In honor of Valentine's Day, I thought it might be fun to write a little about seduction. The true art of seduction is not to convince someone to do what you want, but to get someone in the mood to want what you want and to ask you for it. It's a subtle distinction, but an important one and it can be one that's difficult to achieve after you become a parent. (After all, it's really hard to switch gears after you've been "mommy" and "daddy" all day and you might have to slip back into those roles at any given time throughout the night.)
However, there are many romantic things you can do for your partner that will help her (or him) feel more inclined to be romantic. (And most of them are cheap and easy!) I offer these as some inspirations with a little help from The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman and some real life inspirations from friends. My ideas are geared toward women, but that's just because in my family, it's my husband who has the most trouble coming up with Valentine ideas and it fits better with the title to stick with "moms" as my focus, but most of these ideas will also work for men!
Seduce a Mother with:
1. Write a short love letter/post-it/email every day for a week. Say something very specific that you love about her and the way she looks. A lot of women start feeling unsexy after having children. Let her know that she still is every bit as sexy to you!
2. Compose a poem or song for her. (Bad writer/singer? No problem! You'll get bonus points for being brave and trying!)
3. Make a list with the kids of all the ways you want to show her you love her as a family. Post the list in a public place and make sure everyone tries to do something from the list every day.
4. Write her a long love letter or text like the ones you probably sent to one another when you were first together. Detail exactly how much she means to you and leave it some where she can find it!
5. Change the words to one of her favorite songs (or a love song that reminds you of her) to fit her and sing it to her. (Once again, she will only give you bonus points if singing isn't your usual thing!)
6. Get everyone's attention at dinner or another public meal and make a detailed speech/toast about her and how amazing she is.
7. Make her a mixed cd or playlist with songs that are special to you two.
8.If you have saved old emails or letters between the two of you, print them out and put them in a special book. If you have the time add pictures alongside the letters and surprise her with them.
9. Interview the kids on camera about what's special about her and have them interview you, then edit the videos together and surprise her with them. (Thanks, Nici, for the inspiration!)
10. Choose a word every day that you think describes her and slip her a note that tells her the word and why it represents her. Then find ways to use the word all day. (If you have older kids, you can co-opt them in the plan, too.)
Seduce her with Special time:
11. Surprise her by taking a day off work or getting her to take a day off work and plan different activities for you to do as a family (including all of the meals). If you have small children, make sure that you do most of the kid wrangling that day!
12. Plan a special "gift" hunt with the kids to help her find small presents that you've bought together for her. (Think gifts that are easy to hide: her favorite treat, a homemade bracelet, a small bottle of perfume, etc.) Come up with clues she can follow to get to her gifts.
13. Spend an evening with her just looking at old photos/videos/or listening to music that is special to her. Make sure she knows this is all about her memories that you want to hear about. Candlelight will definitely make the evening cosier.
14. Take her mini-golfing or some other silly activity you ordinarily wouldn't do. It's up to you if you bring the kids, but if you do, remember to be the one who steps up first to take care of them. This is about getting her in a more relaxed mood.
15. Go on a winter's walk and make her hot cocoa or tea at the end of it.
16. If you can find a sitter, take her someplace where she used to spend a lot of time before becoming a mom (to a show, to the gym, a bookstore etc.) Anyplace that will remind her of who she is besides being a mom.
17. Spend an hour or two just daydreaming about where you want to go as a couple. Dream about vacations you'd like to spend together, places you'd like to live, jobs you'd like to have.
18. Take her on a picnic. Too cold? Take her on a romantic picnic in your living room after the kids have gone to bed. Surprise her with it when she comes down from putting the kids to bed.
19. Plan a game night for the family or just the two of you. It doesn't matter what you play as long as she gets a chance to relax. Board games allow for more interaction, but if you want to play video games, that's fine, as long as she gets to choose what she wants.
20. Make a dinner or desert together after the kids go to bed. Try to find a recipe neither of you know how to make so you have to work together.
Seduce her with Gifts:
21. Give her a spa day. No money for a professional spa? No problem. Ask one of her best single friends to help you pick out lotions/face masks/whatever will make her feel refreshed and give her a girl's night to spend with that friend or team up with another couple and the two "givers' can help taking care of the kids while the two recievers get a spa day together!
