Now that you have little ones, your lifestyle may have changed a tad. It might be time to revamp Valentine’s day.
If you still fit in your lingerie or have purchased something new to show off your hot mama bod then go for it. For me, lingerie is no longer in the front, or even somewhere in the middle of my dresser drawer. It has fallen out the back of the drawer and is flattened in the back between the dresser frame and the drawer. In fact, lingerie is more of a goal like saving money for the kids to go to college some day. But this isn’t about changes in the bedroom so let’s move on to the kitchen.
In truth, I am not a huge fan of Valentine’s day and never have been. The thought of a romantic dinner for two might be the perfect evening for some parents. The sitter comes, you have reservations at some Boston area romantic spot, and you look fabulous in your new outfit. The anticipation of a romantic candle-lit dinner with your partner in life without crumbs under foot or under tush nor mysterious noises coming across the monitor just as you sit down to raise a glass of wine) has made you giddy all week. You get yourselves primped and pampered and head out the door arm in arm.
In our life it’s more like we have reservations at some fabulous restaurant. We say our goodbyes (9 times out of 10 someone is screaming as we walk out the door). Okay, sometimes it’s me but getting dressed is really traumatic these days. So we’re finally out the door, we find our romantic dinner spot. We then drive around for 20 minutes to find parking. Once we’re parked we go into the restaurant. The lights are dim the air is warm and all we really want is a pillow and a blanket.
Since it is rare that we eat together as a family and I think it is important to do when we can, this year Valentine’s day is about the romance of family. It’s about doing things together. Letting the usualy schedule flex a little bit. The teacher in me knows that the more prep I do in advance and the earlier we schedule our evening the more relaxing our experience will be.
So my suggestion for this Valentine’s day is to enjoy the dynamics of your family as it is, not as it could/should/would be. If that means that the morning is spent apart. Dad goes out for a Pilates class. Mom takes the kids out for breakfast. Mom goes out for a walk around the reservoir. Dad takes the kids out to play or stays in to do a project (house, painting, laundry). Just make little changes to the day. Stop and have a tea break together. Put on some music to fold laundry to and do it as a family.
And for dinner skip the Champagne, steaks, and chocolate mousse. Okay, you can keep the chocolate mousse just make it the night before or after school with the kids. The new Valentine’s menu is heart-shaped hamburgers any style. The bubbly is beer. And, dessert is chocolate (perhaps white chocolate for the kids if you want them to sleep). Plan an early family dinner. Once the kids are in bed you can serve another course. I do mean a little bite to eat here: a cheese course, a fruit course, dessert, or after dinner drink.
For more info: The recipes and details will be coming soon. Some great beer choices and pairings will accompany the menu.