10 Years Of Marriage, 2 Kids Later...This Is How We Celebrate Valentine’s Day

After ten years and two children, do romantic cards and flowers still do the trick? Or, is love ever-changing and evolving? Find out what Valentine’s Day means to the author and her spouse.

By Amrita Gracias

10 Years Of Marriage, 2 Kids Later...This Is How We Celebrate Valentine’s Day
"Love is a two-way street constantly under construction"

As I contemplate how my spouse and I will celebrate this Valentine’s Day after more than a decade of marriage, I am reminded of a wedding I attended a few days ago. I watched two people deeply in love exchange vows and declare their unending love for each other. I couldn't hear what they were saying, but their expressions and gestures said it all.

There’s something exhilarating about being in love, isn’t it? But, as with us, what happens after a couple in love get married and begin living together? Do we still need to express our love or remind each other of the vows we once made, especially through the chaos of our every day life?

Origins

Amidst taking care of children, work, home and other daily issues, most couples forget to express their love for each other. And, Valentine’s Day is indeed the perfect opportunity to renew the spark in the relationship. But, do you know the story behind Valentine’s Day and how it has become a festival of love and romance? 

Some historians believe that Valentine's Day may have its origins in the ancient Roman festival called ‘Lupercalia’. However, today we associate the day with St Valentine who, it is said, helped couples marry. February 14 was declared as Valentine’s Day to honour the saint who was imprisoned and executed by the Romans on this day.

In the initial days of courtship or marriage, most of us are sure to have celebrated Valentine's Day with much fervour, by sending cards, flowers, chocolates, giant teddy bears (yes, he did that once!), and maybe, jewellery or special dinner dates...well the list can go on!

But, life changes after marriage, and parenthood especially. And, there is a difference in the way we celebrate Valentine's Day, especially after children came along. It might seem like our relationship has lost that spark, but, in fact, over the years, while bringing up our children, we have only grown to love and respect each other more.

Somewhere along the way, cards stopped doing the trick. Rather, simple gestures now and then like sharing household chores or taking over responsibilities, began to seem more caring. Amidst answering the calls and messages, coordinating the drops and pick-ups of children from school and extra classes, attending to a whole lot of other things, a simple ‘Love you’ is just as romantic!

Loving and living, together

I’m sure to receive a bunch of flowers from my spouse on Valentine’s Day. However, it’s the unexpected romance that counts — the intentional acts that help us show each other that we really care. These now hold more meaning than over-the-top romantic moments.

Also, romantic dinners and dates are tough to schedule, nowadays. And, constantly thinking about them might make one feel that all romance is lost or, that there is something missing from the relationship. So, instead, I think of romance as small, but meaningful, acts that leave us both pleasantly surprised. And, for me, it’s these thoughtful, everyday acts of love that really truly count.

A new relationship always seems full of romance and is often expressed with material things like flowers or gifts. A new couple looks for ways to show their love for each other and wants others to know of their love. But, a few years down the line, this is hardly the way anymore. What we have now is something more valuable — a comfort with each other and the mutual understanding that, together, we will take on the challenges life throws at us.

Of course, marriage and parenthood can never a smooth ride. We have our differences, but our acts of love are a wonderful way for our children to understand our love and respect for each other. In fact, when children know that their parents share a positive and caring relationship, they feel loved as well and develop a sense of belonging.

While we may not indulge in the overt displays of love usually associated with Valentine's Day, the tender moments and caring acts give us a chance to focus on our relationship. We are able to look beyond the superficial and, instead, celebrate the positive aspects of our relationship. By showing our appreciation for each other, we teach our children to learn the importance of love and compassion. We model what it is like to love and care for someone, and express our feelings in ways that truly matter.

So, come Valentine’s Day, a new kind of romance takes over. For us, the day is not merely about romance, but more about love. It is not about simply exchanging gifts or cards, but about exchanging a warm hug amidst our busy schedules. And, it's not about a romantic dinner for two, but a joyful family dinner filled with love and laughter, meant to strengthen ties and relationships!

After all, someone wise once said, “Love is a two-way street constantly under construction”!

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