It's your first Valentine's Day as parents and your annual tradition of getting dolled up, hitting up your favorite French restaurant, and spending a night on the town may not happen this year. And, that’s perfectly okay.
But, problems can arise if you and your spouse haven't discussed your expectations for Valentine’s Day now that you are parents. If Dad assumes it's another Thursday night of diaper changes and bedtime routines, but Mom assumes the annual tradition is still on, things can go awry.
That’s why it’s crucial to have the conversation about Valentine’s Day beforehand, not the day of. (Plus, it gives you more time to find a sitter!)
When starting any conversation about Valentine’s day, it’s important to set expectations.
Ask Your Partner
- Are there any traditions you had, before kids, that you want to keep alive?
- Will you do anything the day of Valentine’s Day to celebrate? Will you forego celebrations this year? Or will you celebrate a different time?
- Will you exchange gifts?
- Will you set aside time to spend together?
- Are there romantic or sexual expectations?
Be respectful if you have different expectations, and find something that will make both of you happy.
If you can’t make your normal traditions work, find ways to compromise. Perhaps, find a different night in February to celebrate to eliminate the stress of making plans and going out on Valentine’s Day. Or if you are unable to go out, plan a romantic dinner at home. You do not have to give up Valentine’s Day due to scheduling and logistical problems.
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Approaching the Topic of Sex
Valentine’s Day is bound to bring up the topic of sex and intimacy. It can be easy to let romance fall to the wayside when you have a crying infant who needs your constant attention and you haven’t slept in weeks.
But, problems can start to arise if you and your partner are not on the same page. Almost 2/3 of couples report a decline in relationship satisfaction up to three years after having a baby, according to Fthe Gottman Institute.
Be honest with your partner about your sexual needs and expectations. Was Valentine’s Day always a special day for the two of you? It doesn’t have to stop now that you are growing a family. Continue to romanticize each other. You do not have to sacrifice sex now that you are a parent. Schedule it in if you have to, and remember it doesn’t have to happen on Valentine’s Day!
The key to success for your first Valentine’s Day as parents is communication. Take the time to talk to your partner and ensure you are on the same page, so neither partner is left feeling unhappy and let down.
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