Parents, Here’s How To Celebrate Valentine’s Day When You’re *So* Tired

Valentine’s Day is lovely…in theory. But as the sole holiday set aside each year to celebrate the someone special in your life, it can put a lot of pressure on people, especially parents. And as if taking the time out of your schedule to make a magnificent meal or put on something other than those leggings you’ve been rocking for a few days now weren’t enough, Cupid kind of comes up short this year, since Valentine’s Day falls on (of all days), a Monday. (Womp womp.) But don’t despair, desperate parents. There are ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day when you’re so tired you want to be in bed by 8:00 p.m. — and not for that. Here’s how to make the most of this lovely day.

Understand Each Other’s Needs

If ever there were a day when you feel like everyone is getting slinky between the sheets except for you, Valentine’s Day would be it. But sex doesn’t have to be the climax (ha) for the day. “Desire and arousal decrease when there is pressure to have sex,” says clinical psychologist and couples’ therapist, Dr. Tracy Dalgleish. “There are six different types of intimacy, including sexual, physical emotional, intellectual, value-based/spiritual, and experiential.” Instead of feeling like you have to have some adult time, look for other ways to share intimacy with your partner that makes both of you feel close and connected. Or, you just might want to high five each other for making it through the day and promise to take a rain check for the weekend.

Have Fun Together

Parenting is fun…for your kids. But for the parents themselves? Not so much. Sure, parenting puts a lot of pressure on a relationship, but don’t let that strain stifle all the fun you used to have together. That’s why you can make Valentine’s Day more about bonding than, ahem, banging. “Play as an adult is incredibly important,” says Dr. Dalgleish. “Consider how you and your partner build playfulness in your lives together and find ways to bring laughter and lightness to your daily interactions.” That might mean putting on some music and having a dance party or playing games together. Laughter can naturally lead to some more adult games later.

Have A Family Date Night

Who says that Valentine’s Day has to be about you and your partner alone? Especially if V Day falls during the week (and babysitters are in short supply), you might need to pack the kiddos into the car for a family-friendly holiday. “When you are too tired to cook or go out to dinner, order in,” says Amber Lee, a relationship expert and CEO of Select Date Society. “Set the table with nice china, light some candles, play some soft music, and have a family date night at your dining room table.” Not only will your kids feel special, but you won’t have to deal with having to wear heels when you’re already exhausted.

Don’t Wait Until The Evening

So often, people associate Valentine’s Day with evening activities. But if you and your partner work remotely (or you both just happen to be home during the day), make the most of the time you have alone. “If you and your partner are both working from home this Valentine’s Day, don’t wait until the evening to hope that sparks will fly,” suggests Lee. “Instead, create sparks during your lunch hour! Use the time that kids are in school to squeeze in time for intimacy.”

Take A Rain Check

As unsexy as it might sound, Monday isn’t the optimum day for romance if you’re happily coupled. According to a study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, women in relationships were more sexually active on Fridays and Saturdays— and definitely not on Mondays. That’s why you and your partner can postpone your plans until the weekend. “Monday doesn’t sound like a fun date night, but Friday does!” says Lee. “Make reservations and hire a babysitter for the Friday after Valentine’s Day. Use the belated date night as an opportunity to celebrate your love for each other.” You’ll probably be able to appreciate the time spent together more when you’re not thinking about packing school lunches for your kids.

Hire Some Help

There’s probably nothing sexier than when your partner pitches in around the house. But while seeing them sweeping or taking out the trash might get your engines revving, it might be more exciting to hire someone else to do the dirty work. Dr. Kendal Maxwell, PhD, a clinical neuropsychologist says, “Order a cleaning service to help take the load off of everyone’s to-do list. Or have a private chef come cook a meal or get food delivered from a favorite restaurant.” Sometimes, the simplest things are truly the sexiest.

Valentine’s Day is always an excellent opportunity to spend some extra special time with your loved ones. And whether it falls on a Monday, Wednesday, or Saturday, make the most of the day by celebrating it surrounded with the ones you love. And if you and your partner happen to be awake past 10:00 p.m. and are feeling amorous, even better.

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