couples

6 ways to celebrate Valentine's Day without leaving the house

When you’ve got kids, Valetine’s Day isn’t easy to organise. And, really, who’s got the energy? So if you can’t make it out on Friday night, stay home and dial up the romance with these six ideas…

There are nine grandchildren in my family. NINE. My mum is the only local, viable babysitter and my sister, brother and I fight over her ruthlessly. The rule is pretty much whoever books her first gets her and this year my brother beat us all for Valentine’s Day which has left the rest of us scrambling. Aunties and uncles are making Valentine’s Day plans of their own which leaves mums, mother-in-laws and paid services.

This year, my husband and I have decided it’s all too hard. The thought of going out for Valentine’s Day on Friday night is lovely, but it’s become too hard and we’re too tired. Still we plan to make our night special.

Here are 6 ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day without leaving the house:

1. Tell work you’ll be arriving a little late that day

Who says you have to celebrate Valentine’s Day at dinner time? Friday nights are early-to-bed nights for my husband and I. We already have early starts most days so why not get up a little early, start the day with a ‘special cuddle’ and then share a beautiful breakfast together. You can even wait until the kids have left for school and have brunch. Just tell work you’ll be arriving a little late that day.

Most couples with kids are so rushed in the mornings they barely get a chance to peck each other on the lips before flying out the door. A romantic breakfast will leave you with that loving feeling and it will last all day long. If only we could start every day like this.

2. Backyard picnic

When is the last time you ate dinner under the stars? Your backyard is the perfect setting for a romantic Valentine’s Day picnic and the beauty is you’re a stone’s throw away from all your creature comforts. Forgotten bottle openers are not a problem and toilets are conveniently close by.

Pack a proper picnic basket, your favourite rug and enjoy your time under the stars.

3. Watch the first movie you ever saw together

The first movie my husband and I watched together was Life is Beautiful. Not the most romantic movie in the world but because it as our first official date it has taken on a special meeting. Don’t let it be just another movie night where you lie down on separate lounges and put your pyjamas on. You can hire a popcorn maker, grab a blanket and sit next to each other.

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Don’t forget the coffee. Every time my husband and I try and do this one of us falls asleep!

4. Order in a romantic dinner from your favourite restaurant

My son has food allergies so whenever we eat dinner separately from the kid we order Asian food, preferably Thai. Ordering in from your favourite restaurant means no cooking, minimal preparation and boy does food taste good when you haven’t cooked it yourself.

Make sure you put your order in ahead of time because restaurants will be busy on Valentine’s Day. Set up your dining table with flowers, candles and don’t forget dessert.

5. Make plans for the next 5, 10, 20 years

During those first heady days of commitment most couples dream big. They project 5, 10 and even 20 years ahead, imagining travel, children and retirement together. Don’t ever stop doing that.

Valentine’s Day is a brilliant time to sit down and discuss your future together as a family. What are you mutual goals? What are your hopes and dreams? Have any of your goals and dreams changed? Are you still on the same page? If not, how can you achieve the lives you both want?

Share a bottle of wine and talk about it all. There’s nothing more romantic than imagining a shared future.

6. Mutual full body massages

Okay, so this is the one my husband wants to do. He wants us to oil each other up and give each other full body massages. The rule is it’s not about sex, although you can do that before or after and probably will.

The beauty of a mutual full body massage on Valentine’s Day is that you can reconnect physically and emotionally. We often forget to hug, kiss and touch each other and when we do it can be rushed. These massages are meant to last for hopefully an hour. There’s nothing more intimate than someone who knows you inside out, back to front, better than anyone else ever has or ever will.

What are you doing for Valentine’s Day?