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OPINION: What moms really want for Valentine’s Day

From the perspective of a working mom
(Stock photo/Metro Creative Connection)

From the perspective of a working mom married to my husband for almost 13 years, here’s what the ladies really want from their significant others this Valentine’s Day:

Peace and quiet, no kids, and a clean house.

It’s simple, it may be a cliche, but it’s true.

Flowers are nice, but they die. Chocolates aren’t necessarily a safe bet and may be a minefield best avoided.

Jewellery can be nice if chosen well, but hey, lots of women are the ones doing the household budget and expensive purchases may make her swoon from anxiety rather than your attempt at wooing.

Fun fact: according to a survey by 360Lending, 67.3 per cent of people polled said they’d rather skip Valentine’s Day with their partner and save for a mortgage or down payment instead.

Well, nothing really says “commitment” like entering lifelong debt together in order to secure housing, does it?

Don’t buy her clothes either. If they aren’t her style or don’t fit right, it can be discouraging for both parties.

If gifts are important to her, at least make it something personal and thoughtful that lets her know you’ve paid attention. (But keep the receipt.)

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a gift card to a store she likes either.

Some ladies might want the fancy romantic dinner and night out, but, and this is important: we don’t want to have to make the plans.

Make the reservation, book the sitter and tidy the house beforehand or forget it. A night in on the couch in sweats would be preferable to yet again having all the mental load of making plans. Or getting home late and having to clean up after everyone.

Gifts and date nights can be special, but maybe this Valentine’s Day, what the mother of your children needs the most is a break.

Women more often than men carry the most mental load of scheduling, organizing and taking care of the family’s needs.

It’s been said men’s and women’s brains work differently. Men tend to compartmentalize and just deal with what’s right in front of them, while women are constantly trying to ensure the needs of those around them are met.

That means it can be harder for women to relax when the space they’re in is in disarray.

How can we enjoy ourselves when dishes are piling up, the trash needs to be taken out, the kids need baths and there’s laundry to be done?

There’s nothing sexier than doing chores without being asked, without complaint, and leading kids to do their chores as well. I was never more attracted to my husband than the time I saw him lift our sofa with one arm and vacuum underneath it with the other.

So tidy up the house, run her a bath, give her a book and a scented candle, and take the kids to the in-laws for the night. That’s all you’ve got to do.

The longer you’re married, the more little, everyday things that show consideration and thoughtfulness are what are truly romantic.

Noticing she’s running out of something she uses a lot and replacing it before she asks is hot.

Buying her another potted plant and pretending you believe it will stay alive is A-game material.

Make vet and dentist appointments so she doesn’t have to and you’ll be number one in her book.

Maybe couples just get more boring as time goes on — after all, weird things excite adults that kids would never care about — but Ziploc containers with lids in my favourite colour sure made me happy.

Whatever the dynamics of your relationship, if you want your significant other to feel appreciated and enjoy Valentine’s Day, take something off their plate that is usually their job (by agreement or default) and give them something, or do something for them that makes them feel seen, known and loved.

The returns will be far greater and longer-lasting than any stereotypical Valentine’s Day offering.

The truth is, no one can really say what women really want because the answer is as unique as she is. So listen, pay attention, or just ask. That’s OK too.

Emily Jaycox

About the Author: Emily Jaycox

I’m Emily Jaycox, the editor of Ponoka News and the Bashaw Star. I’ve lived in Ponoka since 2015 and have over seven years of experience working as a journalist in central Alberta communities.
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