I don’t direct my posts to you very often (you sort of fall into the “and More” category), but I thought I’d offer you some last minute Valentine’s Day advice that will knock your wife’s socks off. This is especially pertinent for those of you with young children, but even if your kids are older, I promise this will be a hit.
If you want to show your wife how much you love and appreciate her on Valentine’s Day, here’s how to do it:
1) Make sure the house is clean on V-day morning.
That includes most of the laundry being done. It doesn’t really matter who does it, but if you can take some extra housework burden off your wife, all the better. (Just FYI, when we say things like “I don’t mind folding laundry–it’s therapeutic!” that’s just a lie we tell ourselves so we don’t lose our minds matching socks for the hundredth time this month.) Just make sure there’s no housework that needs to be done. This will lift her stress levels immensely.
2) Take the kids out and do something fun for a few hours.
Let your wife know what time you’ll be back, bundle up the children, and leave. Make sure she knows you’re doing something fun with the kids, so that she can relax knowing everyone is happy. One thing we moms crave desperately is time alone with no responsibilities and no one asking us for anything. The best gift you can give a mother is a slice of time that is hers alone, without any worry or guilt.
Maybe she’ll use that time to go out for coffee. Maybe she’ll go shopping. Maybe she’ll go for a peaceful walk. Maybe she’ll sit in her clean house and revel in the fact that it’s going to stay that way longer than five minutes. Maybe she’ll meditate, or read a book, or write some poetry, or do her nails, or any of the 500 things she wishes she had time for each day. Don’t ask her what she’s going to do. Just tell her that time is hers, take the children, and go. (If you hand her an envelope with $50 cash in it on your way out the door, all the better.)
3) When you get back, tell your wife how much you enjoyed being with the kids. Don’t tell her about the colossal fit that Timmy threw at the park, even if he did. Don’t tell her that the reason Junior’s wearing a brand new outfit is because he blew out his diaper and you forgot to bring a change of clothes for him and had to make an emergency Target run. Don’t burden her with any of the parenting woes you fielded during your time away. Just give her a kiss, tell her what a great job she’s doing, and let her know how much you appreciate everything she does.
4) (Optional.) Tell her the babysitter will be there in two hours so you can take her to dinner. This step requires hiring a babysitter beforehand, so if that’s not an option at this point, maybe you could cook dinner for her and the kids or order out. Why two hours? Because it gives your lovely wife a little time to spend with the kids (as much as we crave time to ourselves, we also miss our kids when they’re gone—we cannot win) AND to get dolled up for dinner so she can feel beautiful and prepared for a romantic outing (or inning) with you.
**BONUS: If you can get the babysitter to put the kids to bed while you’re gone, you totally win V-day.
We don’t need flowers, though they’re nice. We don’t need candy, though that’s nice, too. Time alone and a nice dinner. That’s mom gold right there, trust me.