Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that might have seemed important before you had kids. Or maybe more like before you got married. Or let’s be honest: It was only important that first year of dating.
Oh, and those early teen years when your much-adored secret admirer turned out to be your well-intentioned parents.
Now Valentine’s Day for moms has a lot more to do with planning school parties (or trying to avoid getting stuck with planning school parties), ensuring your kids’ valentines aren’t the least creative in the class and trying to make heart-shaped trinkets that may never live up their Pinterest inspiration.
But that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t appreciate a little token of affection to mark the holiday. And if you’re like most moms, the last thing you need from your spouse is something that’ll only clutter up the house – so dads, leave that CVS teddy bear on the shelf (unless you’re buying it for the kids!).
We asked our readers on Facebook what moms really want for Valentine’s Day and – along with input from our resident moms here at Metro Parent – came up with these 10 things.
And yeah, they’re not really “things” at all – which probably doesn’t surprise you. But it might surprise your partner. So moms, share this post with them and keep your fingers crossed.
Preferably in the form of “sleeping in” one morning – but, since that isn’t always possible, we’ll take any time of day. No interruptions. Hint: It doesn’t count if the kids are bored or crying for mom, so plan something fun to entertain them.
2. Clean house
“I want to wake up and find my house totally spotless, with laundry clean and put away and the dishwasher completely empty,” Metro Parent reader Chelsea Polley shares. “Fresh flowers on the table would be the cherry on top!”
And hey, if you need to hire out those chores, that’s fine too (but be prepared for questions about how much it cost and why didn’t they dust the ceiling fan).
3. A night out
It could be a date night with you or a night out with some friends or the whole family. “I am craving something over the top. A pedicure, flowers and a family date night not planned/executed by me,” Taryn Sulkes writes.
4. Something cute from the kids
Sometimes this is done in school and both mom and dad get some sweet little papier-mâché craft or painting sent home. But if that doesn’t happen – or even if it does – a gift from the kids that you helped them make would be super special.
Here’s an idea: Take the kids to a pottery place while mom sleeps in.
5. Massage, please
“The ideal gift for me would be an hour-long massage. That sounds like heaven to me right now!” shares Metro Parent senior editor Stacey Winconek. And it’s a recurring theme. “Hands down – spa day!” reader Nicole Lane Bulloch tells us.
Carolyn Gammicchia wants the same: “I’d love to have a couple’s spa day with us having relaxing massages, maybe some chocolate-covered strawberries, and then perhaps a light dinner out.” (Then they go home and celebrate their son’s birthday – he was born on Valentine’s Day!)
It’s a simple request: just pamper us a little. Or a lot – use your judgment!
Reader Maria N Tim Phillips dreams of this: “A maid, a chef, a nanny, an assistant someone to feed me, bath me, do my hair, get me dressed. Literally what (we) moms do for our babies, I want done to me without me lifting one finger. I just want one day! Oh, the Glory!”
7. Free time to Netflix
Not to be confused with “Netflix and chill” – sorry. Give us a half day or so where you take care of everything and we have free reign of the TV/iPad/whatever so we can binge watch something other than Sofia the First (and maybe binge on some ice cream while we’re at it).
8. An adoring post
Here’s an easy one. You know those my-wife-is-the-best social media posts that tend to get tons of “likes” (and maybe some gagging that you don’t hear about)?
One of those might be nice. Just get approval on the pic with us first! We’ll act embarrassed but actually think it’s really sweet.
9. Manage the house
So many of us moms take on the majority of household management, even if we both work. A great gift? Spend some time scheduling bill payments online, meal planning and organizing.
Reader Jessica Dahl puts it this way: “Clean house; meals planned and shopped for; a mani/pedi without other errands to run or guilt attached; quiet time with coffee and a book.”
10. The simple things
All of the above is great (and don’t get us wrong, we’ll take it!) but know this: The little things matter most. Metro Detroit area mom Kathy Harvey says it best.
“I would say the thing I want most for Valentine’s Day are really the simple things in life. I would love to have a nice family dinner, hear the words ‘I love you’ from my hubby and our girls and, of course, some dark chocolate.”
P.S. If you’re thinking, “What about the dads?” we hear you. We acknowledge they surely deserve sleep, free time and pampering too. Or maybe a more tangible gift like one from this Valentine’s list for dads. Either way, it’s a two-way street. This list was by moms about what moms want. But if you have a great suggestion for what dads and moms really want for Valentine’s Day, tell us in the comments!
This post was originally published in 2017 and is updated regularly.