In case you've been living in a bubble since Jan. 1, Valentine's Day is coming up. Get ready for the dud gifts or the smashed-up chocolates or the gift you didn't want to end up in your lap. Get ready for the guys and dads standing in line last minute at the drugstore buying cards and chocolate. How terrible, right? I mean, couldn't they have made some effort? Last minute really shows poor attitude, right? It IS Valentine's Day, after all! The day of love . . . the day of . . .
Wait a minute!
Let's think about this logically, moms.
Do you think your marriage or partnership truly weighs heavily on the actions of one day? I mean, it's true — someone could do something terrible to devastate a relationship in one day, but chances are, buying a card at the drugstore on Valentine's Day and shoving a box of cheap chocolates in your hands is not the worst thing that will happen to your relationship or marriage. Chances are, your hubby or main squeeze loves you to pieces. That last-minute stop? It felt like effort to him. It felt like effort among all the pressures and stresses of life that a dad feels just like you feel, as a mother.
Valentine's Day is nice in theory. Who doesn't like to feel honored, loved, and remembered? We all do. All of us — even the most timid — want to feel special to someone. To feel as if we are more important to someone than anyone else in this world. Valentine's Day is a 24-hour period in which someone can do something special to show his or her love for us. It's a day in which we as mothers can show someone we love him or her.
But the reality is: it's just one day.
One stinking, lousy day.
One amazing, beautiful day.
It's still simply one day in a lifetime of love and laughter.
It's nice to feel special for one day, but it's better to feel special every day. I think we've gotten too wrapped up in this cultural holiday that it has more meaning than it needs to. Is it a romantic notion? Sure, but if one great day is enough to prove your love to someone, many a broken marriage would have stayed together simply on that day alone. The last Valentine's Day my ex and I really celebrated, he gave me a fabulous gift, only for us to separate a month and a half later. So what really did that day mean? Obviously nothing.
Dads probably feel like they've got to deliver some serious romantic results, big time, lest they be seen as unloving or negligent partners. Do the same stipulations count against us as moms? No, they don't, and so do we really need to put so much weight on one calendar day?
Instead of investing a lot of love into one day, here are a few ways we can tell our partners as mothers that we love them. As someone who has already had a failed marriage and already took her chances at love, I'd say I've got a healthy perspective on how things should be rather than typically how they are:
- Let something little slide. Don't pick that fight!
- Offer a back massage.
- Give praise for something you typically criticize. Instead of "Wow, did you even clean the dishes, or did you just stick them back in the cabinets dirty?" say, "Thanks for putting away the dishes, honey."
- Instead of "Not tonight, honey," how about, "Yes, tonight" even if you're tired
- Surprise love note tucked into a workbag.
- A six-pack of beer for you to share, ready by the couch with Netflix primed.
- Taking a deep breath when his mother says something crazy (again) rather than telling him about it.
- Pausing to say, "thank you."
Ladies, I hope you all have a romantic and sexy Valentine's Day, whether it's a date night in, a massage, or a hotel room, — whatever it is that makes you feel special . . . but if you don't get exactly what you want, please do something for me and for your partner:
Be grateful for what you DO get and what you get every day.