I’ve never really been a fan of Valentine’s Day. I find it overly commercialised and cheesy and, if I’m honest, rather cringeworthy. I don’t think there’s anything romantic about being 10th in line to buy a dozen red roses three times their usual price in your local supermarket, or sitting in a restaurant with 20 other couples being rushed through their meal so they can get the next sitting in.
But I do love love and I love romance…. and I’ve been thinking that it isn’t the big flashy gestures on a day the calendar tells you is important that matter. It’s the little day to day things, done behind closed doors. The things done because you love that person all year round and because their happiness is important to you.
As a knackered working mum of three young children, traditional romance doesn’t often get a look in these days. Lack of babysitters, lack of energy, all your money being eaten up by nappies and childcare and class birthday parties… the days of candle-lit meals and hand-in-hand sunset walks are but a distant memory. But that’s okay; because love is there in other things that never would have occurred to me pre-children. Here’s are the things that have made me feel loved over the last eight years since I became a mum. Can you relate? What would you add?
Love is… rubbing my feet every night for weeks with peppermint gel because pregnancy has left them so swollen and uncomfortable.
Love is…. painting my toe nails because a big baby bump means I can’t reach them.
Love is… going to the shops at 11pm because I’m craving salt and vinegar crisps and it’s the only thing that will stop me feeling like I’m going to puke.
Love is… not minding that I’m sound asleep when you get back and don’t even eat the crisps.
Love is… putting your embarrassment to the side and buying me maternity pads, breast pads, pile cream and Fibregel.
Love is… getting up with the kids at early o’clock and letting me go back to sleep, even though you’re knackered too.
Love is… cleaning the toilet after I’ve been sick because I’ve caught a bug from the kids, and not complaining.
Love is… telling me I’m beautiful despite the huge bags under my eyes.
Love is… coming home early from your night out because you know I haven’t had an adult conversation for three days.
Love is… not minding having fish fingers and oven chips for the third time in a week because I’m too knackered to cook anything more exciting.
Love is… getting home from work and telling me to go and have half hour to myself because it’s been a demanding day of parenting.
Love is… not minding that I fall asleep on the sofa in front of Netflix when it’s ‘date night’.
Love is… telling me my big comfy pyjamas and bed socks are just as sexy as the slinky silk nightwear I used to wear pre-kids.
Love is… not mentioning the fact that I haven’t shaved my legs for weeks.
Love is… telling me I’m an amazing mum, when there are days I feel anything but.
Love is… not minding that I bought you a crap birthday present while doing the weekly grocery shop because juggling three kids and work is about all my brain can handle right now.
Love is… always putting the bins out because you know how much I hate doing it.
Love is… volunteering to do the explosive nappy without complaining.
Love is… you not judging me for wet wiping baby drool or toddler snot off my clothes because I just can’t face any more washing.
Love is… me not minding that you are spending Valentine’s Day night playing football.
Love is… you letting me warm my cold feet on you in bed or on the settee.
Love is… knowing that we created these three amazing little people together and that while we love them with every ounce of our being each one of them has magnified the love we have for each other too.