This year however, we are parents to a lively eight month old son. And as well as all the expected knock-on effects of parenting; exhaustion, being constantly covered in dribble, not quite losing the baby weight – we are also desperately trying to dig ourselves out of the financial black hole that maternity leave has caused. All things considered, Valentine’s Day was a considerably different affair this year…
Now that I am back at work, one of us leaves the house early and the other stays to sort the baby out with childcare and vice versa in the evening. So at 7:00am I dragged my weary self off to the office, I briefly saw my husband as he got up to feed the baby so I gave him his card, he informed me he’d forgotten mine.
Later in the day, I got a call from reception informing me in a singsong voice that ‘something’s been delivered’. For once, I bypassed the lift and actually walked down the stairs I was so excited. My husband is usually ace at gifts and I’ve had something thoughtful and beautiful every year since we’ve been together. Sadly this year, I got a cheap bouquet of naff roses interspersed with some droopy gyp. I tried really hard not to be an ungrateful bitch, after all we are POOR, but it was really hard.
I got home to relieve the mother-in-law of the small crazy one at about six. We’d bought relatively nice (not the cheapest available option) food so I put the baby to bed early and got cooking. Three hours later, I’d eaten, the rest was cold and J finally came home. I couldn’t be mad, we do the same job and I know what it can get like.
Come bedtime, we were both shattered and there was no question of any action. In fact, if he’d even tried it would probably have ended in violence.
I’m aware that none of this is revelatory; I expect a lot of new parents had a pretty similar day and if so I’d love to hear about it. It makes me feel better to know that not everyone is being glamorously amorous on Feb 14th.