Happy Valentine’s Day!! When I mentioned to my wife that I had blog coming out on Valentine’s Day this year, she laughed so hard she was crying. You see, I am not a big Valentine’s Day fan. I’ve never been a sappy romantic. I’ve never swept anyone off their feet. I have always held to the notion that Valentine’s Day is for young people just starting out or for husbands/boyfriends who need a ‘make-up’ day for past mistakes.
Erin Santos recently penned a piece on SmartyPants for husbands about Valentine’s Day. After reading it, I felt the need to defend myself and those poor husbands out there ‘not getting it’ after all these years. Here are my thoughts:
Grocery Store Flowers: Been there and done that. On the off-chance I buy flowers at all, pre-made bouquets are the way to go! Four kids in Harris Teeter is not the time to start making a custom bouquet. I’ll end up buying the whole floral department my kids destroy while I wait. I am thoughtful enough to take off the price tag though…it shows I care.
Valentine Cards: It’s a Hallmark holiday, so why not? How about because I’m scared my kids will break all the trinkets in the store.
Lingerie: Nothing says desperate like bringing four kids to Victoria Secret to shop for lingerie for my wife. I can only imagine what people would think…he wants more kids?! He’s crazy!
Kitchen Stuff: I do the cooking and vacuuming so this is not a realistic option unless it’s a joke, but I wouldn’t go there. I value my life.
Chocolate: Yes, she loves chocolate, but I may need to sneak a couple during the day, and I may even let the kids have a couple after school, and before you know it, the next day she comes home from work to an empty box of chocolates. Uh-oh – I’m in trouble!
Gifts: We are not a gift-exchanging couple either. As a parent that works at home, I technically have no income, so it is rather awkward to book a sitter, plan a date and spend money on my wife, since she is the one ‘bringing home the bacon.’ When the fancy dinner check comes, do I chivalrously ‘get the check’ and put it on ‘my credit card’? 🙂 I’ve done very well adapting to my at-home role, but the twist on the traditional gender dynamics here is too great for me to overcome. If I buy her some really expensive jewelry and she doesn’t like it, imagine that conversation! “You spent HOW MUCH on that?”
Asking for help: Too awkward to ask one of my school carpool ‘girlfriends’ for help picking out a gift for my wife (that even sounds weird). I’m sure they would love to help, but in my case they are my friends not hers. If it fails, how would I answer the question, “what were you thinking?”
Fortunately for Mr. Super-Lame (aka me), we’ve been happily married for over fifteen years. I was the main bread winner for the first five years of our marriage before we had kids while she was in grad school, so I understand the pressures associated with the role (it’s more than you may realize). It can be a huge time commitment to provide a nice lifestyle for your family, so I’ve taken the long approach and I’m just there day in day out doing my job as a stay-at-home dad. I watch the kids, do carpool, run them to practice, coach their teams, do teacher conferences and PTO, make dinner, do laundry, clean the kitchen, vacuum and generally make sure my wife can focus on her job and not worry about the kids.
Even if they don’t win the Valentine’s Day competition, all the husbands I know truly appreciate everything their wives do.
Happy Valentine’s Day!