Valentine’s Day for the New Dad


If this is your first Valentine’s Day as parents, it likely looks a little different. While there’s so much giving and love going on with a new baby, this day is an important opportunity to remind your partner that they are loved, appreciated, and attractive. And with a little more coordination and planning, it can be still be just as special. 

Make the Time

Making a conscious effort to create time to reconnect with your partner is 90% of the battle. On one hand, you can take your baby along for an early night out while planning around their sleep schedule to ensure that they’re asleep for a majority of the date (a game we’re very familiar with). But if you’re anything like me, a true breakaway for a few hours is what I’m aiming for. Deep down, I want to have a snippet of my ‘old life’ where a date night wasn’t such an infrequent luxury but just a part of life. As a new dad, it’s not uncommon to feel that.

The solution is to prioritize your marriage/relationship and trust someone with your baby for a couple hours. It’s so incredibly hard to give yourself that mental break from your child especially when your support system isn’t build off of family or close friends, but be proactive about vetting and finding the right pieces to give you that help and facilitate a Valentines date with your partner. And even if your little is an absolute nightmare for the caretaker, it’s only for a couple hours – I promise everything will be fine.

Again, this doesn’t have to be an all-night event nor does it even have to fall on February 14th. The point is this is a good time to try and give yourself that moment to reconnect without diapers, crying, or feeding in the back of your mind.

You need a date. Make the time and make it happen.

Talk About Expectations

Valentines romance doesn’t have to be a big surprise. Communicate and plan it together. It might not be as sexy, but surprise or not, you’ll both be looking forward to a worry-free night. Plan for something as simple as going to a nice dinner, movie or literally anything while you let someone else tend to the baby. This important time that’ll do a number for your mental.

Whatever it is, chat about it ahead of time – and chat about the other parts of Valentine’s too. Are you doing gifts? How big? Are there expectations in the bedroom? Especially if baby is a newborn, sex can be difficult or even painful so make sure everyone’s expectations are in the same page to avoid any disappointment.

Help Your Partner Feel Like Themself

While we’ve highlighted the idea of getting out for a evening with your partner, that’s not the only way to celebrate or reconnect. Even if you decide to stay in for Valentine’s Day, going the extra mile in some small ways will help your partner feel seen and loved. Listen to what your partner is struggling with ahead of time.

Do they miss getting their nails done and doing her hair and make-up? Is the messy house stressing them out? Do they just want some sleep? Whatever it may be, taking care of some of the “invisible load” tasks in parenthood and can do wonders for emotional and physical intimacy on Valentine’s Day.

Sex

Ah, yes…sex. The media darling and absolute pinnacle of Valentine’s Day, huh?

If your bedroom game has seen better days, remember that it’s incredibly common for couples to have less sex and experience lower sex drive after a baby comes. Depending on where you’re at in the postpartum journey, the explanation could be anywhere from pain and exhaustion, to body image issues, to simply feeling gassed out at the end of the day. 

For the record, it’s okay to skip the sex altogether, but if you are both wanting something to look forward to on Valentine’s Day, pinpointing exactly what would help each other feel up for it and planning it out is key. Again, that may not be as sexy or spontaneous like it may have been, but the goal isn’t to have unexpected erotic splendor – it’s a moment to reconnect with your partner and it can be achieved in a number of ways.

Keep in mind that that “sex” doesn’t just mean intercourse and there are multiple other ways to be intimate. We don’t need to lay out all of your options, but this is just a friendly reminder to not be so myopic about it and thinking penetration if your only option. Get creative. And there’s not shame in splurging on some quality toys for him/her.

Also consider the timing – maybe you’re used to having sex at night, but you both have more energy in the morning. Or maybe the best time is during your baby’s afternoon nap. Make some adjustments and be open-minded. It might not be the idyllic situation, but it can still be good. 

In the end, it’s likely that Valentine’s Day as parents will be a bit more complicated than it was in the past, but it’s worth the effort to make your partner feel loved, special, and attractive. You’ve given so much energy and attention to your sweet baby, but find some time on this holiday to bring the focus and attention back to each other. It can be big or small, but avoid the temptation to write the day off altogether – don’t do nothing.

Your relationship is worth the extra effort.

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