Ah, Valentine’s Day – the most romantic day of year for couples, full of flowers and mushy cards, reservations at the hottest restaurant in town and lacy underwear. But as the 14th of February gets closer, you may notice that your Valentine plans aren’t quite the same now that you have a newborn or infant. In fact, between nursing marathon sessions and sleepless nights, you may be lucky to even run out to Target to grab a card for your hubs. But no worries, sweet Mama! Your Valentine’s Day may look a bit different this year, but it is still full of plenty of love.

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Photo: Kevin Galens via Flickr

Your Love is Doubled
Valentine’s Day is a wonderful time to celebrate the love between you and your husband, but it is also a time to include your new addition in the fun as well. Valentine’s Day can become a tradition that the whole family can look forward to; after all, it’s all about love and there’s plenty of love in your new little family. No need to get hung up on the fact that it has to be all about your husband when Baby is awfully cute too.

via Adam Selwood on Flickr creative commons

Photo: Adam Selwood via Flickr

You Can’t Imagine Loving Your Husband More
All of your previous Valentine’s Day celebrations are honestly nothing when you now see how much more you love your husband now that you see him being such a great dad. Your heart melts when you see him cooing at your newborn or getting your infant to giggle by making a silly face. You are one lucky gal to have this man, and this Valentine’s Day is sure to increase the love now that he is Dad.

via tiffany terry on Flickr creative commons

Photo: tiffany terry via Flickr

Lingerie Looks a Little Different (and that’s okay)
Listen, if you are bringing home your baby near Valentine’s Day, you are rocking undergarments that can only be described as the exact opposite of lacy or silk or sexy. Even if your infant has been home for months, you are likely still using a nursing bra or maternity pants. Don’t let it kill your vibe, Mama. We are all a bit unsure of our body after a child has lived there (and then shot through it during delivery), so don’t get extra insecure just because Lover’s Lane makes us feel like we need to be wearing garter clips and thongs. Your body grew a child and is loving that child, give yourself some grace when it comes to unrealistic expectations for that first Valentine’s Day celebration.

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Photo: Michele Mischitelli via Flickr

Sex? Maybe. Maybe Not.
Depending on where you are with postpartum bedroom activity, Valentine’s Day may not be filled with a candlelit romp (or even a quickie). Hey, if you have the energy to get down with your lover amidst the sleepless infant nights, we say don’t wait until Valentine’s Day! But no matter if you are feeling it or not, try not to let commercial expectations build up an evening that your bodies can’t live up to due to exhaustion or feeling “touched out.” If you are worried that your partner has different expectations than you, have that conversation ahead of time so that no one feels slighted or disappointed when the other nods off on the couch.

via Karen Newman on Flickr creative commons

Photo: Karen Newman via Flickr

You Can Have a Date You Really Want
It can be hard to find a babysitter on actual Valentine’s Day, or you may feel like you don’t want to leave your infant with anyone but a trusted family member who already has plans for the 14th. But here’s the good news: you can enjoy a Valentine’s date on any day of the year – really! Even better, make a commitment to plan a date that you both really want. Maybe you just want to go see a movie because it’s been months since you’ve been to the theater. Maybe you want to grab a cup of coffee and walk mindlessly through the mall. Maybe you just want to grab a quick meal and then sleep. Plan a date – either an evening or an afternoon or a morning – that you both look forward to.

via beautiful-dissaster on Flickr creative commons

Photo: beautiful-dissaster via Flickr

You Can Include Baby with Your Gifts
If you are gift givers, be sure to include Baby on the gifts to Dad or Mom. It won’t be the last time that Daddy gives Baby credit for a flower delivery to Mama, or Mama lets Baby take the hugs for a thoughtful gift. As your child gets older, keep him involved with Valentine’s Day celebrations and gifts; you are showing him what it is like to demonstrate love and eventually (hopefully!) become a wonderful partner too.

via on Flickr creative commons

Photo: slgckgc via Flickr

You Realize that Staying in Sounds Really Good
Sometimes, Valentine’s Day as a new parent (and even beyond) is perfect with jammies, a heart shaped pizza delivered from your favorite joint, a few beers, and a binge of Making a Murderer in between nursing, burping, paci finding, diaper changing, and lullaby singing sessions. But while you might not be slipping on a little black dress like some of your pals, you really are celebrating true love with your little family.

Look at that Baby and his Daddy – you have so much to be in love with, Mommy. Soon enough you will be sending off that little one on his first Valentine’s Day date, hoping that you have demonstrated love well enough at home. But until then, grab another slice of pizza and enjoy a snuggly night at home. Happy Valentine’s Day, Mama!

How have your Valentine’s Day plans changed now that you’re parents?

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–Haley Burress