You, Me + Baby = A Couple With a Baby

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I remember my first Valentine’s Day as a mother. I remember it because it was only two days after becoming a mother, and I was still in the hospital recovering from my unplanned, semi-emergency C-section.

Me being me, I had waddled out to the stores a week before giving birth to get my husband’s Valentine’s Day gifts organized and wrapped. I also packed them up neatly and covertly—they were gifts, after all—and lined them up next to my black hospital bag in preparation for the big day.

Of course, after February 12, 2009, all the other days kind of melded into each other. But I still made sure that my husband and I paused to exchange cards, gifts and kisses on Valentine’s Day. Yes, a hospital room in the maternity ward is nowhere near “romantic settings,” and we were both in desperate need of  long, hot showers, but we made the moment count. We made our Valentine’s Day matter.

When we become new parents, it’s so easy—too easy—to turn into exactly that, parents. No longer a wife, no longer a husband. We’re so wrapped up in diaper changes, breastfeeding, swaddling, rocking, pacing, cooing, fawning, zombie life, and on, that we turn the light off in the other parts of the house. We kind of view each other as teammates, comrades just trying to get through the water torture and make it to dry, safe land.

Granted, newborn baby boot camp is hard. It’s hard for real. But looking over at your man or woman four years later and wondering out loud: “Wait, who are you again?” … well, that sounds hard, too.

I think it’s important to make the moments—regardless of how brief—matter. It’s important to let your  partner know that he/she still rests in the center of your heart, still represents more than the Guy Who Cleans Humidifier or Gal Who Serves Milk Every Two Hours.

They need to know that the endearment and sweetness and undeniable link are all very much there. And despite all of its “love as commodity” trappings, Valentine’s Day is still as good a day as any to start making your moments matter.

And chocolate on a Monday? Never a bad thing.

  • 1
    pendulumswing says:

    sweet. good for you! so often now i hear the anti-V-day sentiments bandied about and that’s fine, a valid opinion, but often with it a snarky derision for those who do celebrate. i’m glad you still do you– and did so not in agent provocateur but a hospital gown. brava chica!

    • 1.1

      Thanks, pendulumswing. I used to throw eye-rolls at Valentine’s Day … and then I fell in love and married the man. Now I’m all about the heart-shaped boxes with chocolates and red envelopes and all. :-) This doesn’t mean that folks who are anti-V-day are just sour on love. As you said, valid opinion. But my thing is, I’m all for love. So I’m all for Valentine’s Day too.