I used to enjoy a romantic holiday with my partner, however commercial, expensive, and ridiculous it might seem. Yes, I totally get that it's not even about love, or whatever, but about how extravagant and outrageous you can display affection towards your one and only. Still, I'm a romantic at heart and would be lying if I said I don't want any part of it. Then I remember all the ways having a kid has ruined Valentine's Dayevery single year they've been alive.
Before kids, my partner of 13 years and I would go to a lavish restaurant all dressed up in clothes I'd never wear again. He'd buy me flowers that would die and candy I'd eat too fast and maybe he'd scribble his name in a card he didn't even read through. It was all so robotic and tired but, again, I was a fool for any piece of it. Sure, I loved when he did these things on other days, too (though he rarely did), but something about the expectation of the holiday, like a birthday or wedding, made it feel like he had to do something. I mean, he couldn't forget to make me feel like a Queen on this scheduled day, right?
Spoiler alert: he forgot. Often.
The first February we spent as a couple, he spent it with his mom and grandmother while I waited and waited (and waited). I cried for hours and didn't speak to him the whole next day. Because we lived together, we had to figure it out or, if you're like me, drag it out for (basically) ever and bring it up every change you get because grudges. We decided he was pretty awful at being a new boyfriend and holidays and, well, most things at the time but looking back, I was equally to blame (don't tell him I said so). Once we got past the first, Valentine's Day was kind of glorious! Yay for romance!
Then, I got pregnant.
After children, it became a whole different ballgame. Literally. We'd go to a ballgame instead of dancing the night away somewhere swoon-worthy. We went from those fancy dinners we couldn't really afford to fast food, and live flowers traded for kids' school fees. It wasn't all because we didn't want to make time as a couple, it just wasn't always an option or realistic or remotely appealing after a long day with the kids.
Looking back, I guess Valentine's Day wasn't that bad before kids. In fact, I find myself reminiscing, whining about how it'll never be that way again (like now). Oh, to be young, wild, and free with a whole box of candy I don't have to share. Ah-hem.