I wanted to offer up my top 5 free to cheap Valentine’s Day presents that I think any mom would love. You’ll notice a theme – it’s all about alone time or getting more sleep!
1. Surprise sleep-in for mom where Michael gets the kids up and ready for school. It’s hard to get up at 6:45 week in and week out especially on cold mornings. (When I had Lilina, Michael got the kids ready for school that entire first year of her life and I really, really appreciated it. So he has done it the past. It would be a nice treat every once in a while.)
2. Quiet time for me to read while he takes the kids to park (or anywhere outside the house) to play.
3. A bubble bath alone WITHOUT a 3-year-old inviting herself in!!! (“Oooh, mountains of bubbles,” she says while stripping off her clothes. I always try to convince her the water is too hot. However that only works for so long and then before you know it I am sharing my relaxing bath with a preschooler who is trying to swim in the tub.)
4. A walk alone with my husband. This is harder than you would think because you can’t just leave three kids alone in the house while you take a walk together. You have to either hire a babysitter or pawn them off on a friend for an hour. I would adore if he told me one of the neighbors was watching all three for us to take a walk.
5. Massage by Michael – Michael is actually very good at massages but hates giving them. Bums me out.
One other free idea that Michael did for me at Christmas was checking out some of my favorite music from the library. It was a nice surprise for him to bring home a swing album (which he hates!!) and Michael Jackson’s greatest hits – a 5-CD collection. I appreciated him thinking about what I would enjoy. (A corollary idea: Burning her a mix CD from old albums (cds) you used to enjoy together!)
This is a slide-show of 20 other ideas — not free though. (I love the classes idea. I would love to take dancing with Michael. I regret that I could never talk him into swing lessons before we had kids. I think that would be romantic and force you to keep weekly dates to attend the dance classes.)
On the flip side I think Michael would appreciate time alone in the house and sleeping in too.
My current plan for Michael is all his favorite food treats that the kids always steal from him – like chocolate-covered nuts and toffee-covered popcorn. Nothing fancy or expensive — just his own private stash of snacks that the kids cheat him out of. I need to keep thinking and add some more to this plan. I am totally open to husbands’ ideas of what Michael would enjoy for Valentine’s Day. (Keep it clean – I know he would enjoy that.)
So: Moms here’s your chance to tell your hubby what you would enjoy for Valentine’s day. And hubbies here’s your chance to let us know some great ideas to make you happy!
(A slight aside: I want to wish my big brother a happy birthday today! He is 42 today and has made it more than a year and half with his new transplanted heart. It is truly a miracle that he is alive so birthdays are extra special. God bless you big brother! I hope you many more happy birthdays!)