Should you bother celebrating Valentine’s Day when you have kids?

Life is very full-on with a young family.  You are tired and demands are made of you every waking moment.  So the thing that may fall off your to-do list is making time for romance.   Many of us may consider Valentine’s Day as one more thing to think about in an already packed schedule.

The Importance of keeping romance alive when you have kids

Many of the root causes for the reasons listed for relationship breakdowns stem from irritability, frustration, stress, lack of appreciation and discontent. All of these can be assuaged and averted by putting the same care and attention into your relationship as you did in the early days.

Making time for romance in the early days of your relationship was immensely different from what it becomes post-kids. Dating back then involved thought, time and excitement. It involved planning. It was thought through and, importantly, intentional. It didn’t just happen.

Post-kids it’s easy to fall into a rut. You’re both tired. You both need to focus on the (rightfully) demanding little beings in your home. At best, a date night can become an evening uninterrupted by trips back up the stairs to resettle the baby. Even if you do go out, the conversation falls on reactive discussions such as your child’s problems at school.


But here are the reasons why, in amongst all that, you need to find a babysitter and prioritise date nights:

1. Romance Dies – Keep it Alive

Romance may be fuelled easily in the early days of a relationship but to stay that way it needs a helping hand. To rekindle the spark you have to find the spark. Do the things you loved, focus on each other, and woo your spouse again. Intimacy is a fragile concept, it needs nurturing.

2. Your Other Half Needs Attention

When children come on to the scene, your priorities shift. This is as it should be. However, your spouse is still important and they need to know that. In fact, it’s even more important when children are in the picture quite possibly eating away at a parent’s identity and sense of self. By intentionally booking a date night you are providing clear evidence that the individual who is your spouse, not just ‘mum’ or ‘dad’, matters. After all, once the kids have flown the nest you still want to know who you are as a couple.

3. Dating is Fun

Family life can be filled with fun and laughter. However it’s pitched at the right age for the kids at the time. Dating your spouse, doing something together as adults without the demands of parenting is a different kind of fun. And we all need some fun in our lives.

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4. It Costs Less Than Divorce

It’s a somewhat unromantic notion, but dating your spouse is the cheaper option. Marriage counselling can cost up to £60 a session. A straightforward divorce where both parties agree and cooperate can cost upwards of £3000. Throw in complicating factors such as animosity, problems splitting assets, or care of the children, and you could be looking at tens of thousands. That’s before the additional costs of running a home singly. Dating your spouse on the other hand needn’t cost an arm and a leg – just the cost of a babysitter and your imagination.

5. You’re Modelling a Healthy Relationship

Kids are, by nature, ego-centric. They won’t necessarily get the importance of your marriage while they are tiny. However, as they grow you are laying the relationship foundations for them as they mature. They need clear role models of how to make a relationship work and how to sustain it. If you want your kids to have healthy relationships as adults, you need to model one.

6. It Alleviates the Mundane

Yes, there are highs to parenting. There are those moments when it’s euphoric as you watch your child reach a new milestone, or achieve something for themselves. However, a great deal of parenting is mundane, monotonous and repetitive. Injected some spice into life through different experiences and dating can alleviate the mundane and make it less feeling like Groundhog Day.


Alternative Valentines Day Ideas

The good news is that dating your spouse needn’t be expensive or exhausting.  Booking an expensive meal at a busy restaurant isn’t the only way to romance each other.  We know that having young children tightens the purse strings. Of course, dinners out and cinema trips are lovely, but try to shake things up with a variety of ideas. Here are some of our favourite:

  • Pack a thermos of hot chocolate and sit on a bench overlooking a beauty spot.
  • Check out a new pub with local ales.
  • Play a game of tennis or badminton.
  • Cook a new recipe together at home.
  • Create a cheese and wine tasting evening.
  • Pack up a picnic and hire a boat or go for a walk.
  • Go dancing.
  • Have a go at pottery or another craft together.
  • Visit a comedy club.
  • Get a couple’s massage.
  • Go to a museum or art gallery.

All That’s Left is to Book the Babysitter!

Now that you understand the importance of dating your spouse again, the only thing you need to do is book the babysitter. Get out your diary, choose a date and start wooing your other half again.  Just don’t forget to make it a regular thing.  Romance is for life ... not just Valentine's Day!

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