Ahhhh…Valentine’s Day! A time to celebrate the love between you and your sweetie. Fancy dinners, new red dresses, lots of time spent on hair and makeup so you look just right, celebratory champagne, staying out (and up) late…my reminiscence of Valentine’s Day past.
My, my…how times have changed since welcoming baby!
Don’t get me wrong, I love being a mama and wouldn’t trade having my son for the world! But as I reflect on Valentine’s Days of the past, I can’t help but notice a huge difference in how I used to spend my day celebrating versus how my day looks now. Follow me on a journey as I compare and contrast my days then (pre-baby) versus now (busy toddler).
Valentine’s Day 2011 (working wife and happily married for four years):
7:45 a.m. – Finally get out of bed for work after hitting the snooze button approximately 10 times. One of these days I am going to make it into work by 8:00 a.m., but I am just SO not a morning person. Get ready for work using my “10-10-10 get ready rule” – 10 minutes for hair, 10 minutes for makeup, 10 minutes to figure out what I’m going to wear and get dressed. Good thing I already have my new red dress and heels ready to go for the day, so it won’t take me as much time to get ready.
8:45 a.m. – Arrive at work. Realize the 10-10-10 rule may be more like the 20-15-10 rule. 🙁 Relax and read the news online, including some celebrity gossip (it’s news too, right?), before starting my day.
10:00 a.m. – First of four meetings today. Why did someone schedule a meeting from 10:00 – 12:30? This totally cuts into my lunch break, where I need to run out and pick up a few last minute Valentine’s Day surprises for my husband.
12:30 p.m. – Run out of meeting as quickly as I can (without looking obvious). Make it to Publix in time to buy a card, chocolate covered strawberries and our favorite champagne, Rosa Regale. Find a deli sandwich to eat in the car as I drive back to work, but throw out the bread since I don’t eat carbs or sugar. Chug a sugar-free Monster Energy drink.
2:30 p.m. – Spend approximately 30 minutes exchanging emails with my husband about our plans for tonight (in-between working of course ;)). So excited! How many hours until quitting time?
5:10 p.m. – Race home to make it there before my husband so I can surprise him with the goodies I picked up during lunch.
5:30 p.m. – Husband arrives home – celebration begins!
6:30 p.m. – Begin touching up makeup and hair for 7:30 dinner reservation at one of the best restaurants in town. Can’t wait!
7:30 p.m. – Arrive at restaurant and spend the next 2 hours eating, drinking and gorging ourselves until we can barely move – fantasic!
10:00 p.m. – Finally home – what a great night!
1:00 a.m. – Time for sleep. Got to get back to the grind tomorrow!
Valentine’s Day 2014 (introduce stay at home mom with a 21 month old):
7:20 a.m. – Baby wakes up. Wonder how he has the innate ability to wake up at the same time EVERY MORNING?!? Would love it if he would sleep in, even if it was just until 8:00 a.m. I’m still not a morning person, but with this little one in my life I wake up happier. I listen over the monitor as he cries out “mama!” over and over again from his crib.
7:25 a.m. – Enter baby’s room. He is soooo excited to see me, as if he’s just won the lottery or something! He is doing his “happy feet” dance, laughing and saying my name repeatedly. My heart melts.
7:40 a.m. – Snuggles in the bed with daddy. I sneak out to start breakfast.
7:45 a.m. – Baby walks in the kitchen and giggles in excitement that he found me. He wants to help me with breakfast, so he grabs his baby carrier off the chair and drags it to me. I cook sausage, eggs and English muffins with one hand (now that’s talent!) as he “tries” to help (which usually means holding the spatula and throwing the salt shaker on the floor).
8:45 a.m. – I realize his Gymboree Play & Music class starts in 45 minutes. Gotta get a move on! My 10-10-10 get ready routine has been reduced to only one 10 minute span. That’s the maximum amount of time my son will play on his own before he comes looking for me. The remaining minutes are spent convincing my son he wants to change clothes and diverting his attention from pulling the cat’s tail. And why does he want to breastfeed right when we need to walk out the door?!? Remember those heels I was so fond of a few years ago? Yeah, neither do I.
10:00 a.m. – We’re in the middle of Gymboree Play & Music class. I’m chatting with other moms and trying to think about what I can scrounge up at home for my husband for Valentine’s Day because it’s too hard to take my toddler to the store. Wait, did my son just climb a ladder for the first time?!? Can’t believe how fast he is growing! Where is my tiny baby? What was I just thinking about???
12:00 p.m. – Walk to the neighbor’s house to visit his dog through the fence. Ahhhh! My little one is headed straight for a mud puddle! Grab him as quick as I can to avoid a giant mess. Convince him to head back towards our house so we can began working toward nap time at 12:30. Think about what I am going to eat for lunch, which will probably be a carb laden sandwich and something sugary, as that’s the easiest thing to grab in my house (and who doesn’t love sweets?). Promise myself I will revisit the no carb and sugar diet soon. Could totally go for that Monster Energy drink, but it’s too much caffeine for a breastfeeding mama.
2:30 p.m. – Baby wakes from his nap. He will only sleep for 30 minutes on his own in the crib. The remaining hour and a half is spent with me holding him in a pitch black room, listening to a sound machine of the ocean while he snoozes. I fall asleep a few times myself, but always awaken as my head droops to the side from my attempt to sleep sitting up in a rocking chair. How I wish he would sleep the entire time on his own, or at least with me LAYING next to him instead of holding him. He’s so finicky! Once he is awake, I try to send one text to husband on the slight. If the baby sees my phone, he will want to play with it (always managing to rearrange my apps somehow so I can’t find anything).
5:10 p.m. – Wonder what time my husband is coming home. I’m so tired! Baby and I are playing in the living room with almost every toy he owns scattered around us. It’s amazing how such a little person can accumulate such a huge mess!
5:30 p.m. – Husband arrives home – celebration begins! (Some things don’t change with kids ;))
6:30 p.m. – Begin bedtime routine for baby, starting with his dinner. He pretty much only eats pepperonis and lil’ crunchies. 🙁 Then it’s bath and off to bed for this tiny tot!
7:30 p.m. – Baby asleep. Finally time to celebrate Valentine’s Day at home with my hubby! It’s not a fancy dinner out, but grilling steaks and having champagne sounds good to me! Enjoy the quiet time and reflect on how far we’ve come and how much we love one another.
10:00 p.m. – Trying my best to keep my eyes open (hubby too)…so tired!
1:00 a.m. – Forget it! This gal is in bed! 🙂
So what I have I taken away from comparing my life before and after baby? I’m reminded of how much my life has grown since welcoming my son. And although life is different, it’s a good kind of different – I’m less selfish, I love my family more deeply, and although my husband is not the only “man” in my life anymore, that doesn’t mean we don’t still have a mutual love, understanding and respect for one another. I’m lucky to have these people in my life. I’m a better person for it. I hope as you reflect back on your Valentine’s Days (or any days for that matter), you feel the same.
How has your Valentine’s Day changed since welcoming baby?