If you can find a babysitter and the funds for it, a spa day can be hugely restorative. It can also be a lovely little reminder of those couple holidays from before you crossed the bridge into the land of parenthood. Do you remember drinking cocktails by the pool? Why not revisit that, even if just for one day?
A relaxing massage without the nagging guilt that you left the kids with your partner. Book in for a side-by-side session together. It is not just a lovely experience during the massage, but you will both feel the relaxing after-effects at the same time too.
Get away from the noise and mess at home, and stay in a place where someone else does the washing up, no one rings the doorbell, and the bath is not full of battleships and rubber ducks. The biggest thing that new parents miss is uninterrupted sleep, so request a late check out and have a lie in. Do not forget the ‘do not disturb’ sign.
If a hotel would break the budget this year, then recreate the experience at home. Ask a relative to take the kids for a sleepover, scoop the toys out of the bathtub, and relax.
I do not know a single person alive who does not love box sets. Is there a series you have been wanting to watch for a while? How about downloading the lot and just indulging yourselves?
Personally, I have not even started watching Game of Thrones yet. I know, I know! You are probably wondering where I have been all this time? Life just gets too busy. But one day I seriously will barricade myself in the living room and binge-watch the whole first series.
This does not need an explanation. We all did this in our teens, so you know what to do. Popcorn, pizza, beer, and the sofa.
This might seem like an odd choice, but give it a chance. When we are exhausted we tend to collapse in a heap at the first opportunity. Now I am not going to suggest running a marathon, but some gentle exercise can be restorative and energizing, giving you more brain power to enjoy your down time, rather than snoring through your movie marathon.
Something like Ashtanga yoga will give you both a good stretch, and probably a good laugh together too. Some of the poses are much harder that they look. But when was the last time you exercised together? Go on, it will not hurt.
Speaking of exercising together, swimming is another great option. It is low impact and sociable, you can chat and take it at your own pace. Many of the bigger gyms and health clubs have pay-per-hour crèche facilities, so you do not even need to worry about a babysitter.
For those brand new parents who are fast asleep by 9pm, how about a lunch date instead? Restaurants will not be so busy during the daytime on Valentine’s Day. So you could have a lovely, romantic meal out, just like you used to do before the kids came along. But you can also be in your pajamas by dinnertime. It is a win from every angle.
If you can’t get a babysitter, then everyone can join in with this. Why not make Valentine’s Day special for everyone, kids included. Perhaps you could organize some sports, or maybe some arts and crafts. You could get the kids making Valentine’s Day cards.
There are two main aims here. Firstly, to spend time together having fun. And secondly, to wear the kids out before bedtime. Then you and your partner can have a few hours to yourselves in the evening.
If you are a new parent I would love to hear your Valentine’s Day plans. Are you going to celebrate in a traditional way, or do you have something unusual planned? Please leave a comment below.