Honey, remember when romance was a bigger part of ‘us’? Like back when we had the energy (and money) to go out for a dinner that required a reservation, because it was February 14?
Or when you would buy me ‘just because’ flowers on the way home from work, regardless of the date?
Or those nights when I’d cook your favourite dinner and crack open a bottle of red. Then I might massage your feet while we watched a film?
Back then romance felt easy. Back then we showed our love for each other in obvious and slightly clichéd ways. But so much has changed now we are parents. Things are different to back then.
Survive and conquer
I mean, we definitely don’t have the freedom to ‘just go out for dinner tonight!’ And I want you to come home as soon as you can, not stop off to buy flowers. Dinner is a family meal with no spice and let’s be honest, sleep often trumps couch together time.
See? So much!
But this love of ours isn’t romantic these days so much as it is enduring, deep, surviving and conquering.
So my Valentine, here’s how we show this new ‘bigger love’ in everyday ways, now that we are parents.
1. Getting up to the baby
When we hear the hunger wails of our little one break the dead silence at night, I know we both moan. Night after night of little sleep has taken its toll on us and we feel like the walking dead.
When YOU get up and you lift him from the bassinet and place him on me, even though I have the feeding equipment, I feel loved. When you fetch me a glass of water, too? Well, that’s better than flowers!
2. The gift of sleep
When you quietly close the bedroom door on the weekend to allow me to sleep and I wake up naturally to the sound of happy kids in the other room, I feel loved … seen … prioritised.
You are under-slept too. You are exhausted from your week and our little guy also kept you up last night so you now feel hungover, even though there’s no alcohol involved.
But you have put me before you, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed. I’ll pay you back, maybe with a nap this afternoon. Sleep is our new love language.
3. The least burnt chop
Did you know I always give you the least ruined part of our meal?!
Dinners are often a bit overcooked or not as hot as they should be nowadays, thanks to our little loves, but I always TRY to make yours bit more appetising.
This may mean it has just had a zap in the microwave to heat it up before you sit down, or your chop is slightly less burned than mine. See? L-O-V-E!
3. When you switch it up
I know this is your job as much as it is mine, but gosh I love it when you take it upon yourself to whip them up a dinner. Even if it’s just fish fingers and vegetables. It shows me that you want to give me a break.
Then when I suggest we get Thai takeaway for us, well it might as well be ten years ago. #Romance!
5. The gift of ‘away time’
We don’t keep a tally, but there is an understanding that we can both have some away time from the family when we need it.
For me, this might be brunch with some old friends while you take the kids to the park and don’t ask me when I’ll be home. For you this might be going to Bunnings alone on the weekend.
But when we give this time? We feel happier as individuals. And THAT is restorative love.
6. When you get me the good coffee
I LOVE it when you grab me a barista coffee, even when you don’t have time and are going to be late for work because I had a bad night and feel like sh!t.
Honey, it’s such a small thing, but it’s RIGHT up there in the parental romance stakes!