photo credit: Laura Ockel/unsplash
If you happen to be partnered up with the rare human who dotes on you with breakfast in bed, flowers, chocolate, and a romantic dinner out (sans kids! babysitter secured!), you just sit back, my dear, and soak it on up. You deserve it. And know—you either landed yourself a unicorn or are deep in the honeymoon phase. (Jaded? Perhaps. Also… truth.)
If, however, you find yourself in the majority, you may need to sweetly remind, doggedly train, or kindly threaten in order to garner a modest token of affection.
Persistence is also required. Take heed, it only took twenty years for me to indoctrinate my husband. He now stops for hand-picked chocolates and a card (romantic, not humorous—that took twelve) on his way home from work on Valentine’s Day. A wee dose of well-placed fear can be effective.
Perhaps you’ve employed above tactics ad nauseam to no avail, are feeling overwhelmed and under-appreciated, or are flying solo this year.
If so, lean in and listen up.
No more unrealistic romanticizing and tearful, dashed hopes on Valentine’s Day.
Instead of waiting around for our (current or future) partner to finally get it right, I say we take back control and claim it as a welcome opportunity to treat ourselves, celebrating all that we do and all that we are as women and moms.
Let’s highjack Valentine’s Day for ourselves.
Highjacking does not require buying into the commercialization (no Hallmark purchases needed). It does, however, ask that you take a moment out of your full day (go ahead, do that right now) to consider what it is you are truly craving.
What would make this Valentine’s Day deservedly decadent and delightful? How can you get a taste of that?
If you’re coming up blank or your only answer involves a not-very-realistic-for-your-current-situation plane ride and two-week getaway to a remote island, I’ve gone ahead and brainstormed ideas to get your creative wheels turning:
15 Ways to Highjack Valentine’s Day
Take yourself on a date. If you had a few hours to yourself, how would you spend it? Where would you go?
Go for a walk in a new-to-you place. Use your senses and take in your surroundings. Do you hear that? Silence between the sounds?
Bask in the flavor bombs. Slowly savor those chocolates or your favorite stuffed burrito. For today, calories and nutrition do not exist.
Move your body in whatever ways feel pleasurable to you. Dance to music. Head to a class. Get outside for a hike.
Take a bubble bath. Yes, I understand this might require cleaning the tub. It’ll be worth it.
Phone that who friend who will make you laugh.
Tune in to an indulgent or inspirational podcast.
Curate humor. Rewatch that movie guaranteed to make you laugh out loud. Check out that popular comedian.
Take a freaking nap.
Go the movies alone. Order the vat of buttery popcorn and ridiculously overpriced M&Ms.
Eat dessert for lunch. Or a generous hunk of baguette, brie, and an apple.
Listen to music that pumps you up, relaxes you, takes you back.
Go outside, lie down on a blanket, and stare at the clouds.
Visit your local bookstore. Browse. Take those purchased books to the local cafe. Sip and read.
Write a love letter to yourself. Be generous, loving, kind. You know, exactly the way you treat others you love. Tuck it away. Pull it out when a reminder of your awesomeness is needed.
What would you add to the list?
Of course, those of us parenting solo or in the trenches with little ones may need to plan ahead and get creative with childcare. (Swap care with a friend? Schedule your celebration after you’ve put the kids to bed or at nap time?)
Maybe your celebration consists of a few minutes scattered here and there throughout your chaotic, full day. That’s fine. Ultimately it’s about the intention and attitude focused on just how amazing you are.
So, what’s the plan? How will you hijack Valentine’s Day and celebrate yourself this year?