"Be Mine." "Soul Mate." "Kiss Me." Once upon a time, those were the conversation hearts that would've been the keys to the Kimmie Kingdom. I've always been a romantic at heart (Romeo and Juliet gets me every time even though *spoiler alert* everyone dies). I love that mushy crap. Love looks differently now that I'm a mom, though. The needs of moms are special, and maybe candy manufacturers should take notice. I'm willing to bet that there are some special candy hearts moms want to receive on Valentine's Day.
Conversation hearts are a time-honored Valentine's Day tradition. Those sweet little chalky delights have been around for a century and a half! Initially, they were sold as scallop-shaped "cockles" during the Civil War and, well, it was a big deal to be able to print directly on the candy. The little hearts we know and love came out in 1902. Some of the original sayings are still around, but every year they roll out new phrases. In the past, there have been themes like "A Menu of Love" and "Love's in the Forecast." This year, they're going hip with "BFF" and emoticons.
If candy hearts can keep up with the times, I don't think it's too much to ask that they design a few with mommies in mind.
I'm not going to pretend to be one of those mamas who doesn't understand mom wine culture. Don't get me wrong. If you don't imbibe for whatever reason, I absolutely respect your decision. But for those moms who do turn to a nice glass of vino to unwind, I get it. I'm with you, sipping on the nectar of the gods, as my toddler sleeps soundly. So hey Cupid, hit me with some cabernet!
More than flowers or chocolates, I just want someone else to change a damn diaper. A poopy one, to be exact. Or clean a toilet. Or bathe a slippery, squirmy toddler. Basically, I want my valentine to recognize all the thankless work I do and then do it for me.
The greatest gift my husband gives me is letting me sleep in on weekend mornings. When the baby wakes up, he goes in and retrieves her, changes her diaper, brings her in for family snuggles, then takes her out for breakfast. I am left alone in our bed to sleep, read, or Pinterest to my heart's content. Since he's been deployed, I've really missed this. I don't know any mom who wouldn't love the gift of an uninterrupted "me time" morning.
Our first Valentine's Day, my husband made reservations at a fancy restaurant and they made us bananas Foster at our table (they set it on fire, y'all).
Now, an ideal Valentine's Day (to me, of course) would be cuddling up on the couch with my husband and binging two entire seasons of The Walking Dead. (I am an exceptional human being and have promised my husband not to watch until he gets back, but I am dying.)
Netflix is great and all, but sometimes we do need a night on the town to remind us that we're not dried up husks of people. I would really love for someone to watch my daughter so I could enjoy a good old-fashioned Galentine's Day. God, I haven't been out in forever.
Then again, maybe there's good reason for that since the last time I went out with my mom squad, I came back with body art.
No, I'm not referring to a diaper university. I'm talking about "treat yo self." A mom's Valentine's Day should center around indulging. I'm talking spa manicure and pedicure, sugar scrub, massage, the works. Oh, and hot stones. Yes, all of the hot stones all over my body, thank you very much.
Those are just about the sexiest words any human could utter to me. Seriously, please save me from the circle of hell in which a tiny person screams at my feet while I mince garlic. I don't even care what it tastes like. The fact that I didn't have to make it means it's freaking delicious.
Frankly, valentine, this will earn you just as many points as cooking dinner yourself. The fact that there's no clean up involved is a big selling point. It could be a heart-shaped pizza or an order of pad see ew.
In my fantasy, Cupid's quiver is full of Vietnamese eggrolls that he shoots directly into my piehole.
When a small human (or a pack of them) is constantly draining your life force, it's nice to be reminded that you are actually a sexual being. Maybe you can't tell from my cat hair covered yoga pants, but I have needs. And I really just want to be reassured that, after the terrifying and miraculous changes to my body, I'm still hot.
"U Do U"
Honestly, there's so much judgement and shaming involved in millennial motherhood. Whether you breastfeed, co-sleep, or cry it out, there's a damn controversy over it. One of the best messages you could give a mom on Valentine's Day? I see you doing the best for you and your baby. That's it. No caveats. You are enough.
"Coffee 4 U"
Me at the Starbucks drive-thru: "I'll have a venti extra-hot, no water chai tea latte and a tall kid's temp whole milk steamer."
Baby girl and I like our treats. It fills us with warm liquid goodness, and it gives Mommy the little caffeine boost she needs to keep it together. I know most moms are lost without their hot bean water, so treat the special lady in your life to her favorite beverage.
Nothing makes me want all the things quite like a visit to Target. Plus, their inclusive policies make me all swoony. So, yes, I would like a conversation heart dedicated to my adoration of the big red bullseye. I think every mom I know would love a Valentine's gift of blissfully kid-free Target shopping.
Working moms especially need a reminder that they're awesome because it can be really overwhelming to balance work and home. There's the guilt you feel as a mother for missing out on milestones and and the guilt you feel as an employee for leaving work early to care for a sick child. This candy heart says, "Keep on keeping on. You're a boss."
Sometimes, what Mama wants most is some words of affirmation. I don't know about you, but praise is like a fuel that keeps me going. My husband once told me that I am the glue that holds our family together. Wow.
This Valentine's Day, remember that you cannot wear out the words "I love you."