Oklahoma City family fun is for moms and dads too.
January is turning to February and with it comes Valentine's Day, a holiday for which I feel unprepared each year. A flurry of holiday-themed products line store shelves everywhere I shop. Heart-shaped cardboard boxes of truffles at the pharmacy, red roses at the supermarket and pink trinkets are near every checkout stand.
Mom confessionals and diary-style writing aren't my thing but I have no problem admitting one major truth: the old debate has an answer, in my household at least, about which is more difficult, being a wife or a mother. I think wife wins hands-down because once you're a mother, making time for your spouse is a challenge.
Valentine's Day is difficult to plan for at our house. I can help the kids cover shoeboxes in solid print paper for their school classes, address each small card with the classmates' names and affix appropriately-sized candies. Finding something for us, the parents, though, is less assured.
We've done the indoor picnic, the dinner out with kids, the dinner out without kids and the do nothing at all approach. I don't recommend that one. Last year, we had a six-week old baby at Valentine's and opted for sushi in, chose our own gifts and celebrated my new found ability to sit up in the car without wincing after the c-section. Family life is what it is.
If you're looking for a local event to celebrate Valentine's, check out MetroFamily's expertly-culled list of what's going on around town in February.
We have asked our readers and Facebook fans at MetroFamily about which household task they'd most like to eliminate. Laundry keeps coming up and I can certainly see why. The five people in my household give laundry alone a life of its own. Washing, drying, folding, meal prep and children's activities eclipse date night. Finding a sitter and going out seems like another series of tasks rather than something to look forward to at my stage of life with three children under age 10.
Our day will come to go out more easily and until then, we do a lot as a family. That's okay with me because this too shall pass. The baby feet will soon wear Velcro Stride Rites and then sneakers and then high tops with laces. I've seen it happen twice now, more quickly somehow with each growing child.
However, there are a few special occasions when we make date night happen and if I could make the stars align to have more evenings out, I would. MetroFamily's readers have suggested these venues as the best places for date night in OKC.
Mom truth: It's hard to focus on each other with little ones.
Whether you're enjoying the holiday as a couple or as a couple plus children, my only advice is to celebrate it, even if that means grocery store chocolates. Happiness does come in small packages, whether they're cellophane-wrapped or snuggly swaddled.