With the rush of oxytocin and other hormones since the birth, you can be forgiven for showering all of your attention on that breathtakingly amazing tiny human you made.
After all, your partner is probably ok with changing their own underwear, getting themselves something to eat and falling asleep all by themselves.
Since pretty much every minute of your day is likely taken up with your newly discovered mama or daddy duties, you don’t need to feel too bad about temporarily neglecting your partner.
After all, they’re probably just as smitten with the baby as you are.
As Valentine’s Day approaches, however, it gives parents the perfect opportunity to remind one other just how much they love him or her. Becoming parents is likely to have changed your relationship a little. For example, new mothers now swoon to the sight of him wearing your new baby in a carrier, and her favourite of all his lines is probably, “Go back to sleep, honey, I’ll get the baby.” For him, he likely melts at the sight of the woman he loves, wrapt up in a brand new, motherly nurturing role.
If you’re not yet ready to leave your baby with a sitter so you can head out for a date, fear not – here are some great ideas for either parent to help recreate that romantic atmosphere at home:
Valentine’s Day Tip #1: Start As You Mean To Go On
It’s not called Valentine’s Dinner, and that’s because you should be celebrating love all day long. Start the day with a romantic breakfast in bed. Heart-shaped pancakes, strawberries and your favourite hot drinks served in a new set of his n hers mugs, perfect. Of course, you will probably have to eat your pancakes one-handed with a baby attached to your boob, but remember, love knows no boundaries.
Valentine’s Day Tips For New Parents #2: Give A Gift
Of course, it seems unjust that you should have to buy him a gift when you already gave him the greatest gift ever, which you personally grew inside you for nine whole months.
You have probably been falling in love with your partner all over again since your baby arrived – your heart might swell each time he wipes baby sick from your baby’s face (and his shirt), or runs you a bath so you can have a minute to yourself. Chances are, however, that you’re so busy being a mamma, you’re not getting that connection time like you used to.
A gift doesn’t have to be anything big, and it doesn’t have to cost much, it just has to remind your partner that you love him or her dearly. It might even be something crafty that you’ve made, representing the journey you have made, from couple, to family.
Valentine’s Day Tips For New Parents #3: A Family Affair
You may not have noticed (you definitely have), but your baby has the cutest, softest more adorable feet ever, and it’s time you put this natural gift to use. Make sure your partner gets a Valentine’s gift from his or her brand new favourite person. There are so many cute Valentine’s gift ideas out there, from cheap footprint heart cards you can do at home, to ceramic gifts you can buy imprinted with your baby’s handprints. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune, even a simple wallet-sized snap of the new baby can make the perfect present.
Take a look at our baby footprint dough recipe, which you could shape into a heart and paint red. Perfect!
Valentine’s Day Tips For New Parents #4: Do Lunch
One of the greatest thing about babies, is that they’re pretty easy to transport. If you’re not ready to leave your baby with a sitter, take the baby on your Valentine’s date. Head out for a fancy afternoon lunch at your favourite restaurant, and relish the fact that you’re not elbow-to-elbow with hundreds of other couples out celebrating their love at dinner time.
Valentine’s Day Tips For New Parents #5: Get Roomantic
Setting the scene is vital to any Valentine’s Day plan. That’s why restaurants are filled with dark corners, flickering candle light and romantic music.
The good news is, this is all very easy to replicate at home. So, tidy your washable breast pads from the sofa arm, clear away the (ridiculous amount of) baby clutter you have already accumulated, and your partner can strategically place and light candles around the room. Even tea candles around the television and on window sills can create a romantic atmosphere.
Valentine’s Day Tips For New Parents #6: Table For Two
You have probably been surviving off reheated freezer food and sandwiches since the baby was here, so why not treat yourselves to a slap up dinner to celebrate Valentine’s Day? Or better still, order in and have a romantic picnic on the loungeroom floor?
Timing is key, of course, because ideally you will want to eat when the baby does not. You have two choices, to either go with whatever hot food you want and accept that you will probably eat it with a baby in your arms (because they just know when you’re about to eat something amazing and immediately wake up wanting a feed), or you could choose a flexible meal. Sushi or salad can be eaten and abandoned with ease, allowing you to pick up your romantic meal again when the baby is back asleep.
Valentine’s Day Tips For New Parents #7: Hit The Lights
Like for most new parents, it may have been a while since you watched a full movie. After all, sleep deprivation does seem to have an effect on concentration levels. Choose a movie you both want to watch (good luck), and snuggle under a blanket with a box of popcorn and pour yourselves a glass of wine (way better than the soda you get at the movies). For a non-alcoholic alternative, see our delicious mocktail recipes.
If you are breastfeeding, find out everything you need to know about alcohol while breastfeedinghere, from leading researcher, Dr Thomas Hale.
Valentine’s Day Tips For New Parents #8: Just Soap Romantic
Romance and intimacy are very personal things, especially when you are new parents and may still be adjusting, healing and exhausted. Having a bath together is a great way to be close and enjoy some intimacy. No pressure, you can simply enjoy a soak in the tub or ask for a massage if you’re feeling achey. Light some candles, fill the bath with sweet smelling products, and just enjoy being together (until your baby wakes up).
Don’t be disappointed if baby wakes during your bath – a bath for three will mean even more oxytocin!
Valentine’s Day Tips For New Parents #9: Go With The Flow
This is probably the most important tip, relax. Take it easy, go with the flow and just enjoy yourself.
You may have already figured out that life with a baby is unpredictable and never goes quite how you expect it to. Chances are your baby did a wee on the footprint card, threw up while you were chomping on your heart pancakes, made you late for your lunch reservation by demanding a feed (and then an outfit change), stayed attached to your boob throughout the meal, and then pooped in your romantic bath. But, as long as your partner spent the day realising just how much you love and appreciate him, it was all worth it.