I’ve seen a lot of blogs popping up in the last few days…
“FIVE WAYS TO SPEND VALENTINES DAY NOW YOU HAVE A BABY”
And you know what? Not ONE of them I’ve read have actually suggested going out to a restaurant, the traditional Valentine’s Day staple. Almost all of what I’ve read have focussed on staying at home and doing boring and downright awkward crap like giving your partner a romantic massage. Now look, If massages were the way you celebrated before you had kids, this is great…but if you didn’t, what on earth makes you think you’re suddenly going enjoy this? It’s likely going to end in embarrassment and laughter when you realise you’re way out of practice with the dirty talk and it’s all a bit weird when you can here Ewan The Dream Sheep’s lullaby melody playing through the baby monitor.
So you may not be able to go to Hotel Du Vin this year. You possibly don’t fancy having a room full of pissed off couples giving you daggers while your six month old blows raspberries and sends pureed carrot flying across the table. But that doesn’t mean you can’t go out. There are plenty of kid friendly restaurants out there and they’ll all be open on Valentine’s day. And do you think there are going to be many loved up couples choosing Giraffe as thier romantic venue of choice?
I know people are going to bring up the bedtime argument. Your baby has to be in bed by a certain time or it will break your routine. I know some people have extremely fussy babies and this makes things difficult. I totally get that. For my friend Zoey, whose baby rarely sleeps for more than a couple of hours at a time, going out in the evening possibly isn’t the right move. But if your baby is happy, sleeping well, and doesn’t have a carnal hatred of the outside world, just go the fuck out. Restaurants and pubs provide some of the best “white noise” ever. My work friend Colin was convinced Ivor was a doll at one point as everytime I met him for lunch Ivor would sleep like the dead through all the noisy lunch time chatter at The Firehouse in Bristol. Just choose somewhere large and busy as opposed to somewhere described as “romantic and cosy”. Honestly, in a truly busy and vibrant restaurant one baby crying isn’t that much noise.
If your child’s bedtime really is an issue and you absolutely need to be home by a certain time…go out earlier. Get your partner to take a half day at work and go out at three if you have to. I doubt there is a waiter out there that wouldn’t light you a candle if you explained this was your “Valentine’s Night” meal.
There is also another reason you should take your baby out on Valentine’s Day. Isn’t this ‘made up just to sell cards and flowers day’ all about celebrating your love for one another? And didn’t your love for one another lead you to you starting a family and raising that little bundle of joy that just threw his spoon on the floor for the ninth fucking time? As inconvenient as they may be to traditional romance, babies are the product of it. And maybe you’ve got to swap candles and music for a burger and making aeroplanes in public to get the little shit to eat something…but who cares. Raising a family is the biggest of all romantic adventures. Go out. Celebrate your love for one another. Embrace your new reality and all its challenges instead of staying home and avoiding them. And love it.