22. Give her a day to go out on her own and tell her to buy for herself whatever makes her feel sexy. Tell her that you will not take no for an answer. You may be surprised by what she buys (it might be a new hair color, it might be a new cd, it might be a pair of shoes), but it isn't about her looking sexy for you. It's about her feeling sexy and that's a big difference.
23. Hire a "chef" for the night to come in and make a romantic meal (it can be a friend she knows who is a good cook). Alternatively, hire a housekeeper, an organizer, or a personal shopper for her. You know what would make her happiest.
24. Make or buy her something that you know she will use every day. Enlist the kids for ideas. It doesn't have to be something big. Just something that she can look at every day and know you care for her.
25. Make an investment in something she believes in. Is she a huge recycler, but you usually don't care much? Does she cry at ASPCA commercials? Is she a big believer in homebirth? Find a cause she cares about and make a donation. The fact that you paid attention, did the research, and contributed to her cause will mean a lot!
26. Ask her if she has a "bucket list" and make sure that you help her do something from the list! If she wants to travel somewhere buy a ticket or create a jar to save money in toward the trip. If she wants to learn how to fly, get her a lesson or create a jar to save money toward it. She'll thank you for it! (Thanks, Karen!)
27. Fund a girls' weekend or night. Get other partners involved and share the childcare and expenses!
28. Make her an appointment at her favorite salon for pampering.
29. Take the kids to pick out a small gift from each of them. Example? Buy her a charm bracelet and let each kid pick out a charm!
30. Buy her something that always makes you think of her. Does the smell of roses always make you think of her? Buy her some rose water or roses and let her know! Does the color blue match her eyes? Buy her a scarf and tell her so!
Seduce her with Acts of Service:
31. Make her dinner. Bad cook? Get the kids to help or ask relatives for easy recipes. You will get bonus points for trying!
32. Do her least favorite chore for her every day for a week.
33. Find her "to do" list and do everything on the list! (Thanks, Chris!)
34. Clean her car for her (if it's something she hates to do) or clean the snow off of her car for her. (This is something my husband excels at!)
35. Take over diaper/feeding duties for one day if you have small children.
36. Take on a house project that you know she wants done or if she really loves doing those projects but usually can't because she's tending to the kids, give her a chance to do one!
37. Give your bedroom a romantic transformation for her, buy new bedding or just change things up a bit. Bring in fresh flowers. Make the space special for her!
38. If it's been snowing a lot where you live, clear some space for the kids to play outside or clear sidewalks that don't always get cleared for her. She'll thank you.
39. Do the laundry for a week or even a month. (If you aren't sure how she likes to do it, ask for directions from either her or the kids.) Stick to it!
40. Make the bed for her (or do some other daily chore) every day.
Seduce her physically:
Note: It can be tempting to try to take these farther. Resist the urge. Let her know if she wants more!
41. Give her massage (foot/back/neck) for at least 30 minutes with her favorite scented oil or baby oil. Play her favorite music for her in the background and keep the lighting low. If she falls asleep, let her rest. She'll be more than grateful when she wakes up!
42. Make out with her. Act like you are teenagers and make out with her without pushing for more.
43. Feed her a dessert after the kids have gone to bed. This can be especially fun if she's adventurous and will risk be blinded while you feed her or letting you feed her in the dark. Finger foods are safest.
44. Spend a little time daily offering her extra touches. A few seconds extra added to a morning hug. Squeeze her hand. Take her hand when you are walking. Those extra touches add up quick over a week and can make her feel extra loved.
45. Spend time every day making extra eye contact with her. You don't have to stare her down, but eye contact of 3-5 seconds can let someone know that you are deeply interested in them.
46. Dine alone just the two of you in the dark or in low light. It might be even more fun to dine in a room you don't normally eat in, just don't freak out if a spill happens! Just laugh it off!
47. Offer to brush her hair/scrub her back or do some other small act of grooming for her. It's a gentle way to show affection.
48. Spend an evening gently tracing messages on her back and have her guess what you are writing. It sounds silly, but it can be a sweet way to show her affection.
49. Run her a bubble bath with some special bubbles and buy her a new fuzzy robe or pajamas. It can make her feel treasured and relaxed.
50. Kiss the top of her head, behind her ears, her neck, places that you probably forget to pay attention to now that you are so focused on being parents together. If you remind her of the playfulness of when you were first exploring your love, it will help her to be more playful now.
So there it is, 50 ideas to get your started. Combine them, add to them, and make them work for you! Happy Valentines Day!
-Connected Mom, Shawna