As a new mom or a pregnant woman, I didn’t always feel particularly romantic on February 14th. But I did appreciate any efforts to make me feel loved and appreciated.
My husband, who is a fantastically thoughtful fellow, took me out for Valentine’s Day sushi while I was pregnant with my son. I had been experiencing deep and vivid sushi cravings and enjoyed the food so much that I actually asked him to stop talking so I could chew in silence with my eyes shut. It was so rude–but the sushi was divine! That kind of patience and grace is really the stuff of true love.
So what would a pregnant mother or new mother want this Valentine’s Day? I can’t speak for everyone, but I know that for many women, their longings aren’t limited to flowers and chocolates. Here are some suggestions based on my hazy memories from those time periods.
Sleep. Taking the baby overnight so that a new mother can get a solid six to eight hours of consolidated slumber is utterly glorious. I know I would have even been thrilled to get a break for a few hours for a nap and a shower.
Food. Growing another human being in your body is bound to make you hungry. When that little person arrives and you’re breastfeeding ten times in twenty-four hours, it can seem impossible to get enough to eat. What a gift to provide dinner or offer to grocery shop for someone! My mother filled my fridge with nutritious foods and served them to me at regular intervals when each of my children arrived. It wasn’t Valentine’s Day, but I felt nourished with love!
Housecleaning. What would it feel like if someone arrived at your door and spent a few hours washing dishes, doing laundry, and straightening up? I suppose some people would feel uncomfortable, but I am not one of them. What a gift to save time and be able to enjoy a more orderly home.
A date. It took my husband and I a long time before we could secure a babysitter, make plans, and haul ourselves out for an evening with a new baby. But what a wonderful reminder that we aren’t just parents, we’re partners! If you can provide babysitting to friends or family to allow a couple to go on a short date, it would probably be greatly appreciated.
Time alone. As mothers, we become accustomed to being with our children every waking moment. I was just laughing with a friend about how we sometimes have to hold our babies on our laps while we use the toilet. What happened to privacy? Imagine having two hours to clean out your closet, journal, or run errands. Bliss….
The Eco-nomical Baby Guide. This is pretty much a shameless marketing ploy, but we do heartily believe that our book is a good investment at a cost of twenty bucks. Even though we’re frugalistas, sometimes you have to spend a bit to save heaps. And maybe they’re just being polite, but we keep getting enthusiastic thanks from readers who are glad to have found an eco-friendly, budget-friendly baby guide like ours. We also get regular praise from women who read our book after they’ve had a few children, and wish they would have had it years ago. It’s packed with the sort of realizations you have in the years following your first child, such as “We don’t really need a lot of gear!” And, “We could save heaps by buying secondhand clothing and using cloth diapers.” And, “Hey, why don’t we just puree up the baby food ourselves?” Plus it has a full guide to the best values in new green gear. Who could resist?
Whatever you get for Valentine’s Day this year, I hope that it makes you feel cherished. Many of us will receive roughly scribbled pictures on red construction paper, bordered with glitter. Really, what could be better than that?