Celebrating Valentine's Day as Parents
Who doesn’t love a good excuse to go out on the town? Valentine’s Day provides the perfect opportunity for a date night with your husband, but having little ones at home can sometimes complicate things. I’m not against hiring a babysitter for the night, but I’m sure Valentine’s tends to be a busy night for both restaurants and your babysitter. Other times you can’t get out because maybe your husband works late or your kids have come down with the flu. If you find yourself out of luck for one of these reasons, I will share with you what my husband and I have done ever since our eldest was young; we celebrate Valentine’s Day in the comfort of our own home.
Since we live out in the country but within five minutes of my husband’s two siblings, my husband and I always trade off babysitting with family for our much-needed date nights. They look after our kids so we can have night out and then later we’ll do the same for them. But for a night like Valentine’s you can’t really ask your family to stay in so you can go out. There’s something special about going out for a kid-free evening with the love of your life, but technically you’re kid-free as soon as your little ones drift off to sleep (so long as they stay asleep, right?).
For several years around Valentine’s Day I would notice a Valentine’s Special for 2 advertised on the sign outside a specialty food store on my way home from work. It was a really good deal - far less than you would pay at a restaurant - and it included food that I would never normally buy on my own like lobster tails, shrimp and bacon-wrapped sirloin. One year we decided to give it a try. After dinner for the kids, stories and bedtime, my husband and I would cook our Special for 2, with him at the barbecue and me at the stove. All the food was prepared in advance and then flash frozen to keep it fresh so all we had to do was cook it. It even had twice baked potatoes - something I would never take the time to do, and two mini cheesecakes for dessert. Before you know it, with very little effort, dinner is served.
The best part is you can make your stay-in dinner as fancy (wine and candles) or as casual (PJs!) as you want. We love doing it this way because it’s quick, easy and delicious. If you love to cook, but find yourself pressed on time because you want the kids fed by a certain time, you could use Valentine’s Day as the perfect opportunity to cook your special meal once the little ones are in bed. Or if your kids are anything like mine, they have their favourite meals and complain about everything else. But when you’re cooking for just you and your husband, the sky’s the limit, so make something you both will love with no worries about what the kids will eat.
I guess you could say my husband and I have started a new Valentine’s Day tradition. As much as the two of us love going out, I know that both of us look forward to cooking and enjoying this meal together each year. Lucky for us Valentine’s Day is just around the corner….I can almost taste the lobster tail and shrimp now!