesn't feel like it.  It really is so important to carve out that "you-and-me time" with your man, even when a baby is sucking your every resource dry.  You might be checking your phone every 15 minutes to make sure that baby is OK, or worried about leaking through your brand-new dress, but everything is going to be fine.  No one is judging you if you try your best to relax and enjoy yourself but find yourself wanting to cry half of the time.  HORMONES ARE REAL.  

   So just take a deep breath and realize that fancy date or not, it's going to be OK.  You still love each other, you have a beautiful life, and life is too short to freak out over a different phase.  Each phase is fleeting, and beautiful in its own uniquely different, and sometimes difficult, ways.

We aren't all giddy, dating singles.
We aren't all glowing, blushing newlyweds.

   But we still LOVE.  Deeply, passionately, tenderly.  We balance budgets and pay mortgages and step on Legos and find fruit snacks in our purse, but we are still lovers.  We are best friends and companions and help-meets and spouses and MEANT FOR EACH OTHER.  And nothing changes that.  Even if date nights change.


Inspiration for this post was found from a picture about date night by Angi Martin on Instagram. 

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  1. Haha our "Valentines Day date"since having the girls consists of frozen pizza and a movie with the girls;) A. Finding a babysitter for one thing is next to impossible on Valentine's day or any day that weekend. B. We just don't have the patience or desire to go out where there are 100 people all waiting to get a table just to go out. We would rather put it off for a few weeks have a nice quiet night at home and then sneak out when we can get a sitter and go to a nice dark quiet restaurant where we can actually unwind.

  2. Loved this... sounded like me. We did go out, but the weekend before Valentine's Day. It was fun, and no crowds. We have actually made Valentine's Day, a family affair. Celebrating it with our children, decorating the table fancy, the girls helping make chocolate covered strawberries. My greatest loves is my husband and family - and we enjoy celebrating it with them. Plus, my husband makes some stuffed mushrooms that no restaurant can duplicate around here. Yum!!!!


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