Darling, I'm going to let you in on a secret. I'm going to tell you what I actually want for Valentine's Day. No mind games, just straight up truth. I want you to meet me in our bedroom. Alone. I want you to come close to me. Very close. Close enough to feel my breath on your skin. Then I want you to softly whisper in my ear what you're going to do to me. It will sound something like this: I'm going to put the sound machine on to drown out our noise. I'm going to leave the room and close the door. I want you to go back to sleep. I'm going to get the kids their breakfast. I'll sleep until my body naturally wakes up. Until it decides it's rested and well enough to get out of bed. You'll hear me wake and you'll text me a sexy message: "Ready for something hot?" It'll have a picture of my favorite mug. You'll deliver me coffee in bed where I'll receive my next order from you. It will sound something like this: When you're done drinking your coffee and reading in bed, I want you to take your clothes off and immediately say these words out loud: Damnnnnnn, you are fine. Then, you will proceed to take an uninterrupted shower. I'll stand under the hot water for as long as I please. Maybe I'll listen to a podcast while I'm in there, or maybe I'll just enjoy the silence. Maybe I'll revel in the ability to shampoo and condition my hair without having to step out of the shower to break up any arguments or fetch any snacks. After my shower, you'll say two things. You'll ask me what I want and you'll tell me what I want to hear. It will sound something like this: What would you like to do next? This is not a trick question. Choose anything. Oh, and I planned all the dinners for this week. See this pretty list I typed up? I will swoon. Then I will say something like, "I think I'll re-watch seasons one and two of Fleabag in bed." You will reply "Perfect. I'll take the kids to the grocery store to get the ingredients for all the meals I planned for the week. Enjoy!" I might take a nap or write. Maybe I'll exercise. I'm not sure. But what I do know is that I'll have time for myself—by myself. Which is what I need right now. I'm sorry if that sounds weird, but it's true. I've been trying extra hard to listen to what I actually need. And maybe what I need is to be my own valentine this year? Because motherhood has taken over my life these past few years—both lifting me up and dragging me down. Both filling me in and burning me out. It's beautiful and chaotic. It's a lot. So, I just need a break. A break from changing diapers and wet clothes because someone is continually dumping water on themselves somehow. A break from reminding them to sit down and do homework and sit down and eat their food. A break from planning everything and lining things up and making notes and barking orders and feeling dejected when no one listens. A break from calming tantrums and asking for big kid voices instead of whining voices. A break from the very real and very exhausting daily grind of motherhood. That's what I want this Valentine's Day. A breather. Time to gather myself. Just to relax for a second. But of course, it's not just me in this equation. And I don't want a break for too long. Because the strange flipping thing about motherhood is that you want a break and don't want a break from your tiny people—all at the same time. So after some my date with myself, there's nothing more I'd like to do than to have a family date, then a one-on-one date with you, my love. So next would be a family walk then dinner together followed by some quality couch time with my best friend. And maybe we'll even end the day the way it began. Me and you alone in our bedroom. You close to me whispering in my ear. But instead of sweet nothings, I'm sure it'll sound more like this: I'll go change the pee sheets, honey, I know you got them last night. And I will be grateful, and you will be happy. And our Valentine's Day will have been a success.