Do you do Valentine's day?
Before we had kids, Valentine's Day was quite the big deal in our household. There were always cards - usually more than one - and often little gifts as tokens of our mutual appreciation and always, always dinner out together somewhere special.
Come to think of it, the Valentine's cards I got from my husband in the early days of our relationship were the first indicators that he might be really quite into me; that this thing might actually end in marriage and babies.
Then the kids came along. And instead of Valentine's cards we took to exchanging hasty V Day greetings over the coffee machine, or texting profuse apologies about the absence of a card.
Almost twenty years of marriage and three babies later, I have no doubts that he's still quite into me. I just have no need to verify this fact via an over-priced piece of pulped woodland.
Once we became parents, Valentine's day changed beyond all recognition. Dinner out was an expense we could no longer afford once babies were on the scene. What with the additional expense and hassle of booking a babysitter, the M&S Dine In dinner became our one and only Valentine's Day extravagance.
And now that our kids are growing up and reaching an age whereby they get cards from unknown admirers at school, it's as if our own love story has taken a serious backseat in the romance stakes. The Valentines Day school disco rules the roost on Feb 14th to such an extent that I barely even stop to think about buying my better half a card, not to mention caring if he's got one for me.
But I don't think, as some might suggest, that this dwindling of our V Day celebrations is something to be concerned about. Quite the reverse, in fact. That we no longer feel the need to express our affection through a day designed to commercialise true love and turn it into a retailer's dream, surely proves that we've grown up.
I don't need a Hallmark card to be certain that my other half still thinks I'm a foxy chick. And no amount of chocolates or bouquets of roses could ever mean as much as it does to know that our love story has blossomed into something so mature and sure that we don't need to prove it with a card or overpriced steak in an overcrowded restaurant.
We'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Has the way you mark Valentine's Day changed since you and your partner became parents? Do you feel less inclined to buy into the commercialism of a day dedicated to extravagant expressions of affection now that you're a family? Or do you swear by keeping romance alive with Valentine's Day treats and cards? We'd love to hear your thoughts over on our Facebook page.
TOPICS: Parenting Tips