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5 tips for parents on Valentine’s Day


Valentine’s Day can be a tricky beast for parents – especially those of us with small children.

What was once a day of lavish meals and romantic date nights can now be a lot trickier to manage. Whether it’s because you can’t get a babysitter, don’t have the available cash or perhaps you just don’t have the energy (I can usually tick all three of those boxes!) you might find the whole thing a bit overwhelming.

Well, fear not – it needn’t be a chore, and could end up being even more romantic than you planned. I’ve scoured the internet to find some of the best tips for having a romantic date night, despite your parenting duties and energy levels. No need to thank me – just enjoy your night!

Do something different

If you decide to celebrate Valentine’s Day at home – perhaps with a romantic meal or a movie night – make sure you do something DIFFERENT. And by different I don’t necessarily mean unusual – just something against the grain from what you do most other nights. That way, you ensure the evening will be a fun and memorable one for both of you – nobody wants “same old same old” on a romantic date night!

Make sure it’s about YOU, not the kids

We all know a few parents who like to make everything about the kids – so before you start getting the kids to make home-made Valentine’s cards for your spouse, or planning an impressive meal for them too, stop and think: does Valentine’s Day NEED to be their day too? There are plenty of other special occasions and holidays which are focused on kids. Why not keep this one just for mum and dad? That way you can ensure it’s a special day for both of you, without the kids wanting to stay up late or ruin the mood!

Switch off from being a parent for the night

As tempting as it can be to spend your entire evening talking about the children’s latest issues or school work, try to focus more on being a couple than being parents for the night. It’s not very often you get to do this – and it might be especially tricky if you have particularly young babies – but give it a shot. It might remind you of some of those early days in your relationship!

Make dinner together

Unless you’re prone to arguing in the kitchen, cooking a meal together can be a fun and romantic activity. It also ensures the evening isn’t just about one of you doing all the work and the other benefiting – I often find that Valentine’s Day can be unfairly focused on “Men spend on women, women cook for men” which is boring and out-dated. So make sure you collaborate – who knows what might happen!

Remember your wedding

Another great way of reminding you of “the good old days” (if that’s your thing) could be to dig out the wedding photos, or watch the video if you have it. It can be a great reminder of those early days of romance, and in some cases a hilarious reminder of how young and innocent you were. And if your wedding was a while ago, it could be a source of some fashion howlers too!

Henry Elliss is a digital marketer by day and a pun-loving, dad-blogging, photo-taking, Lego-making, beard-wearing, child-caring father of two and husband of one by day, night, weekend and every other moment. For more family adventures, reviews and parenting hints and tips, visit Henry’s Fatherhood blog at


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