Dear amazing, wonderful, romantic husband,
You are all of these things and more on a daily basis—because, yes, my idea of “romance" these days is when you volunteer to change the baby's umpteenth dirty diaper. Hubba-hubba.
You deserve to hear me say this. And, to be honest, I depend on the moral support I get from you, too. With two young kids, we're deep in the trenches of parenting and it sometimes feel like the only way we're keeping afloat is on love. (And lots of coffee. Which reminds me, the sexiest thing I've seen all year was when you set up that new espresso machine.)
But, you know what we don't need right now? More pressure.
That's why I'm really, truly, 100% giving you permission to skip Valentine's Day this year.
I know, I know. This sounds like the set-up for a sitcom. In fact, it is the set-up for a sitcom: While crashed on the couch at the end of a busy day this week, I caught an episode of Matt LeBlanc's Man with a Plan.
In it, his wife said exactly what I just did—only she not-so-secretly wanted him to lavish romance and gifts on her. Chaos and hilarity ensued. Predictably, all was well again by the end of the 30 minutes.
As much as it made for some enjoyable TV-viewing, that's not what I want.
You and I are here in real life, with real day-to-day challenges that accompany raising two little ones. And you know what I need more than another box of chocolate or fancy meal out? For you to continue showing up all the time, each day, as much as you already do. Besides, I can (and will) buy those chocolates for myself. ?
For some people in our shoes, celebrating Valentine's Day and being on their game the rest of the time may not be mutually exclusive.
But, speaking for myself, the pressure of one more thing on my to-do list may very well be the task that pushes me over the edge. Kidding, kidding—but let's not test it anyway, okay?
Here's my bigger point: You know what comes after Valentine's Day? February 15. I will be one happy girl if we can enjoy that day together, too, rather than feel burnt out from putting the emphasis on just one day.
So this year, let's make it past the kids' bedtime and then kick back and enjoy. If we're feeling crazy, maybe we can even have a glass of wine while sitting at the table instead of moving straight into the Netflix and chill portion of the evening.
While we're sitting there, I can guarantee you there will be a moment when I catch a glimpse of you—and see you not as the guy who used to make reservations at my favorite restaurant weeks in advance of Valentine's Day and then pick me up with a bouquet of flowers in his hand.
I'll see you as someone even more amazing than that:
The guy I fell in love with at first sight during a college party eight years ago.
The husband who was all I really needed through three major moves and two new babies.
The dad who gets up with our toddler at 6 a.m. and has some of that aforementioned espresso ready for me when I get up with the baby an hour later.
The best friend who loves me—despite the spit-up stains and breakdowns.
And the person who does those things during all 365 days of the year.
As those thoughts cross my mind, my heart will (unfathomably) find a way to love you even more. Best of all, it will do the same thing the next day, too. ❤️
[Editor's note: This story is a letter from a woman to her husband. While this is one example of one type of relationship, we understand, appreciate and celebrate that relationships come in all forms and configurations.]