3 Valentine’s Day Ideas for Parents (When You Don’t Have a Baby Sitter)

It dawned on me the other day that a lot of the Valentine’s Day gift and date ideas are geared toward dating or new lovers, and especially those without kids. But, what about us parental folk? Any mom can share a story on when their little ones have interrupted some much anticipated alone time. I have about ten, and one that happened this morning. Then there’s the mere fact that by the time we put Kai to bed during the week, we’re almost always exhausted to even think about getting dressed up and going out somewhere. So, here’s an idea – stay home! I know this may not be the first choice for everyone, and could be a reason for you to cancel Valentine’s all together, but I’m encouraging you to use this as an opportunity to spice up your relationship and still be your hubby or partner’s lover, even if for a few hours.

If you can get out of the house, by all means, please do so! But, there are a few very plausible reasons why you would even have to contemplate having a stay at home date on the day of love:

  • you have a newborn baby who you can’t leave for long – breastfeeding and separation anxiety are all very real
  • your regular childminder (nanny, grandparent or sister) has their own V-day plans!
  • it’s just too damn overpriced and crowded in all of the typical Valentine’s day hot spots

Instead of promising each other to catch up when your kids are grown and out of the house (!) here are three simple ways you can still enjoy Valentine’s together this year, while the kids are asleep.

Cook Together

Make whatever kiddy friendly meal you need to before the 14th and freeze it. You’ll need some energy and inspiration to cook something interesting on the actual day. We all fall into that routine of cooking the quickest, easiest meal that’s a slam dunk for the picky eater of the house. But let’s be real, there’s nothing sexy about fish fingers. Once the kids are fed and off to bed, you and hubby can follow a new recipe together. You can even make it a friendly competition and both cook the same thing, with the best chef receiving a special treat in the bedroom 😉 If he’s not a good cook, ask him to be your sous-chef by being on chopping duty hehe. Then clear the dining area of kiddy toys and eating utensils, set the table with your special linen, guest plates (because we know those are the fancier ones) and add some candles for mood lighting or music for ambiance.

**Spice it up: If your house allows it, change into some sexy lingerie and heels and ask him to wear nice boxers (or nothing but an apron) and flirt while you cook.

Movie Night In

I know it’s cliché, but it is for a reason. Instead of queuing with young’uns to watch the latest romantic movie and having to deal with their ‘secret’ make-out sessions in the theatre itself, have a movie night in. Take your Netflix subscription off the kids’ profile and add movies you want to watch on your Watch Later list throughout the week. That way they’re ready to go on Valentine’s itself. If you’re not a Netflixer – rent a couple of movies from Box Office. When we have a movie night, we like to change it up by choosing a theme for the films we watch. ‘Cheesy 90’s romcoms’ is my fave, or you could also choose a theme with the same actor in it (Morris Chestnut and Taye Diggs come to mind for relevant options here).

**Spice it up: Make the theme ‘sexy movies’. Nuff said.

Play Games

Before you yawn and close this tab, think about the last time you and your partner really laughed together? We love games because they make us think in a different way and most importantly, allow us to poke fun at each other. Scrabble and Monopoly are faves in our house, because we’re really competitive and get a kick out of outsmarting the other person. Choose a couple that you like, then set up in the living room. My northern hemisphere readers, if you have a fireplace, turn it on! Do make an effort and play the games with something cute on, (another excuse to put on that lacy baby doll) a bottle of wine, and play with a light heart. You don’t want to get too competitive and into an argument lol.

**Spice it up: have you ever tried playing Twister naked? I’m not sure if poker can be played with two players, but strip poker is also an option here. Just get naked. You’ll know the rest 😉

The key thing here is to plan your date during the week so you can make the most of your few hours alone, before your kids interrupt your time. An extra tip: flirt and sext each other throughout the day to get you excited for the evening in 😉

What are your plans for Valentine’s this year? Got any other parent-friendly ideas to add to my mix? Please post them below!

*Photography by Robyn Davie.



  1. Karen
    February 12, 2019 / 1:14 pm

    Hey Aisha,

    I was so lazy about this years Valentines, but thanks to you. I’m going to do the movie night in our bedroom on the floor let me start get busy and look for a great movie. So easy and even cheaper

    • Aisha O'Reilly
      February 13, 2019 / 12:51 pm

      Hey Karen, so glad you’ve found this useful and you’re inspired to get your love on! I’m all for budget-friendly ways of adulting. Enjoy 😉

  2. Aisha O'Reilly
    February 12, 2019 / 11:20 am

    Hey Shenine, thanks so much for all of these ideas. I’m sure another couple would benefit from them. I personally LOVE the staring game. So simple, yet so intimate. And the food game too. I’m definitely bookmarking those 😉

  3. February 11, 2019 / 5:20 pm

    I love your ideas especially cooking together because well first of all as a mother of five who to not just cook…. but loves to eat too.
    It can really be romantic. So one way to spice it up is have your partner close his eyes and guess a flavor.

    You can place fruit or food on you and become the main dish but he has to guess where you’ve placed it…..so fun and takes food to a whole new level. We also have a card game that allows you to continue your date for 365 days…(will dm)

    I love bringing out the little girl and boy by playing quiet hide and seek. Three rounds and whoever gets the most points gets to name their treat…. Set watch timer for 60 seconds. If not found you meet in original spot and start again. This reminds you you’re never to old to have fun. It invokes childhood memories while creating more.

    But I love it because I be all nervous as I listen if He hot or cold. The anticipation is like an adrenaline rush. But more importantly, there is a lesson in it. It teaches you to seek each other and when one is lost in the whims of like to find out what’s bothering them.

    Great time to play the silent stare game where you see who can gaze the longest before bursting into a laugh. Whoever laughs or break eye contact has to remove an article of clothing. The first one naked is the loser who gets to finish undressing you(his punishment). Can be awkward (the gazing) at first but something beautiful takes shape. For us it reminds us of our wedding day as we gazed and our,”I do’s ” interlocked as one.

    •Pull out the wedding album and reminisce together.
    •Create a gratitude list together and add to it in a year on Valentines Day.
    •Create a vision board together!
    •Get intimate in shower and wash each other. See where it leads too. I love this one because if your mate wasn’t able to for health reasons. It wouldn’t be awkward but normal.

    Do a spa night where you both soak in a milk bath with some oil petals and soft music with candles. This allows for privacy too! Don’t forget the baby monitor in case the little one wakes up.

    These are just a few ideas after 15 years of marriage.

    Blessings beautiful,

    • Aisha O'Reilly
      February 13, 2019 / 12:52 pm

      Hey Shenine, thanks so much for all of these ideas. I’m sure another couple would benefit from them. I personally LOVE the staring game. So simple, yet so intimate. And the food game too. I’m definitely bookmarking those 😉

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