Is Valentine’s Day about flowers, candies and fancy meals? Or is it perhaps about a little bit more?
The motherhood journey is an amazing, life-changing experience, but it’s so easy to lose yourself in it. From that first positive pregnancy test, through labour and delivery, to the daily ups and downs of life with little ones, our focus is always on the needs of someone else. Our sense of self expands, but also gets neglected.
Learning how to balance being present for my children while taking time out to recharge, has been a challenging yet essential process. Three years and two toddlers later, I’m thankful for how my children have helped me grow. I’ve learned about the incredible depth and breadth of love, and I’m grateful for a partner who has encouraged, supported, and been patient with me through it all.
So when it comes to Valentine’s Day – a day that celebrates love and romance – figuring out how to make time for my partner can seem daunting. With a one and three-year-old underfoot, I barely get a moment to go to the bathroom by myself.
By bedtime, I’m overwhelmed, over-touched, and over-tired.
Netflix and chill? I’m lucky if I can stay awake through an entire 20-minute episode of CBC’s Working Moms.
The good news for partners is helping an exhausted mother feel loved rarely means elaborate gifts or expensive dates.
More than anything, we desire to be seen, heard, understood, and cherished. Motherhood can be isolating, and we need to be reminded that we’re not alone.
The Five Love Languages
According to The 5 Love Languages, there are a few primary ways that we can connect with our partner. For example, thoughtful gestures that show that we are known, cared for, and prioritized above whatever sacrifice was made to provide the gift can go a long way towards rejuvenating the soul. Acts of service, actions that ease the burden of responsibility weighing on a mother, speak volumes. If actions don’t always speak louder than words, then she may need to hear a heartfelt compliment, or write a list of the reasons that she is loved and appreciated. Alternatively, holding her hand or giving her a quiet massage may provide the security and sense of belonging she’s craving. If quality time is her language, nothing will make her feel more special than being there for her and giving her your undivided attention. Create the space to make it happen.
Connect with these key questions
Knowing our partner means understanding their needs and doing what we can to meet them. It’s a reciprocal relationship that requires us to be vulnerable and trust that when we focus on our partner’s needs, our own needs will also be fulfilled. This Valentine’s Day may be the perfect opportunity to skip the overpriced flowers and commercialized greeting card sentiments. Instead, simply make an effort to connect with one another. Trust me, it’ll last a lot longer than a box of cheap chocolates. As a fun way to get the conversation flowing, here are 36 questions that lead to love.
Jeanine is a teacher, writer, and mom to two active and curious toddler boys. She has a passion for education and outdoor adventures. She loves to discover and share the best hidden parks, playgrounds, and beaches in Greater Vancouver. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find her and her boys playing in the dirt or peeking under logs in the forest.