Valentine's Day has turned into a completely different holiday since my husband and I had kids. We used to celebrate by going out to a nice dinner where we would get dressed up and laugh over a bottle of red wine.

Sometimes I would get surprise flowers at work. And it was always a day I really looked forward to.

But times have changed and the way we celebrate has changed, too. Now that we have a 3-year-old and a 6-month-old, a fancy dinner out just isn't as easy to arrange anymore. Plus babysitters are expensive and scarce on Valentine's Day.

Besides, you know what we really want for Valentine's Day? We want to be shown that we are appreciated by our partners.

1. We want them to write us love notes and leave them somewhere unexpected.

2. We want them to tell us that we look beautiful even if we haven't showered in two days and are covered in spit-up.

3. We want them to say thank you.

4. We want them to do a load of laundry.


5. We want them to get up with the kids, so we can sleep in.

6. We want them to let us shower without interruption.

7. We want them to change the diapers and dress the kids and pack the diaper bags.

8. We want them to text us something sweet in the middle of the day.

9. We want them to let us know they are thinking about us.

10. We want them to lay on the couch with us that night and watch a movie while cuddling in sweatpants and drinking red wine.

11. We want them to laugh with us like we used to before marriage and kids and mortgages and 401(k)s and all those little adult things.

12. We want them to look at us like we are the only woman in the entire world.

We also want to feel appreciated by our kids.

1. We want to spend time with them and hear them say they love us.

2. We want them to make us something homemade out of popsicle sticks and too much red glitter, so we can hang it in our office and brag about how talented they are.

3. We want them to draw pictures of us as superheroes with long flowing locks.

4. We want their messy kisses and grubby hugs.

5. We want them to cuddle with us and fall fast asleep in our arms, so we can watch them dream and admire how beautiful they are.

6. We want them to sing us a song about how much they love us.

7. We want them to go to their dad when they need a glass of milk.

8. We want them to thank us when we hand them their dinner of microwaved dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets.

9. We want them to take a bath and sing songs with us and maybe not dump all of the water on the floor.

10. We want to watch them play quietly in their playrooms with their siblings—taking turns and taking care of each other.

11. We want them to go to bed with just one bedtime story, no extra glass of milk, no additional trip to the potty and no changing pjs.

12. We want them to end the night requesting one last hug and one last kiss.

What we really want is to know that all the crazy work we do for our families is appreciated. We dedicate our lives to them and we want to feel special, because sometimes we don't. Sometimes we feel overlooked. Sometimes we feel invisible.

We want to know that our people love us as hard as we love them. Because that is what really matters on Valentine's Day.